Online fast-fashion clothing seller Shein said on Thursday it had withdrawn an embroidered floral blouse after the Mexican government complained it was appropriating designs made for generations by Mayan women in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula.
Mayan women often use bright colors, flowers, and spiral drawings on calf-length white cotton shirts, ideal for the heat of the region.
The version offered by Shein more closely resembles a traditional blouse.
Shein said it had removed “the product in question” from its website.
“It is not our intention to infringe on anyone’s valid intellectual property and it is not our business model to do so,” the China-based company said in a statement.
Mexico’s Ministry of Culture said on Wednesday that it had sent a letter to Shein demanding an explanation.
“These designs are passed down from generation to generation, thus they are the product of the collective creativity that belongs to the Mayan people,” the department wrote in the letter.
“They represent not only their natural environment, but they are also part of their worldview because they are related to the joy of living, they reflect their emotions and feelings, and therefore they are part of their identity as a Mayan people and Mayan culture,” he said. the Department.