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‘Wear Their Names’: Pro-BLM jewelry brand selling victim-named items made of shattered glass from riots shuts down after backlash

‘Wear Their Names’: Pro-BLM jewelry brand selling victim-named items made of shattered glass from riots shuts down after backlash
The ‘Wear Their Names’ jewelry line shut down after being blasted online as exploitative for selling accessories bearing names of Black police shooting victims.

Paul Chelmis and Jing Wen went viral by selling a jewelry collection made out of glass left lying around after protests in Charleston, South Carolina. The idea was to “make something beautiful out of the rubble.” Thus the brand ‘Wear Their Names’ was born, a play on the BLM slogan ‘Say their names’ which refers to black Americans killed by police.

In a move of questionable self-awareness the couple decided to individually name their designs after the victims. The screenshots of a now closed online storefront show, for example, ‘The Breonna’ – a $240 pendant, ‘The Trayvon’– a necklace for $95. The pricing ranged between $45 to nearly $500, with all proceeds supposedly going to Black Lives Matter.

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The online community did not appreciate the jeweler’s gesture, which to many felt disrespectful and eerie. Some said that the two were “exploiting black death for commercial gain.” Others were troubled by the mere image of price tags being attached to black people’s names.

The online community seems to have been unanimous in rejecting Chelmis and Wen’s attempt at solidarity. The two quickly shut down their website, Instagram account, and issued an apology.“So sorry to those we offended or harmed,” the statement read. “While our intentions were pure and we consulted with a wide variety of people before launching, it is clear that there are issues with the approach we took.”

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