Dutch celebration clothing seller Feestkleding 365 decided to drop all indications of blackface from its Zwarte Piet outfits, the business revealed in a press release on Tuesday. The choice was made based on racist remarks the seller received on an opinion poll about whether to keep the costume in its present form. Feestkleding 365 also chose to donate the profits made by selling these outfits to charity.
Last month Feestkleding 365 asked 5 thousand of its customers whether they need to keep selling Zwarte Piet outfits. 18,6 percent indicated they discovered Zwarte Piet’s present appearance troubling, the rest elected keeping him as is.
“The remarkably high portion of votes against Zwarte Piet, in addition to the numerous racist remarks originating from the pro-Zwarte Piet citizens, was factor enough for Feestkleding 365 to make some radical modifications to its Zwarte Piet collection”, the business stated. On its site, Feestkleding replaced the Zwarte Piet confronts with a smiley face to remove all indications of the blackface makeup. Feestkleding also decided to contribute all income scampered Zwarte Piet outfits offered so far to charity KiKa, which assists children who struggle with cancer.
“Almost one in five voters wished to see Zwarte Piet out of our shop”, Jose Cabrera of Feestkleding 365 stated. “We find that number quite high. We desire to distance ourselves from the comments that were published below our poll. A great deal of them were ill-intended or even clearly racist. That is why, starting today, Zwarte Piet has actually lost his color and has a smiley emoji on our website. For us, the smiley emoji can imply only one thing: delight!”