A company in the oil and gas industry, Innovex Downhole Solutions, wanted to get its employees The North Face jackets with the company logo on them for Christmas. When the company reached out to The North Face, however, their request was denied based on their industry, the CEO said.
CBS7 reported that Innovex CEO Adam Anderson said the company that would provide the jackets didn’t want to support the oil and gas industry, just like it wouldn’t support the porn or tobacco industries.
“They told us we did not meet their brand standards,” Anderson told the outlet. “We were separately informed that what that really meant was that we were an oil and gas company.”
Anderson noted to the outlet that it was ironic for North Face to deny them the jackets considering the oil and gas industry makes it possible for the outerwear company to make their products.
“The recreational activities they encourage are all ones that require hydrocarbons to make the products, to provide the means to get to whatever activity folks want to perform,” Anderson said. “It’s just so intertwined with everything that we do.”
Anderson also sent The North Face a four-page letter on LinkedIn explaining how the oil and gas industry has helped the world and reduced carbon dioxide emissions over the last decade, including graphs showing the decline in climate-related deaths.
“Low-cost, reliable energy is critical to enable humans to flourish. Oil and natural gas are the two primary resources humanity can use to create low-cost and reliable energy. The work of my company and our industry more broadly enables humans to have a quality of life and life expectancy that were unfathomable only a century ago,” Anderson wrote.
He explained how his industry makes life in the developed world possible, and how those without access to electricity live shorter, more difficult lives. He laid all this out before explaining to Steve Rendle, the CEO of VF Corporation, which owns The North Face, why he was writing him the letter. He described his company’s experience with trying to order North Face jackets for his employees only to be turned away due to their industry.
“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,” Anderson concluded.
CBS 7 said it “reached out to The North Face for comment via phone, email, Twitter, and Facebook, but they have not responded.”
Anderson also told the outlet that he hopes the letter can start a dialogue with The North Face.
“I think there’s a view out there in the world that’s increasing that says, ‘Oil and gas are bad,’” he said. “And I just fundamentally disagree with that view in every dimension.”