Brooklyn Tweed is committed to taking a stand against racism and bigotry. As a company, we are working to move beyond being “not racist” in our daily business interactions to actively engaging in anti-racist work.
While some of us at Brooklyn Tweed hold marginalized identities, our small team is predominantly white and we recognize the privileges that come with that, which carry over into the work we do daily in the yarn and knitting industry. As such, it is our responsibility to leverage that privilege to help move this industry towards equitability by promoting and supporting BIPOC and marginalized members of our community.
In our spaces and in the making community in general we have no tolerance for racism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, or ideologies that are against our belief that all human beings deserve equal rights. We recognize that actions speak louder than any statement we could make here; below is a list of current action items we are working to achieve in our daily operations as a business.
- We pledge to take every precaution to ensure our spaces — including social media pages, online communities, office headquarters, and event spaces — are as safe and welcoming as possible for marginalized people.
- We will not allow behavior or words that compromise the safety of a marginalized person and will take responsibility for maintaining our own vigilance against intolerance and taking appropriate action.
- As we navigate our own privilege and socialization, we recognize that we are not immune to making mistakes or committing harmful actions. We will hold ourselves accountable and are open to feedback and critique about how we can do better, and accept such critique with gratitude and humility.
- We will hold ourselves responsible for our emotions, and center impact over intent.
- We pledge to facilitate learning/training opportunities on the topics of anti-racism and equity as part of our on-going team development.
- We acknowledge that as a business operating in Portland Oregon we are working and living on the unceded lands of the Chinook, Multnomah, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Tualatin Kalapuya, Molalla and other forcibly displaced peoples, and on land historically barred from Black inhabitants and ownership.
INTENTIONALITY IN PARTNERSHIP
- We recognize that real change requires uplifting marginalized members of our community to positions of leadership, creating space for marginalized communities to shape the future of knitting and the fiber arts industry.
- We will continue to seek opportunities to work with minority- and women-owned businesses whenever possible.
- We will continue to encourage applicants from marginalized groups to apply for open positions on our internal team when hiring.
- We will continue to seek opportunities to work with historically underrepresented groups when hiring outside contractors, such as tech editors, designers, sample knitters, hair and makeup artists, and other skilled professionals.
- We pledge to increase our general outreach to BIPOC designers, for cross-promotion of designs, yarn support and independently-published pattern development.
- We worked with diversity consultants to help facilitate a conscientious conversation around Dapple and cotton's harsh history in America.
- We commissioned three articles by experts in the field of anti-racism and textiles to further explore these crucial topics and share this knowledge with our customer base.
- We seek to conduct business with supply chain partners at the highest level of ethical standards.
- We commit to holding our manufacturing partners accountable to fair and equitable treatment of their employees. When establishing a new working relationship, we commit to sharing our values and code of ethics with new partners to establish accountability.
- We commit to increasing the diversity of the fiber producers we work with as we source our domestically-grown fibers in the future
- We have committed to donating 3% of the profits from sales of Dapple yarn in perpetuity to the National Black Farmers Association to support those who have historically been denied land ownership.
KNITTING PATTERN PRODUCTION
- We strive to publish patterns that are welcoming of diversity, from instruction to photography.
- As often as possible, patterns will include alternative instructions to tailor fit (e.g. including/excluding waist shaping, lengthening/shortening torsos and arms, etc.) to embrace the widest range of body shapes, sizes and genders.
- We commit to photographing new designs on as many models as possible. We will continue to work with models (both professional and non-professional) who represent a diversity of race, skin tone, size, age, ability, and gender.
- We commit to producing more patterns that are accessible to a broader range of knitting skill level, including the creation of free educational video and web tutorials that demonstrate techniques used in our patterns.
- In accordance with our commitment to more inclusive sizing for our patterns, we currently grade on a to-fit range from 30 to 62 inches (76–157.5 cm). We are working on adding sizes 66” and 70” (167.5 and 178 cm, respectively), to be realized in garment patterns launching in Fall 2021.
- Finished garment dimensions refer to 'chest' circumferences, as we recognize that all bodies have a chest but not all bodies have a bust.
- We have removed intended ease language from patterns as of Winter 2020 and instead list only finished garment dimensions, sample size(s) shown, and ease as shown on model(s).
- We will continue to encourage designers to submit and create work that is mindful of the diversity of bodies that wear knitted garments/accessories.
- In all design submission calls we will continue to include language that specifically invites designers from marginalized groups to participate, and are in the process of creating web resource materials that support designers in creating design submissions. We will also continue to proactively contact BIPOC designers directly to invite them to submit their work.
- We have implemented a Beta Knitting program for all Brooklyn Tweed-published garments, with the goal of designers having beta-knit at least one garment for every size prior to publication to ensure grading for a wider size range has been done accurately.
- We pledge to seek out, maintain and nurture relationships with retail stockists owned by women, non-binary people, trans people, or people from other marginalized identities and/or by people of color.
- We pledge to ask prospective stockists what their pronouns are, how they foster an environment of equity and inclusion, and how they ensure their space is ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessible (if possible at their location).
- We pledge to include ADA accessible features, such as alt-text and closed captioning, to our electronic communications via email newsletters, videography and web pages.
- We commit to continue to work alongside Web Accessibility Specialists certified through the IAAP to increase accessibility and improve ADA compliance on our website.
- We commit to explore retail initiatives that ensure access to our products for people of different income levels.
- We commit to develop diverse yarn/pattern product offerings at different price points to allow more knitters the ability to work with quality materials produced in the USA.
- In our booth at fiber events, we pledge to showcase images that highlight models representing a range of diversity including race, skin tone, size, age, ability, and gender.
- We pledge to continue improving event display layouts for increased accessibility.
- We will continue to create and display a wider range of sizes for our sample garments at events and trunks shows.
- We pledge to use our physical space to host local knitting events that welcome and celebrate marginalized members of our fiber community [We are currently abiding by our state’s social distancing guidelines and will resume our commitment to this pledge when our local health authority under the direction of the Governor's Office confirms gatherings of this type are once again safe]
- When being invited to host a booth or participate on a panel, we pledge to an inclusion rider and will query fiber event organizers about their commitment to diversity and inclusion.
As always, please feel welcome to contact us with suggestions, feedback, or to hold us accountable to the pledges we have made to you here. You can reach us via email at email@example.com. Should you have any questions about the make up of our staff, please see Our Story for a full list of current employees.
(This is a living document that we are committed to reviewing as a team at least once per quarter. This page last updated June 9, 2020.)