Nearly two months ago, the Los Angeles-based imprint announced it would ditch its original name in wake of the targeted attacks against Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. CTM acknowledged the growing calls for the change, and admitted it should’ve made the move much sooner.
“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,” the brand wrote on Instagram back in March. “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.”
On Thursday, CTM took to social media to reassure its customers the name alteration is still in progress, but noted its team has to go through various legal steps before the change is finalized. The brand also reiterated that proceeds from sales of its existing products bearing the Chinatown Market branding will be donated to various organizations that support AAPI communities. CMT then thanked everyone who helped and supported the brand during its time of transition.
“Huge shoutouts to Eric Toda, Eddie Huang, and Benny Luo of Next Shark for helping us support the AAPI community by connecting us with amazing non-profits such as Welcome To Chinatown, Send Chinatown Love, Immigrant Social Services, and the LGBTQ+ AAPI Solidarity Rally, among others,” CMT wrote. “We are continuing to donate proceeds from our existing product with the ‘Chinatown Market’ name to support the work they and many others do in the AAPI community.”
CMT then provided brief descriptions of the organizations that will receive donations, and encouraged followers to visit the groups’ respective websites to learn more about their missions.
“Let’s keep sharing the love,” the post concluded, “and soon we’ll have the announcement y’all have been waiting for.”
Calls for a CTM rebranding became louder in 2021, as states across the nation reported surges in attacks against members of AAPI communities. Julian Han Bush created a petition.org page that explained why the change was so necessary, arguing it was a form of “cultural theft” that also perpetuated stereotypes.
“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 read. “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. This is a company that was silent on #stopasianhate until three days after the Atlanta mass shooting, when Pres. Biden had already ordered that flags around the country be lowered to half staff. Does this sound like a company that is in touch with the needs of the Asian American community? Does Chinatown mean bootleg to you?”