Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on October 2013

Japan-based global retailer Muji inspires loyalty in the followers of the understated brand that rivals that of Apple devotees. When those fans found that Muji shops in Japan carry shark fin soup mix, they found it at odds with the eco-friendly image the company projects. Now activist Ellie Tanaka is trying to do something about it. The blue sharks used are on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List and critics say the shark fin industry is not sustainable. Bowing to global pressure, Muji Taiwan has already stopped selling the same product, several major airlines no longer serve shark fin and Hong Kong has crossed it out from the menus of official banquets. However, Tanaka says the Japanese company refuses to budge, even after she collected over 65,000 signatures on a petition and held a demonstration in front of a shop in Tokyo. “Rest assured, the issue will not go away simply because Muji refuses to acknowledge it,” Tanaka says. “Global awareness of the crisis continues to rise.”

In on effort to further spur that growing awareness, Tanaka will hold another demonstration in front of Muji’s Yurakucho location Sunday, October 6, from 1pm. http://changemuji.jimdo.com/