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Our Position on Co-Branding

June 14, 2021

The North Face is an outdoor company with a deep connection to wild places. Everything we do is with an appreciation of how the world’s natural environment enables outdoor activities that enrich people’s lives.  

We’ve recently been criticized for how we choose to manage requests from other companies to produce co-branded clothing and equipment. We want to provide some context about how our business works and clarify this position. 

We sell our product to our consumers directly, both online and through our own stores, and through third-party retailers. We also have a co-branding business unit, which allows outside companies and organizations to place their logo next to ours on The North Face gear for various uses such as company gifts, as an example. Letting another company put its logo on our products and essentially affiliating our brand with theirs isn’t a choice we take lightly, which is why these inquiries are thoughtfully considered with our brand DNA and long-standing outdoor values in mind. 

We manage co-branding requests on a case-by-case basis. There are times we choose not to sell product to certain organizations, from a variety of industries, with the intent of placing their logo next to ours. This includes companies in the oil and gas industry.  

These are practical business decisions made to protect the integrity of our brand. They are never made with the intent to pass judgement on others.  

We fully acknowledge and recognize the integral role the global oil and gas industry plays in powering our business and our world. We are currently reliant on this industry for many of the products we make, fuel for when we travel, and for the energy we need to operate our business. We applaud any efforts currently being made within the oil and gas sector to pursue policies designed to reduce their carbon footprint and invest in clean energy technologies, because we understand how the long-term use of fossil fuels is deteriorating the health of our planet. 

This is why we all need to focus on shared solutions for a cleaner future. It will take all of us coming together to tackle the critical issue of climate change.

At The North Face, we’re working hard to do our part.  

Just 10 years ago, 6% of our synthetic materials were recycled. By 2020, that number increased to 57%, and by Fall 2021, 72% of our synthetic materials will be recycled. By 2025, 100% of our most used apparel materials will be recycled, regenerative or renewable, and we will have eliminated all single-use plastic packaging.

We also remain focused on operations and logistics by being part of RE100, a group of influential businesses committed to 100% renewable electricity; and we’re using aggressive science-based targets to hold ourselves accountable. 

Just as we’ve done for more than 50 years, we’re going to remain focused on continually reducing our environmental impacts to achieve the goals we’ve set for ourselves, all while managing our brand in ways we believe are the best for the long-term health of our business – even if our decisions are unpopular with some.  

As we do, we will partner with likeminded organizations and groups that have already begun, or want to join us, in this fight to protect the planet and move our world forward through innovation and exploration.