Energy & Environment

Patagonia refusing to sell vests to some corporate clients that don’t ‘prioritize the planet’


Outdoor retailer Patagonia will no longer sell its corporate logo vests to companies it views as “ecologically damaging,” a move that comes as part of the corporation’s push to work with organizations that “prioritize the planet.”

Patagonia is turning its focus to corporate sales clients with “B-corporation” designations — businesses that have shown a commitment to causes such as “community” or “the environment,” according to BuzzFeed News

{mosads}The policy change gained attention earlier this week after Binna Kim, president of the communications agency Vested, posted a tweet about her attempt to place an order for a client. 

Kim received a rejection notice from the reseller saying that Patagonia was altering its focus as part of an effort to work with like-minded clients. 

“Patagonia has nothing against your client or the finance industry, it’s just not an area they are currently marketing through our co-brand division,” the statement said, according to a screenshot posted by Kim. “While they have co-branded here in the past, the brand is really focused right now on only co-branding with a small collection of like-minded and brand aligned areas; outdoor sports that are relevant to the gear we design, regenerative organic farming, and environmental activism.”

Because of its environmental activism, Patagonia is “reluctant to co-brand with oil, drilling, dam construction, etc. companies that they view to be ecologically damaging.”

The statement added that this includes financial institutions and “political affiliated companies/groups.”

BuzzFeed News noted that the order was rejected by a third-party supplier that handles large corporate orders.  

A representative from Patagonia confirmed the policy shift to the news outlet but would not say when the change took effect. The company said in a statement that the shift would not impact “current customers in our corporate sales program.”

“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,” the company said. 

Patagonia did not immediately respond to a request for further comment from The Hill. 

Fleece and puffer vests and jackets from Patagonia have become popular options for individuals working in the finance and tech industries, according to Bloomberg News

“I’m not too surprised that Patagonia is taking a closer look at how their brand is being used, and probably trying to not let Patagonia be synonymous with the ‘finance bro,'” Kim told BuzzFeed News. 

Patagonia updated its mission statement late last year as part of initiative to “save our home planet.” The company has said it plans to donate the $10 million it is saving from President Trump’s corporate tax cuts to environmental groups.

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