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June 11, 2020

Where We Stand

ByQ

Like so many organizations, we’ve spent the last two weeks watching, listening, reading, and reflecting on the state of the world, this country, our industry, and our place in it. 

Before George Floyd’s murder, before the national outpouring of grief and anger that followed, and before the heroic energy of so many protesters flooded the streets, most of us came to work every day satisfied by our company’s particularly strong core tenets of fairness, kindness, and community. We’re doers. We celebrate our individual differences daily, empower human beings of all kinds, and support organizations around the world who equitably serve the global community. 

So it’s upsetting to look at ourselves right now and acknowledge that we’re not doing enough. Were we blind to the racial divide and systemic discrimination in this country? Of course not. But were we too comfortable with being and doing good in a more general way that didn’t address it? Yes. 

In the wake of this necessary upheaval, we’ve had to ask ourselves a lot of uncomfortable questions: Do those core values that we hug so tight really extend to everyone? What – who – are we overlooking? Who are we representing – or not representing – in our products and staff? Whose voices are we elevating? Who still needs a mic? And, of course, how can we do better? It’s clear that we need to do more, and to do so with intention and transparency.

There’s still a lot of reflection to be done here at Blue Q … and not just among the leadership, not just the design team, not just those in charge of hiring, but each and every one of us. This is going to be a group effort. And we recognize the urgency of action. So we’ll share our working plan of action with you here. 

First, a note about timing: We’re sorry we’re late. We’ve gone almost entirely silent these couple of weeks because we wanted to allow space for the important conversation filling our feeds. But, to be honest, we didn’t know how to enter that conversation ourselves. We’ve been scared to say the wrong thing, too much, or too little. It’s not an excuse, but it’s the truth. And it’s unacceptable.

We know that confronting discomfort is the only way forward. We know we’ll make mistakes, and hopefully we’ll learn from them. We also hope to learn from you, our community, about what is and isn’t working. We owe it to ourselves, our employees, and most of all you, to keep the conversation open.

And finally, before we sign off and get to work, we want to say, unequivocally, that Blue Q stands against racism in all forms. We stand against apathy, we stand against silence. We stand in condemnation of police brutality, we stand in support of the protesters, and we stand with and for Black lives.

 

OUR COMPANY COMMITMENTS

Some things we’ve been doing, some things we haven’t – all things we pledge to do better.

  • To intentionally increase the representation of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) on our products

  • To actively seek out BIPOC collaborators in our product development process

  • To represent BIPOC in our catalogs and on our website

  • To make sure that job openings are shared broadly across the local community, and not just within our own social spheres

  • To use our voice to encourage civic engagement

  • To educate ourselves. To learn from the mistakes we make. To walk into discomfort and grow from it. To keep asking ourselves how we can be more intentional in our fight against racism and discrimination in all forms. 

 

OUR COMMUNITY COMMITMENTS

We’re working to find the most productive and sustainable ways to impact our local community. We’re not kicking the can down the road – just taking a moment to do it thoughtfully, and building relationships with the community leaders who can most effectively inform our efforts. We’ll share our progress with you as our plans take shape.

 

WHAT WE ASK OF YOU

  • Continue the anti-racist conversation, with your friends, your family, your community, and us. 

  • Let us know when and where we can do better.

  • Please, please, please VOTE!


Update: Thank you for your feedback! We are happy to publish your thoughts, suggestions and even complaints. That said, we will not approve any “All Lives Matter” comments.




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Comments

Leave a comment! 

