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2 Dec 2021

Mexico: Government accuses Levi's of cultural appropriation and intellectual property infringement of Oaxacan indigenous craftswomen

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Ministerio de la Cultura

The Mexican Ministry of Culture sent a letter to Levi Strauss (Levi's) in which it has accused the company of "commercialising and privatising a collective property by making use of cultural elements whose origin is fully documented". According to the Secretariat, the Levi's Premium, Original Trucker Jacket collection has "embroidered elements belonging to the Mazatec culture of the state of Oaxaca, without having the appropriate mechanism to obtain permission from that community".

The letter also demanded that Levi's develop "respectful work with indigenous communities within an ethical framework that does not undermine the identity and economy of the people and always adheres to fair trade that places indigenous creators, entrepreneurs and designers on an equal footing".

The BHRRC invited Levi Strauss to comment on the Mexican Ministry of Culture's allegations and the company responded.

Company Responses

Levi Strauss View Response