Over the past two years we have worked to lay a solid foundation for Fellow to be diverse and equitable internally, while also actively working towards social justice externally. We are eager to share updates with our stakeholders on how we are upholding our commitments and digging further into what our responsibilities are as a coffee gear company in today's world.

Fellow is a company where all people should feel they can thrive. Internally, this is our employees. Externally, this is everyone from coffee novice to expert. If you want to learn and brew, we will meet you halfway. We acknowledge the rich history of coffee along with the Black and Brown communities creating the foundation from which specialty coffee has bloomed. 

We acknowledge these communities have long been underrepresented in the industry. Not only does this not honor the history and origins of coffee, but it limits the richness of the coffee experience for everyone. Fellow is dedicated to playing a role in upholding the standards of belonging, equity, inclusion, and diversity for all of our colleagues in this industry.

We are well positioned to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for all people who have been left behind in the coffee industry or for those who may not have access. Our goal is to create a space at the table for all individuals who would benefit from or be interested in specialty coffee. We see the power coffee can create in a community, offer moments of intentionality in our day, provide opportunities to learn about agriculture, and overall energize us.

We can achieve our mission through two avenues: 

One, activating people interested in specialty coffee who do not have the access or resources to get their feet in the door. And two, informing people who are not currently exposed to specialty coffee because they are part of a demographic that doesn’t get as much spotlight or attention in the industry today. 

In order to activate people who would otherwise not have the opportunity to get their start - we are focused on partnering with community organizations striving to make the coffee industry more accessible for folks in rural areas, from marginalized communities, or who have less access to capital. 

In order to inform people who are not currently exposed to specialty coffee - we are focused on creating content and events that give people a chance to engage with specialty coffee without feeling intimidated or overwhelmed. We are also partnering with non-coffee organizations in our local communities who are interested in co-hosting events for people they serve to learn more.

Both components focus on decreasing the barriers to entry for all people to get involved and learn more about specialty coffee.

Since we last posted an update we have done the following:
  • Added a core principle to the way we conduct ourselves and our business at Fellow: “Fellow deliberately seeks equity.” Making game-changing gear is our business, but making an impact beyond profit is our responsibility. Drinking coffee together only matters if there is space at the table for everyone.
  • Performed an internal equity audit with the team at Awakening Minds to understand the gaps and areas for improvement. 
  • Hired a full time employee focused on equity and sustainability.
  • All employees have taken bias awareness training and bystander intervention training.
  • Refreshed our Employee Handbook to explicitly include anti-harassment and ethics expectations. 
  • Assessed and implemented best practices for accessibility on our website and in our offices and stores.
  • Improved internal leveling and total rewards equity so that all employees can succeed, regardless of background.
  • Introduced a DEIB content review team to support the marketing team for product launches.
  • Hosted events in the San Francisco community to expand coffee education beyond our typical channels.
  • Expanded our community partnerships and fostered ongoing partnership with the Color of Coffee Collective including a seminar for employees on the importance of equity in the coffee industry.
  • Started collecting data from candidates in our pipeline for hiring to understand the demographic make-up of our pipeline.
  • We are in the midst of performing a materiality assessment to understand the causes and topics that our stakeholders care about most.

We are focused on ways to activate and inform those who are often left behind in the specialty coffee industry. If you are interested in supporting this effort or want to recommend businesses or community partners to work with, please reach out to us at community@fellowproducts.com.