WHEN PEOPLE FEEL THEY ARE
OUTSIDERS IN THE OUTDOORS,
WE KNOW WE HAVE WORK TO DO.
BLACK LIVES MATTER.
For over five decades, The North Face has been pushing the boundaries of exploration. From the highest summits, to the furthest peaks, we’ve challenged ourselves and those around us to achieve the unimaginable and explore further than ever before.
Yet the boundaries of exploration are not just vast ice fields, blank rock and approaching storms – and they never have been. The boundaries and barriers to exploration faced by the black community begin far closer to home.
The perception that the outdoors is a place for white people runs deep and it’s easy to see why. BAME backgrounds make up just 1% of visitors to the UK National Parks1, whilst less than 1% of mountain leaders and rock-climbing instructors are of BAME background.
And when people feel they are outsiders in the outdoors, we know we have work to do.
We believe that advancing diversity in the outdoors will make for a kinder, more connected world. That’s why since 2018 we’ve worked with partners such as the Outward Bound Trust to encourage equity and create access to the outdoors.
We recognise this challenge is not one to be solved overnight and with our partners and programmes we are on a journey to change this perception and ensure the outdoors and we as a brand, are as inclusive as possible. To do this we’ve focused our efforts and resources into key strategic areas and will continually be looking at ways we can do more.
FUELLING THE FUTURE
We are committed to understanding the barriers into the outdoors sector for the BAME communities and creating effective pathways into the world of exploration. This means taking action.
Work with The Outward Bound Trust to develop and advance the instructors workforce and pioneer our project to enable young people from BAME backgrounds the chance into work in the outdoors
We will be partnering with various schools across the UK and Germany to actively introduce BAME communities to the wonders of outdoor adventure, shaping their perception and understanding of the outdoors as a place that is for them and ensure future participation
Through The North Face Explore Fund we will identify and partner with further organisations that support our aims improve diversity in the outdoors
We are committed to working with BAME talent. From novice adventurers and rookie athletes to musicians and creative designers, our aspiration is to change the face of exploration and have diversity across the many aspects of life that The North Face touches. Our talent pathways will be extended and commitments furthered to ensure we are providing a platform to support and grow our outdoor family.
We are committed to launching our external EMEA diversity panel, to advise and hold us accountable in terms of both our internal and external representation.
We recognise there is work to be done and we intend to do it.
1Natural England, 2005