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How can the fashion industry treat Indigenous people and craft communities with fairness and equity?

Updated: Sep 16, 2020

The 3Cs' Rule - Get Weaving!

The following article will talk about a practical solution proposed by the Cultural Intellectual Property Rights Initiative intended to suppress cultural appropriation in the fashion industry by following a simple 3Cs' Rule. Developed by cultural IP Lawyer Monica Boța-Moisin in 2017, the 3Cs' Rule stands for Consent, Credit, and Compensation. 

The aim of this article is to introduce the notions of "consent", "credit" or source acknowledgement, and "compensation", in relation to elements of Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions. 

To start with, it is important to ask ourselves some necessary questions, like:

  • What is the difference between Inspiration and Copying?

  • Is it enough for brands to take Consent from local and Indigenous Communities and not give them the credit and compensation for their work?

  • Is it enough for the brand to just give Credit and leave out Consent and Compensation?

  • Is it enough for brands to apologize for the unauthorized use of someone’s Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions?