Patagonia to focus on selling exclusively to “mission-driven companies”
Outdoor clothing brand, Patagonia, has made the decision to supply corporate clothing only to “mission-driven companies that prioritise the planet”. Its corporate sales programme, popular with all types of company who add their logo to items, now requires companies to demonstrate specific sustainability standards.
The move means Patagonia is making conscious decisions about what types of company it wants to work with. As a B Corp itself (a business that meets externally verified environmental, social and transparency standards), Patagonia is looking to focus its corporate sales to other B Corps. However, a leaked email suggests that any company Patagonia sees as “ecologically damaging” will no longer be supplied. This includes “religious groups/churches, food groups, financial institutions, and more”.
Patagonia’s direction for its co-branded corporate clothing is a decision driven by its new mission statement, “We’re in business to save our home planet”. It follows a strong list of action the company has taken, based on its stated raison d’être. The famous “Don’t Buy This” campaign and other anti-Black Friday actions have shown how the company will relinquish sales to minimise its environmental impact.
Companies should take note of the way in which Patagonia has taken real action based on its purpose. Beyond merely an exercise of brand protection, Patagonia is willing to forgo sales in order to achieve the company’s core aim of avoiding environmental ruin. This commitment is a lesson for all corporates in putting purpose into action.