Streetwear store Exclucity accused of using Beirut tragedy to promote sneakers

Canadian sneaker brand, Exclucity, is being accused of using the explosion in Beirut as a way of promoting Air Jordans. 

On Wednesday, founder and CEO Trent took to the brand's Instagram account to announce a raffle for Air Jordans alongside a photo of the tragedy that took place in Lebanon's capital on Tuesday.

In a matter of hours, people began commenting on the since-deleted post, claiming that Trent was using the sad news out of Beirut to bring in business. 

"Just here to inquire what the tragedy in Beirut has to do with a sneaker give away," one user wrote. 

However, in an interview with Freshdaily, Trent explained that promoting the shoes was not at all his intention. Instead, he said that when the explosion occurred, he noticed that news outlets weren't covering it. 

As a result, Trent and his accountant, who is Lebanese, decided to use his platform to speak about what happened, including what it means for the Lebanese economy, which was already suffering.

In the post's caption, he mentioned how Lebanon is almost completely import-dependant and that the Lebanese pound has hit a new low.

"If you look an my Instagram, you'll see that with every raffle since April, I've been taking up a social issue and putting that issue in the raffle," Trent said, adding that sneaker raffles are for a chance to buy the shoes rather than win a free pair.

"We use raffles because raffles get the most views and...for you to enter, you have to say the size that you want and tag three people, so it spreads it."

Trent added that they put social issues in their raffles so that it's more than just a raffle. 

"You use a raffle system so that it's a fair system instead of putting it on online because if you put it online, you'll get attacked by bots. We are choosing to use social issues to put in our raffles so that it's not just a raffle."

In previous raffles, Trent has talked about gender gaps in employment rates, gender-based discrimination, LGBTQ issues and other social issues. 

Exclucity once operated eight physical stores in Canada but recently closed all of them except one in Montreal.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

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