Patagonia Inc. has revealed that it is cracking down on the proliferation of corporate logo vests that have come to be the wardrobe staple along Wall Street and in Silicon Valley.

The outdoor paraphernalia maker says it will no longer create the products for any old company through its corporate sales program; in recent years, Patagonia has made a conscious shift toward working with “mission-driven companies that prioritize the planet,” as per a company statement released earlier this week. In the past, the company has made all kinds of gear for all kinds of companies, from nonprofit organisations to big banks.

Now, Patagonia says it wants to work with companies that have the B Corp designation to its client list. That is, companies that meet specific environmental, social and transparency standards and are certified by a private organisation. Patagonia is itself a B Corp listed firm, among several financial and technology firms.

The company has refused to reveal when exactly these changes were enacted, but existing corporate customers need not worry: current clients will remain in the program, and will continue to be able to order branded items from Patagonia.

In recent years, the characteristic fleece and puffer vests produced by the brand have come to be known as the go-to corporate uniform in the finance and technology sectors, so much so that Instagram account Midtown Uniform has garnered more than 119 thousand followers since its inception. It’s certainly an odd combination, given the outdoor brand is otherwise an essential for wild wear, hiking and camping gear.

Word of Patagonia’s shift first spread when Binna Kim, president of the communications agency Vested (of apparently no relation), shared on social media an email from a third-party supplier of Patagonia’s corporate products after it was reportedly rejected from making an order for a client.

“Patagonia has nothing against your client or the financial industry,” the email reads, “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.”

“We’re in the business to save our home planet,” the email continues, “Patagonia requires that we submit this info with all orders. Due to their environmental activism, they are reluctant to co-brand with oil, drilling, mining, dam construction, etc. companies that they view to be ecologically damaging…every end user is up to Patagonia’s approval and each order is approved or denied on a per case basis.”

The move might seem a risky one for Patagonia’s bottom line; Wall Street and Silicon Valley do, after all, have some of the deepest pockets in the world. Still, it’s likely Patagonia will be sticking to its guns on this one in a move that might actually boost its approval with the rest of its customer base. America’s wealthy might have deep pockets, but they won’t be made by Patagonia for much longer.

5WPR CEO Ronn TorossianRonn Torossian

SHARE
Previous articleMarketing Agencies Can Help Grow Any Business
Next articleWhy a Digital Marketing Professional Should Always Be Learning
Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 175 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, was named to PR Week's "40 under Forty" list, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations" is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.