aloha poke

Cultural Appropriation, or Business As Usual?

Living or growing up in Hawaii, you would see cultural appropriation scattered around.  But today, it seems to be everywhere.  Like trying to trademark “Aloha”

Can you really trademark the word Aloha? It looks like you can if it is part of your business.  A Chicago based poke company……yes, let that set in for a second, a CHICAGO based poke company called Aloha Poke Co. has trademarked the words Aloha and Poke and are sending cease-and-desist letters to anyone who has the words “Aloha” and “Poke” in their name.  They are demanding that not only do businesses remove the wording from their company, they have to destroy all marketing material, all packaging and change all of their social media pages and website.

We know this sounds ridiculous, even a Chicago Councilman is standing by the Hawaiian culture. Chicago City Council’s 35th Ward Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa issues supportive tweet of Hawaiian business owners.

Fight for aloha

There is currently a petition on to fight against the trademark which is nearing the goal of 50,000 signatures in just days.  Aloha Poke Co. is not backing down either, rather, they are doubling down.  In an article with Chicago Sun Times, Aloha Poke Co. Founder Zach Friedlander stated: “It’s so sad, These people really have no actual idea what they’re fighting about.”

So we want to hear from you, is this Cultural Appropriation, or Business as Usual? Comment below!

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