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Native-Owned Eighth Generation Launches First Global “Decolonizing Partnership” with Coffee Brand Starbucks

Eighth Generation launches Coast Salish-themed capsule collection; becomes the first non-Starbucks shop to carry items with the Starbucks logo

Eighth Generation, owned by the Snoqualmie Tribe, just launched a “Community Capsule” collection with Seattle’s Starbucks Reserve Roastery. The limited-edition collection with Starbucks represents the first global corporation to work with Eighth Generation under their Decolonizing Partnerships Model. The model, pioneered by Eighth Generation and guided by five core principles, seeks to disrupt exploitative business practices that have been carried forward from times of extreme power imbalance.

Embossing on the Coast Salish Pattern Demi Mug Set. Photo by Brittney Couture

“Starbucks represents the first global business to join us in a Decolonizing Partnership,” said Eighth Generation Founder and CEO Louie Gong (Nooksack). “Meeting these progressive standards required Starbucks to flex or change fundamental components of their processes for product development, sourcing, and distribution.” Established brands that approach cultural artists or arts entrepreneurs with Eighth Generation’s Decolonizing Partnership Model in mind are exhibiting a desire to support, not exploit, cultural artists.

The Community Capsule, released for the 2021 holiday season, features five products made by Eighth Generation to be sold by both Seattle’s Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Eighth Generation. Eighth Generation is the first non-Starbucks store ever to carry products with the Starbucks Reserve logo. In another first, Eighth Generation produced these products and sold them to Starbucks, flipping the way in which big brands typically work with small businesses.  

Starbucks Reserve logo and Eighth Generation logo appear on all products. Eighth Generation is the first non-Starbucks to ever carry products with the Starbucks logo. Photo by Brittney Couture

The collection includes five products and features the work of five Coast Salish artists: Louie Gong (Nooksack), Gail White Eagle (Muckleshoot and Chehalis), Andrea Wilbur Sigo (Squaxin Island), Jaime Martin (Snoqualmie), and McKenna Dorman (Snoqualmie). Products include a ceramic tumbler and demi mug set, an embroidered jacket, a hand-embellished print, and a wool throw blanket woven in Eighth Generation’s Seattle studio.

Adriana Perrusquia (Yupik), Project Manager, and Louie Gong (Nooksack), CEO and Founder, managed the project with Starbucks. Photo by Starbucks

Eighth Generation’s next high-profile Decolonizing Partnership—with Seattle-based running brand Brooks—will launch Fall 2022.

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