Our anti–discrimination policy at Yarn + Cø

There has been an important discussion regarding diversity taking place in the yarn and fibre community this year. We made a statement through Instagram in February 2019 discussing Yarn + Cø as a safe space for all. We now understand that we need to reinforce this statement with action.

Firstly, we are publishing our anti-discrimination policy. We have an anti-discrimination policy in our store and on our social media, in our workshops and our craft groups. There will be no change this policy: 

Language or behaviour that discriminates on the basis of race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, religion, size, physical or mental disability, national extraction or social origin will not be tolerated.

This also means that we should not be dismissive of each other when others speak or share their experiences.  It is important to respect this sentiment so that the store can be a place where creativity is able to thrive and all feel welcome.

This policy is advertised in our store window, on our website and through our social media. It is a part of our action plan to ensure inclusivity at Yarn + Cø. The policy aligns with guidelines from the Australian Human Rights Commission. 

We will also be researching ways, as a small business, we can give back to our local community in the City of Yarra. We hope our customers can appreciate and respect the importance of this policy going forward. Thank you for your continued support.   

Our action plan that supports this statement is outlined below.

Our action plan for inclusivity at Yarn + Cø

  • We will enforce the above anti-discrimination policy.
  • We will continue to promote BIPOC fibre makers & pattern designers in our store and on social media.
  • We will continue to support yarn brands that are aligned with our values.
  • We will ensure that our social media is diversified in terms of who and what are featured on it.
  • While we try to keep our social media diversified but largely focused on the stock we sell, we understand now, more than ever, that it is important to promote the voices of people working so hard to make our community better.
  • We will research ways in which we can give back to our local community in the City of Yarra.

Inclusivity at Yarn + Co, an update: 25 May 2019

At the end of February we published our anti discrimination policy which is displayed on our store front. We also published our action plan for inclusivity at the same time. As a few months have passed, we thought it best to give you, our valued customers, an update.

  • Anti discrimination policy: This means that we do not tolerate any sort of discrimination in our store. It means that if someone in our store says something discriminatory or dismissive of another's lived experience, we call out their behaviour. 
  • We promote BIPOC fibre makers and pattern designers in store and on social media. Each week, generally on a Wednesday, we promote patterns designed by BIPOC on social media. This also ensures that our social media is diversified and we are always looking to improve upon this. We hope our customers support these designers by purchasing their patterns, just as we do.
  • We are very happy to support yarn lines and publications that align with our values - they promote diversity in the fibre community by employing BIPOC and featuring their designs.
  • As a part of this policy we wanted to look at ways we could actively give back to our local community. In April we donated to WIRE - an organisation which offers free support, referral and information for all Victorian women, non binary and gender-diverse people. As an organisation, WIRE  has strong inclusion and diversity policies which is reflected in their staff, volunteers and service users. WIRE affirms all people regardless of their age, culture, disabilities, ethnic origin, race, nationality, gender, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation and socio economic status, and we saw this reflected in their programs and interactions with others when we visited them. We donated supplies to their AMICA Club which provides an activities program for those experience isolation and homelessness. We will continue to work with, donate to and learn from WIRE in future.

In future we will continue to follow through with our action plan and enforce our anti discrimination policy. We are also looking at other ways to give back to our local community (watch this space!). Our goal through these steps is to create a more inclusive environment where a broad range of people are happy to shop and feel welcome.