Let the business fallouts begin.
With SIGG finally coming clean about their pre-August 2008 bottles containing the potentially-harmful chemical BPA (bisphenol A), the ramifications of their decision to not let the public know sooner are coming to light. The latest blow from outdoor retail giant Patagonia, who announced today a “termination of all co-branding and co-marketing efforts with SIGG, Inc.” Apparently, the company is feeling the burn after they did thorough research on alternatives to reusable bottles containing BPA, and proudly included SIGG after reassurances from the company that their products were clean.
“We did our homework on the topic of BPA, going all the way back to 2005 when this subject first emerged in discussions in scientific journals” Rick Ridgeway, Patagonia’s VP of environmental initiatives states. “We even arranged for one of the leading scientists on BPA research to come to our company to educate us on the issue. Once we concluded there was basis for concern, we immediately pulled all drinking bottles that contained BPA from our shelves and then searched for a BPA-free bottle. We very clearly asked SIGG if there was BPA in their bottles and their liners, and they clearly said there was not. After conducting such thorough due diligence, we are more than chagrined to see the ad that is appearing in Backpacker, but we also feel that with this explanation our customers will appreciate and understand our position.”
The ad in question shows Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia’s founder and owner, holding a SIGG bottle with a 1% for the Planet logo on it. After hearing about the SIGG BPA scandal, the company attempted to remove the ads from running in Backpacker and Outside magazine — but were only successful with the latter.
Adding insult to injury, Patagonia is returning all SIGG bottles still on their shelves (even those post-August 2008 that do not contain BPA) back to the company for recycling and are searching for a new bottle vendor. If you’ve bought one from them in the past, they will also dish out a full refund.
Yikes. Who’s next?