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North Face, two-faced, Gucci and gas....

Like the planet itself, this one's been
heating up for a while....


Last December, US outdoor apparel company North Face turned down an order for 400 branded jackets because, as the CEO for the Texan company in question said, it's an oil & gas services outfit.

North Face's apparent stand against the petroleum sector - already the object of boycott calls from climate change activists and environmentally concerned consumers - continues to cause it grief.

In March 2021, the Colorado Oil & Gas Association bestowed the mock honour of 'first oil-and-gas extraordinary customer' status on North Face. 

"I don’t want to judge them on their words, we’re going to judge them by their actions”

said Chris Wright, CEO of Liberty Oilfield Services at the time.
Wright proceeded to highlight North Face's reliance on petroleum - i.e. the oil & gas industry - for an estimated 90% of its products.

The Louisiana State Legislature followed in Colorado's footsteps with a similar 'extraordinary customer' mock honour for North Face.

And in June 2021, coinciding with the release of Liberty's Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) report, Wright's post-ironic pushback made it across the pond to tickle up UK headlines.
"I see trouble on the way..."

In the midst of it, this early 2021 ad promotes a surprising partnership between North Face and Italian luxury fashion house Gucci.

Set to the upbeat strains of ‘Bad Moon Rising’ by Creedence Clearwater Revival, it took both brands into rarefied air, and the bad moon still appears to be rising as the oil & gas industry fuels the ongoing debate....
Consumer awareness and the risk of strong stances

A growing number of consumers - 91% in this report - state that they are concerned about plastic waste issues. Single-use plastics, produced primarily from fossil fuel-based chemicals, are under particular scrutiny.

Open debate and general awareness are on the rise. Many people are willing to do their part but also expect more action from governments and corporations.

Time will tell as to whether consumers change purchase habits as they/we wise up to issues such as this link between cool clothes and the fossil fuel industry.
What do you reckon?

All good fun and who cares anyway, there's loads of money in
Big Oil and Big Fashion?

Hm, how's this going to sit with consumers who are environmentally aware, fashion conscious, outdoorsy, creature comforts-loving... well, that's already most of us, right?

Hey, you can't please all of the people all of the time!

All true. What we would say is, brands beware of strong stances.


Posted by Tree Elven on 08/08/2021

Keywords: North Face, Gucci ad, North Face x Gucci, social stances by advertisers, advertising and political stances, oil and gas industry, Chris Wright LIberty Oilfieldsy

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