Patagonia decides to pick and choose only the wokest buyers for its famous vests

Can lefty companies pick and choose their buyers, as if the gay cake controversy were applicable only to conservatives?

Yep, they're doing it — and getting away with it as a good public relations move in the press. 

In a Bloomberg piece under the unintentionally ironic header of "Good Business," Patagonia is refusing to license the vests it sells to oil companies, mining companies, religious groups, "politically affiliated" (read: conservative) organizations, and big wicked banks.

Late last year, Patagonia updated its mission statement, saying, "We're in business to save our home planet."  

Oh, give us a break. 

Do these jackasses use electricity?  Do they use capital to create those black vests they are selling as today's business attire?  Do they have religious views of their own?  Yes, yes, yes, on all fronts.  So what they're really doing is setting belief requirements for their buyers in order to allow them to order their vests with any company name on them.  See, they aren't in the business of selling vests anymore; they are now saving the planet.

The Bloomberg piece says they're actually turning buyers away, because some of them aren't virtuous enough. 

Never mind if those buyers pick up trash or their companies have greenie agendas of their own, as many big banks and mining companies do.  Right industry, come right in, and let us sell to you, since we permit that privilege.  Wrong industry, no sales.

Sounds like a lovely business plan that should thrill the shareholders.

It's obnoxious, because they are setting belief requirements on buyers as a condition of sales.  Mere money isn't good enough.

I suppose there's an argument to be made about company image with Patagonia's "B club," but it's a bad precedent, and frankly, they're overestimating it.  Nobody thinks anything of the manufacturer of a garment on a company-branded shirt except in terms of its fabric and construction quality.  They're saying that's not true, their product is special, and they're no longer in the clothing business; they're saving the Earth. 

Actually, their product is probably nice, but it's not that special — it's sold in the market, it projects an outdoorsy lefty image, yet there are countless other competitors making equal or better products, and the blacklisted companies can and should order from those instead.  I bought several of these black vests from other companies for my male relatives at Christmas from the Macy's website and L.L. Bean, and those competitor vests, with no ideological requirements attached, were superb.  

It's a bad precedent, and it's also stupid.  Imagine a startup of no name recognition doing such a practice; it wouldn't get off the ground, because this isn't a sound business practice.  There's nothing stupider than a company inhaling the exhaust fumes of its inflated corporate ego and, worse still, its own public relations.

Image credit: Backcountry.com ad.

Can lefty companies pick and choose their buyers, as if the gay cake controversy were applicable only to conservatives?

Yep, they're doing it — and getting away with it as a good public relations move in the press. 

In a Bloomberg piece under the unintentionally ironic header of "Good Business," Patagonia is refusing to license the vests it sells to oil companies, mining companies, religious groups, "politically affiliated" (read: conservative) organizations, and big wicked banks.

Late last year, Patagonia updated its mission statement, saying, "We're in business to save our home planet."  

Oh, give us a break. 

Do these jackasses use electricity?  Do they use capital to create those black vests they are selling as today's business attire?  Do they have religious views of their own?  Yes, yes, yes, on all fronts.  So what they're really doing is setting belief requirements for their buyers in order to allow them to order their vests with any company name on them.  See, they aren't in the business of selling vests anymore; they are now saving the planet.

The Bloomberg piece says they're actually turning buyers away, because some of them aren't virtuous enough. 

Never mind if those buyers pick up trash or their companies have greenie agendas of their own, as many big banks and mining companies do.  Right industry, come right in, and let us sell to you, since we permit that privilege.  Wrong industry, no sales.

Sounds like a lovely business plan that should thrill the shareholders.

It's obnoxious, because they are setting belief requirements on buyers as a condition of sales.  Mere money isn't good enough.

I suppose there's an argument to be made about company image with Patagonia's "B club," but it's a bad precedent, and frankly, they're overestimating it.  Nobody thinks anything of the manufacturer of a garment on a company-branded shirt except in terms of its fabric and construction quality.  They're saying that's not true, their product is special, and they're no longer in the clothing business; they're saving the Earth. 

Actually, their product is probably nice, but it's not that special — it's sold in the market, it projects an outdoorsy lefty image, yet there are countless other competitors making equal or better products, and the blacklisted companies can and should order from those instead.  I bought several of these black vests from other companies for my male relatives at Christmas from the Macy's website and L.L. Bean, and those competitor vests, with no ideological requirements attached, were superb.  

It's a bad precedent, and it's also stupid.  Imagine a startup of no name recognition doing such a practice; it wouldn't get off the ground, because this isn't a sound business practice.  There's nothing stupider than a company inhaling the exhaust fumes of its inflated corporate ego and, worse still, its own public relations.

Image credit: Backcountry.com ad.