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Patagonia has informed SNEWS® that it has ended its co-branding and co-marketing relationship with SIGG as a direct result of the news first published by SNEWS on Aug. 19 (click here to read) that SIGG knew its bottles were lined with an epoxy coating that contained BPA prior to August 2008.
In its news release, Patagonia stated, “Bisphenol A is a chemical that Patagonia does not support the use of in consumer products, hence the company has terminated its co-branding relationship with SIGG. In addition, Patagonia is ceasing the sale of SIGG bottles in its stores, as well as through its catalog and on-line distribution.”
Rick Ridgeway, Patagonia’s vice president of environmental initiatives, told SNEWS, “Once we learned through the story in SNEWS that SIGG bottles did indeed contain BPA in the liners, despite prior assurances from the company that it did not, we immediately terminated our agreement with SIGG.
“We also worked quickly to attempt to remove ads from both Outside Magazine and Backpacker magazine that showed Yvon Chouinard holding a SIGG bottle promoting a program where proceeds from sales of bottles would go to 1% for the Planet,” said Ridgeway.
“We managed to get the ads pulled from Outside, but unfortunately, Backpacker’s fall gear guide had already gone to print,” Ridgeway told us. “Which is why we felt it was so important that we go public with this, to make it clear to our customers that our position regarding BPA has never changed and that we feel disappointed we were carrying a product we believed to be BPA-free when, in fact, it was not. We very clearly asked SIGG before we entered into this agreement with them if there was BPA in their bottles and their liners, and they clearly said there was not.”
SNEWS reached Steve Wasik, CEO of SIGG, for comment and he told us, “I am disappointed by it, but I respect Patagonia’s decision. We continue to do our best to clarify our communications on this topic.”
Patagonia representatives told SNEWS that the company remains fully committed to supporting 1% for the Planet in all possible ways — just no longer via the co-promotion with SIGG.
The company is currently accepting returns of any SIGG bottle purchased through Patagonia and is offering its customers full refunds. All unused SIGG inventory on Patagonia retail store shelves is being returned to SIGG to be recycled. Patagonia is currently searching for another bottle vendor.