To Our Trans Community: An Apology

This is an apology, and dedication, to our trans community.

It was brought to our attention that we used inherently exclusionary language in our footwear sizing to indicate that trans women were not included in our community. In full transparency, the language was located on our Eos High Top product pages (this language has now been removed because of this accountability - but, here is the screenshot of the original language):

As the founder, I want to explain why this was written previously, not as a legitimate excuse or reason - but rather, to explain what the original intention was and what we will do moving forward in order to ensure that something like this does not happen again.

Additionally, I want to state that as a cis-hetero woman and leader, I should have known better and I should have done my research given my privileges to realize that stating it in this way was inherently transphobic. The only thing I can say is that I made an honest mistake, and I truly did not know - and while that is not a worthy excuse AT ALL and it is merely a reason, I hope that my error can teach others that it is not enough to be good intentioned. We have to look within ourselves, and especially in positions of power (in my case, as a business owner) to see where there is SO MUCH deep unlearning we ALL have to do, if we are to truly create an equitable community and society for all. 

So, to explain: when we put together this footwear size chart, shoes have historically been identified as "men's sizes" and "women's sizes" (which, I understand and acknowledge is so deeply antiquated and problematic. Luckily, culture and industry are changing, not fast enough, but it is definitely changing.) I thought that it would be helpful to identify the shoes in this way to help individual customers calculate what the fit could be like for them.

I truly, and genuinely, did not know nor think that stating it in this way would be a transphobic act and for that I am incredibly remorseful and sorry. To the trans community member who held us accountable: Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for holding us accountable and for giving us the opportunity to make this right. For the trauma we triggered, and the undue emotional labor we caused you, I am so deeply sorry. These types of acts only continue to perpetuate the very cycle that Society Nine has committed to breaking - that cycle being one that is exclusionary to ALL women, gender non-binary and non-conforming individuals. 

At Society Nine, we welcome you to our brand and our community regardless of how the system and society defined you at birth. That celebration of YOU and YOUR power, as well as your discovery of your power, has always remained forever true for us. It is why we wake up every day to do what we do: we live to see each of you uncovering your power, and claiming your space. And if our products are tools for you to uncover that, we are so humbled that you choose to trust us. We do not take that trust lightly - which is why we realize this thoughtless action is a poor reflection of these beliefs.

We have since removed the problematic language from the footwear sizing pages. However, we welcome accountability - always and forever. We cannot make claims of serving our community of customers under a set of values if we cannot show that we operate under them, no matter how ignorant, unintentional, or the size of the act. 

We have always stated that we commit to transparency, and we hope this public apology can serve as a first step towards rectifying this mistake. 

Thank you for continuing to believe in us, to invest in what we do, and to hold us accountable when we make mistakes. We are thankful for each and every day that we get a chance to break bread with you, and to continue to learn how we can be and do better.

Please do not ever hesitate to reach out to us if you have follow up questions, concerns, or feel like one of our actions missed the mark. We are always here to listen and truly wish to have open dialogue with our community.

Lynn

Founder, Society Nine


2 comments

  • Lynn

    Paige, thank you for giving us a chance to redeem from our actions, and to try to course a more loving, welcoming and inclusionary path forward. We appreciate you, and are thankful to have you here.

  • Paige D

    Thank you to being open to learning as a trans female it means a lot to see a company value customer feedback. Well done


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