- Why Patagonia Vests Will Forever Withdraw From Wall Street Fashion
The tactical move reinforces their commitment towards saving our planet and building a sustainable future
Just now·4 min read
Image by Malik Skydsgaard on Unsplash & Pinterest, edited by author
If you currently own a corporate-sponsored Patagonia vest or are waiting on one, consider yourself among the lucky ones.
Patagonia’s recent announcement states that they are shifting away from adding custom corporate logos to their vests. The decision is backed by the rationale that embroidering custom logos on the vest shortens its life span. The move supplements their “highly sustainable brand” image as well.
“Each day at Patagonia, we look for ways to use our business to save our home planet. As a clothier, that starts with creating goods that last — if not forever, then for a really, really long time. 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.”
Patagonia vests have been a wardrobe staple for most of the finance and tech giants based out of Wall Street, especially the fleece zip-up ones. They even started competing with suits for the corporate outfit of choice. It initially was famous among most C-level executives, but slowly gained popularity with various colleagues across the board.
An article on Esquire even christened the vest as the official “Midtown Uniform.” Almost the perfect name for a boutique clothing Instagram account, right? Well, say no more. The Midtown Uniform account on Instagram has nearly 170K followers where they basically make fun of people sporting these garments across big cities like Toronto, New York, and Washington.
The account crowdsources photos and adds funny captions while taking a dig at the particular outfit of choice and the people wearing it. The combination is typically the Patagonia vest worn with a button-up shirt, matched with a pair of chinos and brown shoes. The trend almost oozes Wolf of Wall Street vibes — only in this case, maybe a lone one.
Patagonia’s proverbial image of a sustainable brand that creates clothing for the future is undeniable. Taking this drastic step meant losing a large chunk of their corporate sales business, and they know that. However, it’s clear that the brand’s commitment towards creating a healthy planet holds more weight.
According to an article in Time, Patagonia even updated its mission statement, saying, “We’re in business to save our home planet.” When you think about it, the decision may not be all that crazy. The resale value of any product drops when it is customized — since there is no market for it.
For example, when you receive a company sweatshirt with your name on it, it’s unlikely that the swag can be passed on to anyone else once you leave. Imagine if that takes place — yikes. The same principle applies in the case of Patagonia vests since they can’t be passed on or even sold at a resale marketplace.
There are rumors that Patagonia has been constantly changing its sustainability policies in the background. A Fast Company article suggests that the announcement was triggered by a tweet posted by Binna Kim, president of a communications agency called Vested (what are the odds?) when they tried placing a custom vest order for their client from a third-party supplier.
Image by Twitter
However, don’t be surprised. This isn’t the first time they are making such drastic changes to their policy. Back in 2019, they identified that they want to change their corporate sales strategy to benefit companies with “like-minded environmental agendas.” They wanted to work together with more B-Corp and mission-driven companies even when the big corporates were willingly hemorrhaging cash for them.
I believe that this move does wonders for Patagonia as a brand. It plays perfectly into their positioning statement of creating “environmentally responsible products.”
We all recognize that promotional products generally have a short life span before they can be retired to a landfill in remote parts of the country. However, Patagonia is still willing to work together on promotional goods but is reviewing its options, since they want to move away from temporarily branded goods.
Patagonia has changed the way we view sustainable brands, it means ignoring the calls to consumption and manufacturing goods only when it’s absolutely necessary. They’ve done a great job of fitting into a community story rather than building a story for a community to try and fit in. That’s what makes them desirable.
If you still crave that personalized Patagonia vest, you can hit up third-party suppliers to fulfill those needs. If that doesn’t work for you, it might be finally time to brush off that 20-year-old vest you’ve got lying in the cupboard. It’s showtime!
- Date of publication:
- Thu, 04/22/2021 - 12:55
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