In the news today is a hilarious case of lack of self-awareness and hypocrisy coming from The North Face, a popular outdoor clothing company. The North Face refused to make jackets for an oil and gas firm, saying the company’s products “didn’t align with its brand standards.” This shows an amazing lack of awareness because their outdoor wear fabrics are almost entirely created from oil.
Synthetic fabrics, for instance, acetate, acrylic, nylon, polyester, and spandex are all made from petroleum. In fact, a whopping two-thirds of our clothing is made from petroleum derived synthetic fibers.
The North Face’s faux pas started last year when the company refused to manufacture jackets for Texas oil and gas company, Innovex Downhole Solutions. Innovex was looking for a Christmas gift for its employees. In December 2020, they ordered jackets with an Innovex logo from The North Face, as they had done previously.
According to Innovex CEO Adam Anderson:
“They told us we did not meet their brand standards,” Anderson said. “We were separately informed that what that really meant is was that we were an oil and gas company.”
The North Face’s rank hypocrisy has been called out in a short video by Chris Wright, CEO of Liberty Oilfield Services:
“I went through North Face’s website of wide-ranging products, and I failed to find a single product that wasn’t made out of oil and gas,” Wright says in the video. “The great majority of North Face’s products, jackets, backpacks, outdoor pants, shirts, shoes, hats, etc. are predominantly made out of the oil and gas that we so proudly produce.”
Wright points out approximately 60 percent of clothing produced globally is made using oil and gas. In The North Face’s case the number is likely 90 percent or more due to the fact that outdoor clothing is heavily dependent on synthetic fabrics for water resistance, breathability, and insulation.
Petrochemicals are also used to make backpacks, climbing ropes, hydration bottles, and other The North Face products, Wright says. Additionally, oil and gas powers factories that manufacture The North Face’s products, and the ships, trucks, planes, and trains used to ship their products worldwide use oil and gas for fuel.
“North Face is not only an extraordinary customer of the oil and gas industry,” Wright says. “They are also a partner in the oil and gas industry.”
In a letter penned to North Face, which has gone viral, Innovex CEO Adam Anderson said this:
“The irony in this statement is your jackets are made from the oil and gas products the hardworking men and women of our industry produce. I think this stance by your company is counterproductive virtue signaling, and I would appreciate you re-considering this stance. We should be celebrating the benefits of what oil and gas do to enable the outdoors lifestyle your brands embrace. Without Oil and Gas there would be no market for nor ability to create the products your company sells.”
The North Face is either clueless about how the fabrics they use are made, or the company wanted to virtue signal to its nature loving customers hoping they wouldn’t realize that the clothing that they wear is created from petroleum.
In either case, it is turning into a major public relations fiasco for The North Face. This case provides a lesson for other companies considering embracing climate alarmism. Companies living in petroleum-based houses, shouldn’t start flame wars.