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Patagonia to reduce ties with U.S. tech, finance firms

Published
today Apr 5, 2019
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Outdoor brand Patagonia is rethinking its corporate sales program as it looks to prioritise Certified B Corporations -- those focused on sustainability and communities as part of their operations -- over major tech and finance companies, despite the latter group’s infatuation with the brand’s vests. 

Patagonia's Nano Puff vest, a popular choice among the men of Wall Street and Silicon Valley. - Via Patagonia


Fleece and quilted vests such as Patagonia’s Nano Puff jacket have become an unofficial uniform staple for the male technology and finance population across the United States.

From entry-level employees to top managers and CEOs, the business-casual vests have been worn by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Samsung’s David Eun, and even seen on fictitious characters or “tech bros” in HBO’s 'Silicon Valley'.

The endorsement, however, appears to be rather one-sided, according to a report by BuzzFeed News. Patagonia said it will become more selective with its corporate sales clients, effective immediately. In a statement given to BuzzFeed, the outdoor company explained the policy change.

“Our corporate sales program manages Patagonia’s sales to other companies, non-profits and other organisations,” the company said. “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 prioritise the planet. This shift does not affect current customers in our corporate sales program.”

Although Patagonia has not expressed an outright disdain for both industries, the generic corporate mission of major U.S. tech and finance companies does not align with Patagonia’s public image and actions.

These include denouncements of the Trump Administrationofficial endorsements of environmentally conscious politicians and the support of multiple environmental activism and sustainability initiatives.

The sales impact from the decision is yet to be determined and major companies from both tech or finance industries have failed to comment on the news.

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