US – The next-generation leisure brand has launched a collection of outdoor goods to engage those who have long felt ignored by the sector – namely Black and brown communities. Growing up lacking in exposure to the outdoors, founder Jade Akintola was inspired to build a brand around access, education and rejuvenation for all.
ITA Leisure has launched the Beach & Park collection, with items ranging from outdoor tables and chairs to towels and blankets. To centre inclusivity in the design process, the brand is working with designers who identify as Black, Indigenous or people of colour, ensuring the diverse traditions and cultures are treated with care. Future collections will focus on other activities with barriers to entry, including camping, hiking and gardening. By doing this, Akintola is working to diversify access to nature.
ITA Leisure acknowledges the modern structures that restrict people of colour from engaging in outdoor activities, positioning the role of leisure as a radical act for these communities. ‘The outdoors is anything but uniform, and ITA is created with Black and brown experiences in mind. Ultimately, this is a discussion on leisure and an invitation to embrace it,’ says Akintola.
As citizens’ relationship with Earth changes, and people reappreciate the healing powers of nature, the problem of equal access remains. As a brand, find ways to remove barriers to entry and reposition outdoor activities as a right, not a luxury