September 7, 2009

Uh, nevermind.

Patagonia partnership with SIGG ixnayed after BPA controversy.

[Read Simran Sethi’s coverage here]

While it’s still true that 0% contamination of BPA in your SIGG bottle if you didn’t dent it, just about everyone dents their SIGGS repeatedly. So if you’ve got a pre-August 2008 SIGG, get rid of it. (Not sure how to get rid of it best, sure it’s not recyclable. Anyone?). ~ ed.

Excerpt re the recent announcement:

Trouble continues to mount for the metal reusable water bottle maker SIGG Inc. with outdoor gear company Patagonia announcing Tuesday an end to a co- branding partnership that brought together two iconic companies linking health- conscious consumerism with environmentalism.

“They told us there was no BPA in the liner of the bottle, notice the key word there,” Rick Ridgeway, Patagonia’s vice-president of environmental initiatives, said in an interview.

The announcement from the outdoor clothing and gear company, dubbed the coolest company on the planet by Fortune Magazine, comes a week after SIGG’s chief executive officer issued a public apology to customers.

Steven Wasik’s first letter, released days before the apology, set off an online firestorm among customers when he revealed that the epoxy liner in SIGG’s aluminum bottles contained trace amounts of bisphenol A until the company made the switch in August 2008 to its “BPA-free EcoCare liner.”

Older inventory remained on some store shelves in Canada until the revelation.

The question now is whether an apologetic SIGG, newly committed to transparency, can repair its brand.

SIGG was one of many vendors Patagonia vetted in 2005 after the company decided it would no longer sell any consumer products with bisphenol A because of health concerns.

“We took them at their word,” said Ridgeway of SIGG’s BPA-free claim and declaration that technical details were proprietary to a third-party producer of its liner formula.

SIGG, which set itself apart from the competition with stylish designs and environmental pitches like “Simply Eco Logical,” was one of the big winners in the anti-plastics push that took off a few years ago.

In addition to selling Patagonia-branded SIGG bottles and other SIGG bottles at its retail stores, Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard recently did a photo shoot holding a SIGG bottle for an upcoming magazine advertisement to promote 1% for the Planet – an alliance of businesses that donate at least one per cent of their annual revenues to environmental organizations worldwide...for the rest.

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