A recent Change.org petition aims to stop a fashion brand called Bstroy from profiting on school shootings like Sandy Hook.
Bstroy is a menswear line from New York founded by Brick Owens and Dieter Grams. The brand promotes itself on Instagram and has over 27,000 followers. Many of their shirts are available through subscription type fashion services like Hypebeast - though the online retailer has yet to add the controversial collection to its website.
Bstroy unveiled its spring 2020 collection called "Samsara" which features t-shirts and hoodies with school logos from the locations of school shootings. The clothing is distressed with tears that simulate bullet holes. Schools included in the collection are Sandy Hook, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Virginia Tech, and Columbine.
The overall reaction to the clothing has been negative, with many commenting that the designs are disgusting and tasteless. A minority of commentators have said that the collection draws attention to the problem of gun violence. What ever the intention of the social commentary, the obvious outcome is that eyes have be drawn to an otherwise unheard of brand. The Instagram photos have thousands of likes.
Brand designer Owens put a philosophical spin on the collection stating: "Sometimes life can be painfully ironic. Like the irony of dying violently in a place you consider to be a safe, controlled environment, like school," he wrote.
"We are reminded all the time of life's fragility, shortness, and unpredictability yet we are also reminded of its infinite potential. It is this push and pull that creates the circular motion that is the cycle of life. Nirvana is the goal we hope to reach through meditation and healthy practices that counter our destructive baits. Samsara is the cycle we must transcend to reach Nirvana."
He added that the collection was only created for the fashion show, but the response has made the company consider putting them into production.
The organizer of the Change.org petition states that the company has the potential to profit from the killings of children, including ones as young as six years old. So far the petition has 108,057 signatures and is closing in on its goal of 150,000. You can sign by clicking here. Bstroy has not confirmed if they will indeed sell the clothing at retail, or responded to the petition.
What do you think of these school shooting shirts?
Are they drawing attention to a problem or just in bad taste?