Chinatown Market is changing its brand name.
In a statement released Monday afternoon, the LA-based brand—founded by Michael Cherman—acknowledged that the Asian American community had been “rightfully demanding” that the brand “think and act more,” particularly in light of a recent uptick in violence against the AAPI community.
“Our name was inspired by the shops, people, and vibrance of Canal Street and Chinatown in New York but it’s not our name to use,” Chinatown Market said in Monday’s statement. “We did not do enough to consider what this name would mean to the communities in Chinatowns across the world and we need to take ownership of this mistake. It’s time to do the right thing and we are committed to being a part of the change.”
According to Chinatown Market, this announcement is “just the beginning” and a new name will be announced in the coming months.
See the brand’s full statement below:
“The Asian American community is rightfully demanding all of us think and act more. We should have done this sooner but it is never too late to do the right thing. Today, we are announcing that we are changing our name. We are working with our partners and retailers to donate the proceeds from existing products and work to fund non-profits working with the AAPI community.
Our name was inspired by the shops, people, and vibrance of Canal Street and Chinatown in New York but it’s not our name to use. We did not do enough to consider what this name would mean to the communities in Chinatowns across the world and we need to take ownership of this mistake. It’s time to do the right thing and we are committed to being a part of the change.
We would like to thank all of the leaders who are helping us get this right. We want to make this change in partnership with the community to create as much impact as possible. We want to shout out @toda and @bennyluo and Nextshark who have given us so much of their time and guidance.
This is just the beginning. As a brand, we’ve always moved through action in any platform we occupy, with the goal of connecting with our communities. To keep doing that, we must no longer be called Chinatown Market. We will be announcing our new name in the coming months.
We are deeply saddened and horrified by the increase in racist attacks and violence on the AAPI community. We encourage everyone in our community to be a part of this change with us. The hate, racism, and violence directed at the Asian community has to be stopped.”
More than 50 percent of Chinatown Market’s staff are people of color, while 30 percent are members of the AAPI community. 60 percent of the leadership team, according to the brand, is AAPI.
The plan for Chinatown Market to rebrand has been in development since last Thursday.
Earlier this month, a Change.org petition was launched calling for Chinatown Market to rebrand.
The petition, started by Julian Han Bush, had garnered thousands of signatures prior to the brand’s statement on Monday.
“The concept of Chinatown is not for sale, especially not by a white person who only uses the word Chinatown as a synonym for bootleg,” the petition argued. “It is an act of cultural theft for a white person to profit off of people like Lebron James, Alicia Keys, and many others wearing CHINATOWN clothing.”