Dear customer community!
I’m writing this open letter to tell you that it’s time for change at Swift Industries.
By naming our products the Elwha Pack and the Ozette Randonneur Bag, we appropriated Indigenous cultures and thereby took an active part in the continued colonization and settler occupation of the Pacific Northwest. We are ashamed of and very sorry for this.
Our Ozette Randonneur Bag, in honor of Ozette Lake, was named without regard to for the Ozette settlement that thrived on the Olympic Peninsula and the ancestral ties that link the descendants of the Ozette people of the Makah Tribe to their homelands. The name of the Elwha Pack was chosen for the Elwha River, without acknowledgement of the histories that connect the Lower Elwha Klallum Tribe to the river.
To the Makah and Lower Elwha Klallum Tribes: We are deeply sorry for taking your names without your permission. We are conscious-stricken by our own lack of awareness that we have been participants in the white supremacist systems that take freely from you for our benefit. We are heavy-hearted that we didn’t see the systems we were feeding when we named the Elwha Pack and Ozette Randonneur Bags, and are excited for expanded awareness and the change that this insight makes possible.
We are here to support your Indigenous-led justice and liberation movements, and to do the work to address and dismantle white supremacist culture inside of our company and our industries. You deserve to thrive on your own terms, you deserve autonomy and liberation; your wellbeing–beyond the definitions and constraints of colonial culture–is vital.
Today, we are changing the names of our Elwha Pack and the Ozette Randonneur Bags from Indigenous names to those of birds of the Cascade region that are intrinsic to the ecology, histories, and cultures of the Pacific Northwest. The Elwha Pack is being renamed the Ardea Pack, in ode to the Great Blue Heron, the Ozette Randonneur Bag will be called the Peregrine Randonneur Bag for the Peregrine Falcon, and the Ozette V2 Randonneur Bag is changing to the Merlin Randonneur Bag.
Our roadmap for change:
- Today, we are changing the names of the Elwha Pack and the Ozette Randonneur Bags on all of our platforms, and we’re talking to you.
- Today, we are reaching out to the Lower Elwha Klallum and Makah tribes to apologize for our actions, and to invite dialogue if they want to put their energy into this conversation.
- We have worked with REI to change the Elwha product names to the Ardea Pack on their platforms.
- We have communicated with our sewing partners that the model names are changing, and why.
- On Monday, August 17th, we will introduce our dealer community to the updated model names, and why we are changing the names.
- By March 2021, all of our current videos will be updated to reflect the updated Ardea, Merlin and Peregrine names. Until then, we will publish an explanation of the name changes in the description of each video.
- We will be donating a portion the profits from the Elwha Randonneur Bags (from its launch to today) to the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe.
- We will be donating a portion of the profits from the Ozette Randonneur Bags (from its launch to today) to the Makah Tribe.
- We commit to supporting, amplifying and donating funds to Indigenous-led liberation movements.
When we signed the Cycling Industry Pledge, we assumed that our commitment to you is to engage in and activate real social change. We understand that to make radical and lasting change, it is largely about looking inward and doing our work. Our participation in the CIP is an open invitation for you to continue pushing us to do better, and for us to dedicate ourselves to, as Rachel Cargle puts it: the Great Unlearn.. Is this invitation comfortable? No. It is wildly intimidating. AND, at Swift Industries we know that everyone is worthy of liberation, wellness and joy and that our collective experiences of unfettered self-actualization is revolutionary. That’s what we’re here for.
A very special thanks to the members of our customer community who raised our awareness and demanded that we do better. As individuals and as a company we’re on the journey to dismantle white supremacist culture and are inspired and motivated by your commitment to justice. Your work is vital, and is affecting change.
Martina & Jason
About Swift Industries — Swift Industries is a bicycle bag brand from Seattle, WA. We’re known for being outspokenly female-owned, a wild crew of trailblazers and a magical team of passionate culture creators. Our products are proudly designed, put through the ringer, and then built in the mossy Northwest.