Patagonia, one of the world’s largest retailers of outdoor clothing, is suing Nordstrom for the distribution and sale of counterfeit versions of their clothing found in Nordstrom Rack, the department store’s off-price chain of stores.
Patagonia grosses an estimated $1.5 billion in revenue each year. They are one of the most popular brands for outdoor sport enthusiasts and nature-loving folks, not only because of the quality of their products, but also because of their open commitment to saving the planet with their 1% for the Planet promise, which gives 1% of all sales back to the earth.
In a shocking transition to retirement, owner Yvon Chouinard donated Patagonia to fight the climate crisis. Now, 100% of profits go to the Holdfast Collective, “a nonprofit dedicated to fighting the environmental crisis and defending nature.”
Patagonia and Nordstrom were long-time partners before the counterfeiting scandal. The images displayed on the court case paperwork show non-matching tags on supposedly identical products, with one reading cotton and one reading polyester.
Patagonia has a reputation for their quality and strict brand values, producing their garments Fair Trade with humane working conditions in their factories. These counterfeits do not uphold their rigorous standards. The lawsuit states in detail that these fake products directly harm the brand’s carefully crafted reputation.
Adding to the controversy, Patagonia had already halted the brand partnership and no longer sold through Nordstrom, but Nordstrom boldly continued to sell Patagonia garments without permission. The complaint from the outdoor brand also describes a lengthy list of trademarks that Nordstrom used without permission.
Unfortunately, Nordstrom isn’t the only company trying to get a bit of cash off Patagonia’s impressive products. Last year, the company also took Gap Inc. to court over trademark infringement for their Patagonia fleece designs.
Have you been duped by a Patagonia dupe? Tell us in the comments!