Patagonia, the company that urges people not to buy its jackets ― and instead just fix the ones they already have ― is applying that message on a broad new level.
The environmentally conscious outdoor retailer has pumped the brakes on its popular corporate branding program and will no longer produce co-branded garments for companies that don’t share Patagonia’s environmental ethos.
So if you work for a certified B-Corp (like Patagonia) that “uses business as a force for good,” you’re in luck. But if you work for a company that actively harms the environment, well, you’re in for a dressing down.
And in a sharp blow to the tech and Wall Street bros, among others, who have made Patagonia vests a fixture of their wardrobe, financial services companies ― aka “Fintech” ― shouldn’t expect to see their logos on a Nano Puff anymore.
The sartorial rebuke was first noticed by Binna Kim, president of the communications firm Vested, who recently had an order for a client rejected.
She’d placed the order through a third-party (not through Patagonia), who relayed along Patagonia’s thinking:
“This is a relatively new direction for the brand and this division, all coming through the lens of their new mission statement, ‘We’re in business to save our home planet,’” the reseller said.
That means “they are reluctant to co-brand with oil, drilling, mining, dam construction, etc. companies that they view to be ecologically damaging.” Also mentioned on the list: religious groups, food groups, politically affiliated companies/groups, financial institutions, and more.
Per the reseller, Patagonia is evaluating each order on a case-by-case basis.
Patagonia confirmed the news in an email to HuffPost, emphasizing the shift won’t affect any of the company’s current corporate sales customers.
“Our corporate sales program manages Patagonia’s sales to other companies, non-profits and other organizations,” the company said. “We recently shifted the focus of this program to increase the number of Certified B Corporations, 1% For The Planet members and other mission-driven companies that prioritize the planet. This shift does not affect current customers in our corporate sales program.”
The move tracks with other steps the retailer has taken as part of its heightened activism. Last November, Patagonia received $10 million as a result of what it called an “irresponsible tax cut” by President Donald Trump; the company promptly donated the windfall to environmental charities.
Patagonia has also been sharply critical of Trump’s decision to drastically reduce the size of some national monuments. In the case of Bears Ears National Monument in southeast Utah ― shrunk an astounding 85 percent ― the company has put up resources to fight in court.
“We have to fight like hell to keep every inch of public land,” Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario told HuffPost in 2017, shortly after the Bears Ears decision was announced. “I don’t have a lot of faith in politics and politicians right now.”