The Patagonia Better Sweater Fleece Vest is by far one of the brand’s most popular products. It’s also one of its most divisive. Over the last five years, the vest became a must-have accessory for Wall Street workers in Manhattan’s financial district to tech bros in Silicon Valley.
The company says at its height, it was fielding 60 requests for co branded vests, a day. But Patagonia, a private company that values environmental and political activism, never sought out to become the go-to status symbol for some of the biggest and richest corporations in the world.
The combination of hefty price tags and a professional-class of super fans earned it the nickname “Patagucci” prompting it to reevaluate which companies it allowed to put a moniker on the vest as a way to ensure their partners align with their progressive culture.
Patagonia even discouraged consumers from partaking in Black Friday sales and snuck political messages into the tags of its clothing. Here’s how Patagonia’s anti consumption philosophy helped it build a billion dollar outdoor brand.