Millions of Torsos Left Cold, Vulnerable as Patagonia Alters Policy on Branded Vest Sales

By Karen Wang

In the beginning, sleepy Northfield seemed to have survived—but the cracks are beginning to show now.

News broke on Wednesday, April 3, that the ethical clothing company Patagonia will no longer produce branded vests for corporate clients with whom they do not feel “ethically aligned.” Mass chaos arose on the West and East Coasts as fintech—that is, “finance” and “technology”—hearts shattered.

New, un-vested Silicon Valley startups shuttered doors as employees working in highly air-conditioned incubators slipped into hibernation due to lack of core heat. At a Finance Bros Anonymous session in Manhattan, a Wall Street intern became a billionaire on the spot as senior bros violently bid on his branded vest. Chants of “Supply and demand! Supply and demand!” rang for hours.

“That kind of bro-y stuff—we don’t really do that at Carleton,” scoffed an Economics and Political Science double major. He claimed to be an owner of both the Better Sweater and Micro Puff vests. He also claimed to be “really into philosophical debates.”

“I’m only wearing this vest right now because it keeps my core warm and my arms liberated. My core gets cold easily. Like all the time,” he continued without prompting.

“Besides, these vests are super ethical and sustainable. It’s a perfect example of corporate social responsibility. That’s really my main priority because I’m a futurist.”

He was updating his LinkedIn profile picture—to a vest-bearing snap by a lake—when panic set in: “Will Goldman Sachs or JPMorgan be offended that the makers of my super ethical vest called them out for, you know, being moral scum? What about McKinsey?”

“I need to get an internship. This is a matter of my future,” he sputtered. “Didn’t I tell you that I’m a futurist?” He scrolled through his camera roll seeking a non-vested photo. None were found.

“It’s not fair,” he wailed. “My core is always cold.”

Then he faded into the ether.

In an unlit room across campus, a group of recently declared Environmental Studies majors paced back and forth.

“We are okay. We are safe,” they whispered. “We are the target consumer base.”

They read the press release again: “Patagonia is ‘reluctant to co-brand’ with organizations they find ‘ecologically damaging.’”

Ecologically damaging. The fact that Carleton has yet to divest loomed in their collective consciousness. Excessive disposable cup waste and incorrect tri-bin sorting beat them down further.

“Do we need to drop out of Carleton? Why have we been forsaken?” they cried.

But there was no answer. Only the solace that their vests were filled with Advanced Global Traceable Down.