Every other Wednesday, I write a business post for the scrapbook industry based on The Scrapworthy Lives Guide to Market Research This week you get a bonus early market research because CHA is happening right now and retailers are making decisions about what lines to bring to their stores.
I am normally a big fan of BasicGrey. And I do like some of their new line. I am not, however, a fan of their CHA-debut of Konnichiwa.
Konnichiwa reduces Japanese people and Japanese culture to cute imagery that can be used as decor on your scrapbook page and other paper crafts.
Here is a sampling of the product line:
The Konnichiwa line would be much more acceptable if the images of people were removed, though still problematic. Cultural appropriation is difficult to do in a non-offensive way and BasicGrey has failed. It is crucial to do your homework on your images to make sure you reduce the likelihood of inadvertently creating offensive products. Anytime you start incorporating imagery from cultures that are not your own, you must do your homework.
I have not done this topic justice and I realize this. I encourage you to browse some of the articles I’ve linked up to below to begin thinking more about the topic of cultural appropriation.
More Reading on Cultural Appropriation
My Culture is Not a Trend
Racist Halloween Costumes
Asian-Inspired is not the same as Geisha-Inspired
Racism is not Crafty
Beware Racist Images for Graphic Designers
Gwen Stefani and Harajuku Girls
What do you think? How have you seen cultural appropriation the scrapbook industry? Was it done well or was it just offensive? Comment below.
If you liked this post, check out my new e-book, The Scrapworthy Lives Guide to Market Research.