Please pass this email on to a) someone senior within your company and b) someone who speaks English.
I am writing regarding your recent Torquato White, catalogue. In said catalogue you are selling leather yoga mats and yoga cushions
You appear to be aware of the fact that yoga is a spiritual practice originating in India over 5,000 years ago, you mention its origins in your description of your ‘OM t-shirt’.
Considering you are in fact aware of this, I am wondering if you then aware of how often the west’s appropriation of some aspects of Eastern spiritual practices are seen as damaging, disrespectful and racist?I ask this because you are (as many do) making (a lot) of money from selling products that you align with Eastern religions and spiritual practices.
You have chosen to make and sell a yoga mat made from the skin of cows, an animal held as holy and scared to the very people who’s spirituality you are making money off the back of.
I cannot describe how sickened and appalled I felt when I saw this product in your catalogue.
This shocking and racist product and the misuse of Eastern spiritual beliefs to sell these products is utterly unacceptable in 2021, or on any year, but considering 2020 was the year that brought us the black lives matter movement, I would have hoped that distinguished and successful companies such as yours would no longer see this level of open cultural appropriation and racism as acceptable.
Please take time to consider my comments. I hope you as a company might reflect on what are clearly antiquated and shameful attitudes to other cultures, and that you will take all necessary action to make changes to your policy, product lines and sales language in future. Training around racism and cultural appropriation is widely available, there is no reason for this kind of thing to take place any longer.