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Our Acknowledgment

Patagonia  /  September 15, 2020  /  2 Min Read  /  Activism

We’re learning how to become an antiracist company.

Moving toward a new day requires reflection. It requires reckoning with our failures, taking time to really listen, and honoring what we’ve missed. Cerro Chaltén gets one of its many names from a Tehuelche (Aónikenk) word meaning “smoking mountain”—for the clouds that frequent its peaks. Patagonia. Photo: Mikey Schaefer

Patagonia has struggled to find the right words to respond to the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Tony McDade, Dijon Kizzee, and the ongoing global oppression of communities based on their colour or ethnicity. We’ve also struggled to express our support for the racial justice movement sweeping the world. The few words we have conveyed fell short and failed to comprehend the pain of our colleagues of colour and partners in the outdoor community. The Black Lives Matter movement has forced a reckoning of the deep racial injustice around us and laid bare our complicity. We are an outdoor company, but we have failed to understand and address the challenges and barriers faced by people of colour and marginalised communities that have led to their exclusion from natural spaces and landscapes. Recent months have revealed how much more we need to do to live up to our values as an activist company. We missed too much. Our hearts hurt, but our pain is nowhere near what our colleagues who identify as Black, or people of colour have suffered. We are sorry for the harm we’ve caused.

To truly step up to this work, we must confront Patagonia’s lack of progress and take full ownership of the legacy of our failures. We must listen to and support our colleagues of colour first and commit to becoming a more inclusive and equitable company. And we will amplify the true leaders on justice and equity in the environmental movement and outdoor communities.

This work is urgent and lifelong. We will never be “done.” We’re recommitting our time and resources to this essential part of our mission. We welcome having our eyes opened to what we ignored. We’re building a foundation for our work by listening more deeply to our colleagues of colour to learn from their experiences and insights. We’ve begun companywide learning to create a shared understanding of what it means to be an antiracist company. And we’re updating policies to make equity more explicit.

Talk is cheap. In the months ahead, we’ll share our progress so that we can be held accountable. We’re in business to save our home planet, but we can’t possibly do this alone. We must focus on those most impacted by the environmental crisis and follow their lead. We are here for the work of forging a more just world.

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