The Secretary of Culture of the Government of Mexico issued a press release where it reported that it had sent a letter to the SHEIN company with the purpose of clarifying the launch of a piece called “Fan-shaped top with floral print” whose design is identical to the one that the artisan brand YucaChulas made in 2017 .
In said letter it can be read that it is the same except for the edges of the neck, sleeves and finishing of the final arches, for which they strongly speak out against cultural misappropriation.
The Secretariat pointed out that the SHEIN piece uses cultural elements whose origin is documented. These elements are a source of income for the communities that sell them. In addition, the manufacture of these garments have and should have their support.
It is important to point out that the blouse, the short huipil, was created in the Mayan communities of Yucatan, Campeche and Quintana Roo and its design would not have been possible without knowledge transmitted from generation to generation. In addition, they are made by artisans and their handmade embroidery requires hours of work due to the precision of each stroke.
The Secretariat gave priority to ethics based on the protection of the rights of historically invisible peoples, based on the American Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
In response to this plagiarism event, SHEIN responded with another statement titled “At SHEIN we respect and celebrate all cultures.” In addition, they assured that it is not their intention to infringe anyone’s valid copyright and that it is not their business model and added that their suppliers are obliged to comply with the policies and that in this way they have withdrawn the product from the catalog of their site. .
At SHEIN we respect and celebrate all cultures. We reaffirm our respect for the artisans of Mexico and around the world.
However, this online clothing store is not the only one that has received calls for providing products that plagiarize or even sell pieces belonging to the Mexican cultural heritage. Such is the case of the statement that was also sent to the Setdart Gallery, which rejected that three pieces belonging to the Chipícuaro, Teotihuacano and Mayan styles were being offered, for which the head of the Ministry of Culture asked that the sale be stopped. .