Swing a stick anywhere in the Bay Area and you will hit some guy wearing a Patagonia vest or jacket to go with his Allbirds. But Patagonia’s ethos as an eco- and social-minded company doesn’t exactly gel with that of the financial or tech industries that like to wear its corporate branded apparel. No longer comfortable with this relationship, Patagonia announced they will stop facilitating corporate branding on its products for companies that do not align with their mission.
Patagonia has begun the process of ditching certain corporate clients to instead focus on customers that “prioritize the planet,” it told The San Francisco Chronicle. In order to work with the brand on co-branded products, a company must be a fellow B Corp, as well as a member of 1% for the Planet. It’s not just the financial and tech sectors that Patagonia has a problem with, but also anyone involved with oil, drilling, mining, and even religious or political groups.
In an email response to Binna Kim, head of a financial services PR firm based in New York, Patagonia stated they have taken a new direction to work only with like-minded companies for their co-brand program. For example, companies involved in outdoors sports, regenerative organic farming, and environmental activism are on the ok list.
It remains to be seen whether the tech and financial industries will find a new standard issue outfit in protest or whether they will just continue to wear Patagonia without their own company logo. My guess is the latter and hats off to Patagonia for taking a stand.