Thank you for your silence until it was your turn to speak. It is always better to listen. I love your products. I buy for myself and for gifts. Always a hit. As a rule, I only purchase items that represent my culture. Most Blue Q images of people are off limits to me and my family of friends. I Have the Michelle pouch. I look forward to your future diverse portfolio of products. Be well.
Comment By: Michelle2 weeks ago 
Please also include people who have a disabilities. Whether it’s physical or intellectual; please don’t overlook them. Statistically speaking: “National data indicates that the vast majority of adults with autism are either unemployed or underemployed, with estimates ranging to as high as 90%”. Please, make an effort to include these individuals in your promotional products! Thank you in advance, Anaid Sanchez
Comment By: Anaid3 weeks ago 
Actually, this may be redundant after reading all of the above submissions, but I agree that some of your products should be geared toward blacks and LBBTQ folks. Although I'm your basic white gal, I have lots of friends, I'd like to buy for that might feature fun logos geared specifically toward segments of our society. And, while you are at it, how about a first responders or COVID related sock? I know you can't do it all right away, but get those ideas flowing! LOVE YOUR PRODUCTS!!!!!!
Comment By: Liz3 weeks ago 
My two cents might be a little more like seven and 3/4 cents but I’ll aim for the Reader’s Digest condensed version. :) I have loved your products for YEARS, from my “sock whore” socks to my “hellraiser” zipper bag and everything in between. But, your statement made me love what you stand for. I personally think it’s okay that you were “late” simply because sometimes it takes a hot minute to find the right words. You did, though. Excellent words. Thoughtful, sincere, true words. I’m just a 40 something year old white chick...but I’m a 40 something year old white chick whose male BFF is gay, my female BFF is black, my oldest daughter is a lesbian, and my youngest daughter is bisexual. I sent your statement to each of them and we all agreed that it was one of the most heartfelt we have come across. So, keep kicking ass all of you lovely Blue Q folks. You should be so proud.
Comment By: Shannon3 weeks ago 
Hi Blue, I love your stuff!!! I've noticed that there isn't a lot of diversity printed on your hand towels and such. Granted, some people are pink, but you get what I'm saying. I'd love to see an afro, or, on the "Your Turn to Clean Up" towel, a lady and a lady. It's fun to see my community represented... makes me feel "normal." And, since I have your attention, it would mean SOOOO much to me if you started carrying pot holders! So, so much! Finding a cute pot holder is harder than you think. Love, Jamie Carey
Comment By: Jamie3 weeks ago 
Thanks for correcting the spelling of the important word, “tenets.” FWIW, I always knew you guys were on the right side. Carry on.
Comment By: M3 weeks ago 
Wow! I am proud to buy your products and support you.
Comment By: Meg3 weeks ago 
I can't be more succinct than Rebekah already was. The companies I support are those whose employees share my values, and y'all do. So thank you. May we all continue trying to do better and be better.
Comment By: Carolla3 weeks ago 
Hey. I love youR stuff but I seriously need more tea towels and Sox that have images of friends of colour. I give gifts and you market gifts and I want to buy my friend a tea towel/socks image that reflect my black friend and her awesome sons. So that would be cool please as I don’t like my gifts to not be thoughtful. Thank u for having a Michelle Obama pencil case. That’s cool
Comment By: Janet3 weeks ago 
Love you all. Watch 13th. Watch, read, view as much as you can and then share. The Nina Simone movie is also quite enlightening.
Comment By: Cindy3 weeks ago 
Bravo ! Sincere and appreciated. I am Black and I recently ordered from your website because I sent them as gifts to friends who are self- quarantined to cheer them up. Even though a former product of yours ( Hand Sh?t ) might have a logo that could have been taken to be offensive, that sure was " crazy good moisture". Thank you :)
Comment By: Rachel3 weeks ago 
I wish more companies would be so transparent and willing to admit that they could do better . I’m so proud to know the the Blue Q brand . I use my BLUE Q products every day . Keep on keepin on ...and NEVER stop creating great art .
Comment By: Debra3 weeks ago 
MITCH ! YOU ARE THE BEST ! P
Comment By: Peter4 weeks ago 
I love your company, your socks and pretty much everything about you. This statement sums up so much about what I feel most Americans are struggling with right now. Thank you for taking the time to put it together and continuing to be an "honest voice" in the consumerist climate in America. Things are tough all over right now, but to see a company recommit to their core values at time when it there are other fires burning just as brightly, is impressive. Keep making awesome stuff! Because I always need more socks!
Comment By: Rebekah4 weeks ago 
It may be an obstacle course but you can do this!
Comment By: Julea4 weeks ago 
Thank you
Comment By: Lisa4 weeks ago 

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