Patagonia is back. Almost two years after announcing it would no longer authorize the addition of brand logos on its products, the popular outdoor apparel retailer has shifted course. Beginning this spring it will allow limited brand embroidery as long as it is not on the front of its garments, such as on the arm or beneath the neck.
“The reason [Patagonia] made this decision is that they have developed new solutions to either remove, repair, or repurpose embroidered Patagonia products, to better extend their usable lifespan, and to keep them out of the landfill. This program will be offered on a limited basis,” the email stated.
A Complicated Relationship
Famously vocal about its planet-first mission, Patagonia has long had an uneasiness doing business in the promotional products marketplace.
- In 2018, it briefly took the stance of only allowing B-Corporations to co-brand its products. We weren’t really comfortable with that kind of mind set. That quickly changed, and Patagonia instructed brands to only decorate the sleeve or back of the garment.
- By 2019, Patagonia’s corporate sales catalog noted, “For each order, we require disclosure as to the type of company whose name will appear on the Patagonia product and how the product will be used.”
- In April 2021, the company stated “Patagonia respects the power of all company logos. Every organization, business, and group we work with is doing its own part to improve our planet’s future, and those efforts endow each logo with a very worthy set of values. We have also found that adding a logo to any Patagonia product significantly shortens its lifespan – specifically, by limiting its use to business hours or a person’s tenure at a single company or organization.”
Not Gone Completely
After Patagonia banned on-garment logos, we were still able to provide blank apparel our customers providing that Patagonia approved the client and project.
- Removal decoration options, such as logo-ed zipper pulls, woven hem tags and patches, were offered and will remain as options.
- The new requirements move Patagonia closer to its stance before the spring of 2021. Projects will continue to be accepted on a per-order basis, with Patagonia reserving the right to approve.