The oil and gas industry is launching a campaign against North Face over the outdoor retailer’s refusal to associate with oil and gas despite heavily relying on the industry to make its products.
A group of oil and gas companies led by Chris Wright, the CEO of Liberty Oilfield Services in Denver, is mounting a billboard and internet campaign mocking North Face for its reliance on oil and gas while distancing itself from the industry, according to Fox Business.
The campaign, titled “Thank you, North Face,” consists of seven billboards being erected around North Face’s parent company, VF Corporation in Denver, that say “That North Face puffer looks great on you. And it was made from fossil fuels.” Wright also recorded a video explaining North Face’s reliance on the oil and gas industry at thankyounorthface.com.
Wright came up with the idea for the campaign after North Face refused to provide jackets emblazoned with the logo of Texas-based Innovex Downhole Solutions as part of a company order of Christmas gifts for its employees last year. The retailer reportedly turned down the request because it did not want an oil and gas company logo on its products.
“They told us we did not meet their brand standards,” Innovex CEO Adam Anderson said at the time. “We were separately informed that what that really meant is was that we were an oil and gas company.”
The outdoor industry is heavily reliant on products from the oil and gas industry, from the petrochemicals that are used in most outdoor products to the fuel that sustains travel and outdoor cooking. Wright said that North Face’s refusal to make the custom jackets for Innovex was “crazy hypocrisy,” according to Fox Business.
Wright explained North Face’s apparent hypocrisy in detail in a video online, claiming that North Face products are likely comprised 90% or more of products from the oil and gas industry. He said:
North Face is truly an extraordinary customer of the oil and gas industry. I’m Chris Wright, CEO of Liberty Energy. North Face recently came out against my industry, even refusing to let one of my competitors put their company logo on a North Face jacket. 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. 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. Globally, 60% of all clothing fibers are made out of oil and gas. For North Face, it is likely 90% or more simply because they make premium, high-performance products.
But our customer relationship goes further than simply supplying North Face with copious raw material. Their vast manufacturing, distribution, and retailing networks are also large consumers of gasoline, diesel, natural gas, propane, jet fuel, etc. But, heck, I could say that about any manufacturing company. Perhaps they went the extra mile with those outdoor natural gas and propane fireplaces at headquarters and the private jet terminal. Again, many others check those boxes. Where North Face does go the extra mile is their focus on the outdoor industry, an industry that only came into existence because of oil and gas.
Without the enormous leap in human health and wealth, catalyzed by the arrival of oil and gas, there was no spare time or wealth necessary to pursue such luxury endeavors as outdoor sports. Escaping the modern world to the great outdoors typically begins with modern energy and transportation whether by car, bus, train, or plane. Our outdoor choices keep expanding because we now have all these fabulous outdoor toys made of oil and gas, like skis, snowboards, wakeboards, bikes, kayaks, canoes, sailboats, hot air balloons, climbing gear, ropes, etc. We can spend days in the outdoors with our lightweight backpacks, tents, sleeping bags, cooking with our backpacking stoves. Climbing the world’s highest mountains wasn’t even imagined before oil and gas for all the reasons that I’ve already mentioned. Plus, there is no water high on mountains. Fortunately, we can carry canisters of white gas or other petroleum fuels to melt snow off glaciers for drinking water and cooking, even at 26,000 feet elevation.
I could go on and on about the beauty of wilderness, the joy of being in the backcountry, the character-building experiences made possible, the team adventures, and serenity of the great outdoors – all only possible thanks to oil and gas. So North Face is not only an extraordinary customer of the oil and gas industry, they’re also a partner with the oil and gas industry in bringing the great outdoors within reach of so many. So thank you, North Face, and you’re welcome. Onward and upward.
The Daily Wire is one of America’s fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.