The North Face was built upon a commitment to serve all of those who love to explore. Exploration is a part of what makes us human and it has the power to change lives and connect communities.
We also know that for far too long, the outdoors have not been equitable for all, especially Black communities. Black lives matter and they are at stake. It is our responsibility to do our part to protect them.
Entrenched and systemic racism make it unsafe for them to live peacefully in their own communities and homes, much less the park, the crag, or the mountain. Collectively, there is so much work to be done by all of us.
We have watched recent events in horror and in turn asked ourselves how we can be more impactful, where we have failed, and what we can do to be a better and stronger ally and advocate for the Black community.
We’re in a major cultural moment of pain and recognition that is long overdue, and we have a role to play in supporting the Black community and combating systemic racism in the U.S. and within our own organization.
We know that our words must come with action and are committed to the following:
- We are donating $50,000 to the ACLU to support their work on police accountability, racial justice and defending the right to protest.
- We are continuing to support our long-term partners who are committed to social justice in the outdoors. We will be donating $25,000 to Outdoor Afro, the nation’s leading organization inspiring Black connections and leadership in nature, and $25,000 to PGM ONE, our partner that centers Black, Indigenous, and people of color to lead our movements for environmental justice and collective liberation.
- Ten years ago, we launched our Explore Fund, focused on equitable access to exploration and protecting the places we love to play. In the past two years alone, we have donated over $1.5 million to organizations focused on building equity in the outdoors, and $500,000 of that has gone directly to organizations benefitting Black and Brown communities in the outdoors.
- Now, our Explore Fund work will be focused entirely on addressing the barriers that prevent safe exploration and creating access for all. We will fund the leaders and groups doing this work at the community level where change happens, continuing to focus on Black communities.
- We will use our brand voice to directly call out racism, especially in moments where it impacts the right to explore safely without limits, and amplify the work being done to address this.
- As part of our Walls Are Meant for Climbing program, we will continue to build free, public boulders within U.S. city parks to make climbing accessible for all. The arrival of COVID-19 has reinforced inequities around who has ready access to nature, and who does not. Urban park space around the country is not evenly distributed and the ability to easily and safely gather and recreate near your own home is not available to all.
- Government leaders have a crucial responsibility in addressing racism and inequities in society. We will use our voice to advocate for leaders who are committed to change and rally behind legislation that pushes for societal change.
- Our athlete team is part of The North Face family and they are in many ways the face of our brand. Many are already vocal advocates against racism and inequality, and we are committed to continuing to bring more Black and minority athletes into The North Face who share our values and reflect the different faces of exploration. We will support them as they use their voices and platforms for good.
These first steps are just the beginning, and we are nowhere close to done. We will continue to share how we are progressing racial equality within our four walls and out in the world we love to explore.
Exploration should be for everyone, period. We will never stop fighting for what’s right.
The North Face