In an effort to extend the lifespan of its clothing, Patagonia will “transitioning away” from adding corporate logos to its products. The Patagonia label will remain untouched, but the decision concludes a decades-long practice of adding additional logos to its clothing for its corporate clients.
Patagonia's vests in particular have become a staple on both Wall Street and in Silicon Valley. Tech and finance bros may shift to a new (non-Patagonia) corporate uniform as a result of the decision, but Patagonia seems confident in its choice. “When we made this decision, we accepted that it might cost us some business,” the brand acknowledged, “but we hope you’ll see this shift for what it is.”
In a blog post explaining the move, Patagonia noted: “Using a garment for just over two additional years, for example, cuts its overall footprint by 82 percent, and we build our gear to be used for decades.” Unfortunately, they've found that adding an additional non-removable logo reduces the life span of a garment, and the reasons are pretty trivial.
For example, the brand found that when people change jobs, they don't tend to want to wear branded clothes from their former employer. People also don't tend to want to wear work branded clothing on the weekends. On top of that, they found that people are less likely to pass corporate logoed gear down to their friends and relatives — and the cumulative result is that perfectly good gear heads to landfill every year.
In 2018 alone, 11.3 million tons of textiles ended up in US landfills, and Patagonia is not happy with its contribution. While they acknowledge that the move might deal them a financial blow, they're hoping that their famously loyal customer base will come on board. “By joining us in extending the life of the gear you wear and use,” the brand proposes, “you’re making a statement about your own commitment to sustainability.”
It's not the first time the brand has prioritized its commitment to sustainability over brand partnerships. Back in 2019, they announced that they would no longer be offering its corporate logo vests to companies that do not prioritize the planet.