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Mexico complains to China's SHEIN over Mayan motif


Jul 22, 2022

Mexico has demanded an explanation from Chinese fast-fashion online retailer SHEIN for using a design by Mayan artisans, the government said, in the latest case of alleged cultural appropriation.

The Latin American nation regularly denounces what it calls plagiarism by foreign companies of the motifs, embroidery and colors of its Indigenous communities.

The Mexican government has written to SHEIN asking for a public explanation of the commercialization of the floral design, the culture ministry said in a statement Wednesday.

The low-cost retailer made "use of cultural elements whose origin is fully documented," it added.

"This type of action puts artisanal work at a disadvantage, faced with one that is mass produced," the letter said.

Earlier the Mexican clothing brand YucaChulas shared pictures on social media of a SHEIN floral-print blouse, alleging that the "plagiarized design" was based on one of its own.

"It's a major violation of intellectual property and above all culture," the firm said.

Mexico has previously lodged similar complaints against major clothing brands including Zara and Mango.

It won an apology in 2020 from French designer Isabel Marant for the use of the traditional patterns from an Indigenous community in western Mexico.(AFP)