Community Statement related to current eventsFeb 22, 2021
Recently a company that had trained with the Center for Babywearing Studies, CBWS, was charged with cultural appropriation when attempting to patent a commonly used method of wearing a baby. This company had planned to patent the design, and several people called attention to the fact that this was not new and it was appropriation.
The issue of cultural appropriation is not new to babywearing; in fact, this has been addressed many times over the years. The community origins of the particular carrying method and overall issues of appropriation of cultural carrying traditions are both things we address in our training courses. Additionally, it's the subject of frequent discussion in our online space for CBWS trained graduates. Had Solly Baby been active participants in this space, I believe they would have found themselves better positioned to understand and positively engage with the feedback they received.
It is disappointing, therefore, that Solly Baby has named CBWS specifically as "attacking" them, fostering a "mob mentality," or promoting "cancel culture." While the feedback that Solly Baby received from some members of the group may have been hard to hear, it was honest. The group, collectively and individually, sincerely offered to come to the table with Solly Baby and offer their perspectives. We realize it's up to Solly Baby to choose how they hear and use the knowledge they gained. We, CBWS, stand for accountability and growth, even when it is difficult.
CBWS continues to support its graduates in respectfully expressing their opinions on topics of importance to the community. We still welcome Solly Baby to participate in these discussions and to rejoin our community with a commitment to listening and learning. At CBWS, we strive to embody this for ourselves as well. During these discussions, we also listened to feedback that was difficult to hear at times. We are committed to continued dialogue exploring complex topics that will impact us individually, our communities, and most importantly, our work serving others.