Editor Note: Adam Anderson, CEO of Innovex Downhole Solutions, wrote the letter below to Steve Rendle, CEO of North Face’s parent, VF Corporation, in response to the latter’s refusal to fulfill a shirt order for the oil and gas company. Mr. Rendle has not responded to date. The title above was chosen by the editors, not the author.
“I think this stance by [North Face to not fulfill our shirt order] is counterproductive virtue signaling…. 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.”
I am proud to be the CEO of Innovex Downhole Solutions. We are an industry leader providing tools and technologies to service oil and natural gas producers worldwide.
Our work enables our customers, employees and communities to thrive. 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.
The merits of low-cost and reliable energy are too numerous to cite in totality but here are a few key highlights:
Hydrocarbons are the only source of supply for the vast majority of our low-cost and reliable energy needs. The Oil and Gas industry is essential to enable human flourishing and no low-cost and reliable alternative exists:
Frequently people are concerned about the impacts of CO2 released from the burning of hydrocarbons. I acknowledge that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and modest increases in CO2 level will have modest impacts on global temperatures. However, I think the climate catastrophists who claim we will endure dramatic negative impacts from these changes are terribly wrong and misunderstand how low cost energy can help us adapt to our ever changing climate:
At this point, you may wonder why I am directing this letter to you, the CEO of one of the world’s largest apparel companies. We recently contacted North Face to inquire about buying jackets with the Innovex logo for all of our employees as Christmas presents. We viewed North Face as a high-quality brand that our employees would value and cherish for years to come. Unfortunately, we were informed that North Face would not sell us jackets because we were an oil and gas services company.
The irony in this statement is that 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 your 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.
I appreciate your consideration and look forward to hearing from you.
Adam Anderson, CEO, Innovex Downhole Solutions, 4310 N Sam Houston Parkway E Houston, TX 77032
4 – OFDA/CRED International Disaster Database, www.emdat.be
Appendix: Snopes Summary
Outdoor clothing company The North Face allegedly refused to fulfill a corporate clothing order to Houston-based oil and gas company Innovex Downhole Solutions due to concerns over the company’s environmental practices.
The accusation was reported by retail and energy publications, as well as a number of local news affiliates around the U.S. On social media, some users pointed out the irony of the alleged refusal, citing the fact that some products made by The North Face contain materials produced by oil and gas companies.
The North Face did not respond to follow-up questions from Snopes as to whether or not the company denied the request on the basis that Innovex is an “oil and gas services company” as its CEO alleged….
The North Face has a history of strong environmental messaging, including its commitment to making products by improving environmental performance and social responsibility in the supply chain. And while The North Face’s parent company, VF Corporation, made a commitment to reduce some greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030, it is true that the company has previously used petroleum-based materials in its products — particularly those that are waterproof — and continued to do so into late 2020.
On one of the company’s Frequently Asked Questions pages, The North Face noted that its DryVent® waterproofing technology utilized a polyurethane coating — a polymer whose principal raw materials come from crude oil and natural gas.
That being said, The North Face has made efforts to reduce its use of oil-derived polyurethane as it moves to waterproof materials made from natural castor oil from beans, which the company said reduces the use of synthetic components by half compared to traditional waterproof materials.