Patagonia is too good for you

If you want to buy certain vests, or jackets from Patagonia, you have to meet their standard to sell to you. This makes me mad, a little. What if I was in business of building computers. I decide that I’m not going to sell them to people that own dogs. You ask “what, why?”. My answer, the fur sheds, and clogs the fans and heatsinks, and this causes the computers to overheat, so I’m not going to sell my computers to you, if you have a dog. I don’t feel any company selling a product or services, should be able to discriminate who they sell to. You set up shop, you have to provide what you provide to everyone, no matter what.

I have no idea whom Patagonia is nor do I really care. But as the devils advocate I will respond;
If someone comes up to me and wants to buy a car I’m selling, I have the right to not sell it to him or her or anyone, and no reasons needed.


Sounds like they lost out on business.

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You don’t

You do

Sounds to me like the Patagonia people are just gunning hard toward creating a branded subculture centered around their style, with a dose of political correctness thrown in. It’s choosy, sure, and the political element rubs me wrong, but it’s no different than saying,”if we sell to walmart, people won’t think we’re a premium brand.”


Seems like free market working as intended.

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This should really be easily distinguishable from individual ownership as they don’t want to co-brand with non-causes. Everyone who works for the companies they won’t co-brand with can still buy a vest.

None of this is surprising to me as Patagonia was founded on environmental stewardship causes.


Is this the enclave of Welsh farmers who settled in Argentina?

Patagonia is a higher end North Face competitor. Also it’s a region mostly in Argentina (the company is named after this).

More to the point, however, is a company is under no obligation to sell its product or service to anyone for any reason (outside of protected discriminatory reasons of course).

Why they would decide to not sell their product to certain people is mostly for PR or internal corporate culture reasons. That PR could generate more revenue (certainly more publicity in the case of Patagonia here) than the loss of not selling to those customers. Could also be they’re trying to align themselves with what they find the shared ideology of their main customer base is.

In short, there are many reasons a company would do this. It’s perfectly legal and totally fine to not sell to certain people as the market will ultimately decide your fate.


I would go one step further and say that if you’re not a serious mountaineer or outdoorsman you have no business wearing Patagonia. That means no newsreaders on location should be sporting that label. Brooke Shields’ manager once sent Patagonia a bunch of photos of Brooke wearing their stuff in the hopes of getting free publicity from their ultra hip gloriously artistic catalogues which were always more than mere catalogues, and were in fact manifestos of Yves Chouinard’s rock climbing lifestyle philosophy. They were and are bibles for rich kids of the elite. Patagonia rejected Brooke out of hand at the height of her Blue Lagoon fame.

And Yves can afford to reject if he pleases. He’s gone from being a penniless rock climber proto hippie hammering arrowhead pitons in his tiny back yard forge to being a billionaire. He didn’t just create a huge business; with Royal Robbins his best friend (creator and owner of North Face) he created an entire life style that simply didn’t exist before.

And Patagonia wasn’t his only business creation; he also created Black Diamond one of the best creators of high tech rock climbing mountaineering gear. He was forced to sell it when an investment banker’s wife sued the company in the mountaineering death of her husband. It was a debatable claim that Black Diamond was culpable but she got a $10 million settlement and he was force to sell it off to pay.



Yvon and Royal pioneered the non destructive rock climbing cam device with Black Diamond. With nylon webbing attached to one of these cam devices firmly inserted into a crack in a cliff face you could dangle an entire truck off that thing.