UK: The North Face Under Fire for 20% Discount for Taking ‘Racial Inclusion’ Course

Atmosphere during The North Face cocktail party September 17, 2008 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)

OAN’s Brooke Mallory
2:05 PM – Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Customers of The North Face brand who reside in the United Kingdom (UK) can now receive a 20% discount if they complete an hour-long course on racial inclusivity.


The sportswear company characterizes access to the outdoors “in this context” as “White privilege” and claims that its progressive campaign in the UK aims to “educate individuals…on the barriers that people of color (POC) face in the outdoors.”

According to the survey, it is also intended to “promote a deeper understanding of the unique challenges that people of color face when accessing the outdoors.”

Following an article this week by the outlet The Sun, news of the course—which was initially announced in November—exploded on social media. Customers who agreed to take the online course underlined the sections of the “modules” that frustrated them the most, such as the definition of “White privilege.”

“In this particular context, we refer to ‘White privilege’ meaning that your race and skin color can give you access to the outdoors when others can be excluded because of historic enduring racism and biases,” according to an explanation of the DEI course.

“The North Face has always believed the outdoors should be a welcoming, equitable, and safe place for all. This course aims to bring light to the barriers to entry preventing all people from sharing equally rewarding experiences in the outdoors,” the brand said in a separate statement.

However, the course’s 20% off brand discount is only being offered in the United Kingdom, not the United States.

The 58-year-old Colorado-based company, which is owned by VF Corp., the same corporation that owns JanSport, Vans, and Timberland, came under fire for being overly progressive and “woke.”

“I might take the course and answer with only politically incorrect responses. Will I still get the coupon?” posted an online user on X (Twitter).

“The irony is that The North Face is implicitly acknowledging here that all of its customers are white,” said Tony Young, the founder of Free Speech Union, a conservative non-profit in the UK that addresses cancel culture issues. “After all, why would black customers need to take a course about ‘white privilege’ to get a 20% discount?” 

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