Like most human beings with a soul on this planet, we have been left shell-shocked, angry, and horrified by the unjust death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other Black Americans who have lost their lives and their voices. We wanted to add our voice to the chorus of humanity still here on this earth calling for real and lasting change. This bullshit has to stop.

Not unlike many of you wondering what you can do to make an impact, we’ve wondered what impact our little shop can have on America’s seemingly immovable wall of police violence, racism, hatred, and bigotry. Then we recalled why we started Cowboys and Astronauts in the first place. Back in 2017, we convinced ourselves that we could offer lifestyle goods and present them in a special but accessible environment that truly supported the ideal of being your best self and living a good life. We still believe that everyone, regardless of their race or gender or identity in this world, should be able to ride rockets to the stars, sleep peacefully and safely under midnight skies, and become any single thing their hearts dream they can be. These aren’t overly idealistic notions to us. These are our drivers.

Sadly, these ideals are not shared by all in this country. We need to say that out loud and own it. Systemic racial inequality and injustice is alive and well and it needs to end. Period. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said so eloquently, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality.”

Now more than ever, we realize that everything matters in that network of humanity that we are a part of. Our little shop’s all are welcome ideal matters. Protesting matters. Expressing outrage matters. Supporting the cause with more than social media posts matters. Admitting we are privileged and beneficiaries of an ingrained history of behaviors matters. Calling out people for telling racist jokes matters. Educating ourselves on Black history and racial injustice matters. Challenging ourselves to not feel so damn comfortable all the time matters. Standing up for those who are being harmed and murdered matters. Not staying silent on the sidelines matters. Voting matters. And committing to changing ourselves for the better matters. Because, as a society and as organizations and as individuals, we have to do better…and change is made of millions of small steps.

Some immediate actions we’ll be adding to our mix…We’re excited to broaden our search criteria to insure we’re exposing ourselves to more Black, minority, and traditionally overlooked and undiscovered talent, vendors, partners, artists, makers, and brands when considering new collaborations and product introductions—as well as where we gain our references and inspirations. We’ll be reaching out to our current brands and partners to understand how they are investing in the same, while additionally urging them to be more inclusive in the faces and bodies representing their goods not just in imagery, but operationally, too. Suggestions, connections, and resources welcome. Have some? Please, share. We will continue to build a brand and a store environment where Black customers, applicants, partners, and community members feel welcomed, loved, at home, and 100% safe and supported. Additionally, we’ve committed our first batch of 100 reusable masks to the Brave Space Alliance collection effort that helps keep protesters safe from the pandemic as they fight for equality.

And we will do all of this, as well as our future actions, from a place of love...the kind of love that challenges each of us to dig deeper, to continue to learn and change, to admit our mistakes, and to open ourselves to the reality that we are all more connected than we know.

Black lives matter. Here. And Everywhere.

With hope and solidarity,
Matthew & Greg