Olivia Notini, Founder of FINATICS was aimlessly scrolling through her phone one day when she saw something that looked all too familiar. SHEIN, a fast fashion website that is known for scamming small businesses and producing cheap products, copied one of Notini’s original designs to a T.
All of her designs are meant to raise awareness for bringing an end to shark finning but now it is used as a product for a company that does anything BUT benefit the environment. While Olivia’s brand FINATICS works to end shark finning, SHEIN is continuously contributing to CO2 emissions and notoriously houses workers in conditions detrimental to their health.
Notini is an avid shark-lover and decided to share her love with the public by creating a brand centered around protecting the ocean and the sharks that swim within. Producing accessories, clothing, and her amazing line of “jawlery,” Notini has always prided herself on coming up with all the designs herself.
The hoodie that SHEIN ripped off is titled the Purpose Hoodie. This trendy everyday piece is a gray hoodie made of 100% heavyweight cotton, decorated with the word shark shaped as a heart in a cool blue color on the back. Notini ensures that all her pieces are made with quality, so that customers can leave happywhile also giving back to the “locals of the ocean.” Quality products and a direct environmental give back are both elements of branding that SHEIN can not claim.
Olivia went straight to her Instagram after seeing this and alerted all her followers with the following message: “I did that lettering myself and now a billion dollar fast fashion brand went copy and paste.” Giving Notini zero credit, no brand recognition, absolutely nothing.
What SHEIN has that Olivia does not as a small business owner is the major following and the funds from purchases around the world to be able to get away with something as significant as direct copyright. SHEIN needs to be held accountable for their actions and what needs to be brought into the light from this is the fact that they stole from a company that gives back.
Talk about two different ends of the business model spectrum. Thankfully, Olivia’s large amount of fans have also taken to TikTok to spread the word and show support to Olivia. Her community believes in her brand and her purpose, and with these uplifting messages she is sure to succeed
The reason these fast fashion brands can continuously get away with this type of design theft is that consumers choose to be blind to what lies beneath the surface of the price tag. If consumers were educated in their choices when it comes to shopping, they would know that the downfalls of fast fashion weigh heavily not just on the environment but on small businesses just as we see here with the situation that Olivia and so many others have found themselves in. While the prices of SHEIN may look appealing to your wallet, a company like theirs can not provide the same customer satisfaction that a business like FINATICS can.
Show support to both Olivia and the cause behind her business and shop small. Supporting small businesses does more than just supporting the business owner, it also shows support to what they believe in.
Specially not giving in to the fast-fashion price tag SHEIN has to offer on a similar looking Purpose Hoodie will allow further purchases to an important cause. Olivia is trying to use her brand to save sharks and put an end to shark finning.