I’d like a Cowichan Sweater. But the ones available in thrift and tourist stores have, for historical or practical reasons, very unflattering cuts.
There’s a Richmond (Coast Salish land) company called Granted that is producing what they call “Cowichan-inspired” sweaters with local (read: Asian immigrant) knitters. Both CBC 3 and The Straight have featured them without questioning their bona fides.
Four Horsemen menswear store in Victoria contracted Granted to produce custom sweaters which are being sold as “Cowichans”. The owner of Four Horsemen said something about Granted being a subsidiary of a traditional Cowichan company, but I can’t find any information about that online.
The question is whether Granted sweaters count as cultural appropriation? If not, buying one of those sweaters is stealing the Cowichan people’s intellectual property and depriving them of one of their few economic niches (see also: HBC’s Olympic sweaters).