The famous outdoor clothing retailer is getting selective and wants to focus "mission-driven companies that prioritize the planet"

By Maria Pasquini
April 03, 2019 10:15 AM

Patagonia is taking a stand against corporate companies that may not share the clothing company’s same environmentally friendly values.

The outdoor retailer, which hasn’t been afraid to get political in the past, has become selective about which corporate clients to sell its products, including its iconic Patagonia Nano Puff vest, to, according to BuzzFeed News.

The vests, which are so ubiquitous in finance and tech circles that they’ve been nicknamed the “Power Vest,” are typically purchased with a custom embroidered corporate logo on them.

A representative for Patagonia confirmed its policy change regarding corporate orders to PEOPLE, saying the clothing company was focusing on selling products to “mission-driven companies that prioritize the planet.”

“Our corporate sales program manages Patagonia’s sales to other companies, non-profits and other organizations. 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 representative said, adding that “this shift does not affect current customers in our corporate sales program.”

The policy change was first called out by Binna Kim, president of the financial marketing and PR agency Vested, according to BuzzFeed News.

After her attempt to place an order for the vests was denied, Kim went on to post a copy of the rejection email she got online.

“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. 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,” the message read.

The message went on to say that Patagonia is “reluctant to co-brand with oil, drilling, dam construction, etc. companies that they view to be ecologically damaging,” which includes “financial institutions.”

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Patagonia, which describes itself as “The Activist Company,” has long been a supporter of environmental causes.

In 2017, the clothing company shared a post online titled “The President Stole Your Land” as a reaction to Donald Trump’s action to reduce the size of two Utah national monuments.

“We’ve fought to protect these places since we were founded and now we’ll continue that fight in the courts,” Patagonia President and CEO Rose Marcario said in a statement posted on the brand’s Instagram.

Recently, the company has also come out in support of the Green New Deal Vote, a proposal attempting to reduce U.S. dependence on fossil fuels. The legislation was rejected last month.

Patagonia’s commitment to land preservation is actually a cause written right in the brand’s mission statement and one it has practiced diligently since its start in 1973. “Our mission is to build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis,” it reads.

The company donates at least 1 percent of sales to hundreds of grassroots environmental groups that may be overlooked by other corporate donors and even organize a Tools Conference which provides training to make grassroots activists as effective as possible. Its founder, Yvon Chouinard, was a founding member of One Percent for the Planet, which encourages businesses around the world to give back to the environment.