In an effort to make lasting, impactful change, Eddie Bauer is continuing its commitment to be an organization that promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion in our community and industry.
• Added four new Leaders to the Eddie Bauer One Outside Program – Ron Griswell, HBCUs Outside, Syren Nagakyrie, Disabled Hikers, Tyrhee Moore, Soul Trak Outdoors and Roy Tuscany, High Fives Foundation. These community leaders and activists are making the outdoors a more accessible place for everyone – especially those who are underrepresented in the outdoor arena. Through workshops, speaker series, and product and marketing development, the One Outside Program Leaders are helping us create a richer, more inclusive outdoor community.
• Created a Land Acknowledgment page on our website, acknowledging and honoring all Indigenous communities and recognizing the Indigenous homelands and resources on which our store locations were built upon.
• Instituted an internal committee of Eddie Bauer associates to gather, discuss, and recommend courses of action that the brand can take to move forward on issues of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. The Be the Change Committee is comprised of associates from all parts of the business, including our corporate headquarters, our store and distribution center associates and members of our Guide, Athlete and Leader team. The committee is currently focusing on three key initiatives including:
• Diversifying the Eddie Bauer workforce – making sure job opportunities at our company are broadcasted further and available to all, that we are more expansive in our recruiting efforts, and that ALL candidates get a fair shot at those opportunities.
• Expanding access to the outdoors – partnering with more organizations and groups that make the outdoors a more accessible, inclusive, and inviting place for those who are underrepresented in the outdoor community and creating more opportunities internally for associates to gain access to the outdoors.
• Increasing representation in the outdoors – acknowledging the lack of representation in the outdoor industry and in our outdoor spaces, amplifying the voices and stories of those who are underrepresented in the outdoors.
• Updated the PSEB Time To Vote Policy. The Be the Change Committee partnered with Human Resources at PSEB to update the company’s Time To Vote Policy, which allows all U.S. Corporate, PSEB Service Center, Westmont & Field/Store Associates up to 4 additional hours of paid time off in order to encourage voter participation and access.
• Established an internal email alias for Eddie Bauer associates to make suggestions, express concerns and provide feedback on our efforts.
• Created a new role for a dedicated Diversity, Equity and Inclusion resource under Human Resources at PSEB, the operating company composed of Eddie Bauer and PACSUN. Job posting still to come.
• Signed The Outdoor CEO Diversity Pledge, connecting the outdoor industry together to build a more inclusive future.
• Hired more diverse photographers, models and content creators for paid opportunities, such as our marketing and advertising campaigns and Eddie Bauer Contributor campaigns; advocating for increased representation, support, and acknowledgment in the outdoors.
• Donated to the NAACP, America’s premier organization fighting for racial justice and equality, and to Color of Change, the nation’s largest online racial justice organization building campaigns to advance the rights of Black Americans.
• Continued to create opportunities for information and education by participating in more conversations in the captions and the comment sections of our social channels, using our voice for constructive dialogue.
We look forward to expanding our efforts and fostering a positive and productive dialogue around this topic. We will continue reading and responding to your comments, and we encourage you to provide us with your feedback.
Our brand’s mission is to get people outside. By this, we typically mean into parks and wilderness for outdoor activity. Today I want to get outside in a different way – outside of our comfort zone, outside of the bounds of corporate speak, and outside of the typical Eddie Bauer email or social post highlighting an adventure or new product.
Why? Because BLACK LIVES MATTER – full stop. As President of Eddie Bauer, I want to use my position and the platform we have to amplify this important message. I speak on behalf of myself – a bi-racial child of first-generation immigrants who was given some of the best America has to offer – but I also speak on behalf of Eddie Bauer. We stand in solidarity with the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Eric Gardner, and the many others whose lives were cut short out of disregard for Black lives. Let us all lend our voices to condemn the horrific acts of violence, but also acknowledge and seek to dismantle the insidious ways in which racism exerts its power in our society.
In acknowledgement that outdoor spaces have not historically been a welcoming place for all, we created our All Outside Program in 2019 to strive for the idea that ALL people should feel invited, accepted, and validated in the full range of their outdoor experiences. As part of the All Outside Program, we’ve expanded our Guide team to hire leaders, activists, and underrepresented voices from a range of communities to act as advocates for those who have felt overlooked by the outdoor community in the past. Most importantly, these new leaders are helping us effect change inside our company too.
Yet there is no doubt that as an organization we have fallen short. There is more we could have done, and sooner, to ensure we are an anti-racist organization. We are committed to this for the long-term and know we have work to do. We will put resources behind it, set plans and processes, and hold ourselves accountable.
Today, as a starting point, here is what we are doing:
- Donating to the NAACP, America’s premier organization fighting for racial justice and equality, and to Color of Change, the nation’s largest online racial justice organization building campaigns to advance the rights of Black Americans.
- Partnering and advocating within our industry for increased representation, support, and acknowledgment of BIPOC outdoor experiences.
- Providing opportunities inside Eddie Bauer to explore issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and to create forums for our associates to advocate and institute change.
- Hiring more BIPOC for paid opportunities to change how we show up as a brand, such as photographers and models for our marketing and advertising campaigns, or as content contributors for our Eddie Bauer Contributor campaigns.
- Creating opportunities for information and education by participating in more conversations in the captions and the comment sections of our social channels. We can’t promise we will be able to engage on every single comment – but we will be making an effort to use our channels for constructive dialogue.
Our brand has a 100+ year heritage and there are many things we love about Eddie Bauer’s deep roots, starting with the ethos of helping guide everyone in their outdoor experiences. But that does not mean our company or society should look the way it did 100 years ago. Our company has stood the test of time because we recognize the importance of transformation.
To make lasting, impactful change, we must make these actions a priority in how we conduct ourselves. It is in our best interest as a society and as a company to promote diversity, equity, and inclusivity in our community and industry. There are no excuses.
We look forward to fostering a dialogue with more voices on this topic – we will be reading your responses and comments, and we encourage you to provide us with your feedback.
President, Eddie Bauer