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Patagonia Doesn’t Want Your Business If You Don’t Support ‘Woke’ Environmentalism

Gabriella Hoffman
by Gabriella Hoffman Read Profile arrow_right_alt

Outdoor retailer Patagonia announced it won’t sell its “iconic” power vests to groups or companies that don’t align with their radical environmental goals.

Instead, they’ll align with “B-corporation” designation companies, whose goals are to “redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.” This maxim applies to companies that claim to be socially and environmentally conscious.

The change was first noted by Binna Kim of Vested, a financial tech communications agency, who inquired about the status of co-branding:

Simply put, Patagonia will reassess corporate sponsorships or co-branding opportunities with financial companies they view “ecologically damaging” like oil, drilling, mining, or dam construction. The “woke” enterprise also won’t co-brand with any religious group/churches, food groups, politically-affiliated companies/groups, or financial institutions either.

Who exactly will they co-partner with then? This change appears to exclude most companies and organizations in existence. They’re within their right to decide how to do business, but not without repercussions.

Bake the dang cake, bigots—or so we’re told.

Don’t expect them to align with Republican or conservative causes either. They donate heavily to Democrats and preservationist environmental causes.

Patagonia released this statement to Buzzfeed on this change in their co-branding program:

“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. This shift does not affect current customers in our corporate sales program.”

Here’s how Gizmodo responded to the change:

Patagonia, a company that objectively doesn’t suck but has been sucked into the orbit of bad companies, is trying to put an end to the bizarre corporate fashion craze that’s swallowed up suckers from Mountain View to Midtown Manhattan.

And offered this suggestion for fintech workers. Ouch.

In saying our goodbyes, let’s do poetic justice to the corporate branded Patagonia vests, clothing made from an environmentally-conscious positive-impact company, and burn them all into a toxic mountain of ash on Sand Hill Road.

This isn’t the first time the outdoor retailer has taken controversial stances.

On March 26th, the company’s CEO, Rose Marcario, issued this statement in support of the Green New Deal following the 57-0-43 vote in the U.S. Senate:

“Today, Patagonia joins Members of Congress, businesses, nonprofits and especially the young activists across the country in support of the Green New Deal. We support the scientists that tell us we can slow and even reverse the climate crisis if we double down on investments in wind and solar energy, promote sustainable and responsible agriculture practices and protect our public lands and waters by instituting a temporary moratorium on new leases for oil and gas drilling. These are solutions supported by Americans in rural and urban areas and will improve our way of life, offer important economic opportunities, and protect the planet for future generations.”

They echoed this statement on Instagram, where even their most avowed supporters called them out for supporting the Green New Deal:

In December 2017, it misled people into believing President Trump stole public land from the American people when he announced his intention to shrink Grand Escalante Staircase and Bears Ears National Monuments—all within Section II provisions of the Antiquities Act of 1906.

Their website reads, “In an illegal move, the president just reduced the size of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments. This is the largest elimination of protected land in American history.”

As I wrote here at The Resurgent recently, Trump’s Interior Department conducted a review of national monument designations that simply shrunk, not eliminated, them—especially the two contentious aforementioned ones.

Moreover, their PAC — Patagonia Action Works—has awarded grants to preservationist, anti-hunting groups like League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council, and a Humane Society affiliated group, for example.

Its founder, Yvon Chouinard, told Field & Stream in September 2018 he is a socialist billionaire (very ironic):

“I’m a socialist,” he says, “and I don’t apologize for that. We live in a country where the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, and anybody can see where that is going. You have billionaires buying up huge chunks of land for themselves and shutting the people out of them. Look at Wyoming. You can’t even anchor a raft to fish. These people claim they even own the bottom of the river.”

The article went on to describe his philosophy more:

As for Republicans, Choui­nard is infuriated by the anti-public lands and anti-environment movements in the party—and by President Trump, whom he despises—­reducing the Bears Ear and Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monuments at the request of Republican politicians in Utah. After Patagonia publicly protested the monument reductions, he says, “The House Natural Resources Committee was out there, telling everybody to boycott us, telling people that we make all of our clothes in Asia with slave labor.”

If Patagonia wants to carve a niche clientele, all power to them. However, it doesn’t come without costs or alienating their customer base. The market will decide if this change will favor them or not. Chances are, consumers will take their money elsewhere.

I could care less about their power vests. They’re overrated anyway.


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