Patagonia. A name known to most that is synonymous with hefty price tags and outdoor wear. But there is a lot more to this company; They aren’t just about clothes and profits. Since Day One, Patagonia has been dedicated to better business… In the truest sense of the phrase. They want their company to better our communities and our environment, and their mission is working. What’s so special about this thought leader?
They don’t hide behind their name.
Patagonia is all about transparency. This is why they created The Footprint Chronicles, a global map that highlights their factories and textile mills. From North Carolina to China, Patagonia provides background information on every step of their supply chain. In a commercial landscape where the manufacturing process is often hidden from view, this enforces accountability for the company. If every business followed these practices, we could radically decrease unfair working conditions and environmental concerns all over the planet.
Patagonia is always striving to use sustainable or recycled materials. But if there are any environmental concerns, they are the first people to tell their customers (take a look at this Bloomberg video to learn more).
The Common Threads Initiative transforms our relationship with “stuff.”
Clothing should not have a year-long lifespan. This is why Patagonia created the Common Threads Initiative, which joins consumers and the company together in a pledge to “Reduce, Repair, Reuse, Recycle, and Reimagine.” If your jacket gets a hole, Patagonia will fix it for you (trust me – I have done this dozens of times). If you no longer want an article of clothing, they provide a platform for you to sell your unwanted item. If it’s worn beyond the point of reselling, Patagonia will take it back and recycle it for new clothing. This is manufacturing reimagined.. And it works.
They want to transform the global marketplace.
Patagonia taps into its 40 years in the business to explore how businesses all over the work can improve the marketplace. They are a notoriously campaign-heavy company, pouring their profits into research on sustainability and environmentalism. Their current campaign? The Responsible Economy, where they examine the habits of the modern shopper. The findings are pretty scary.
They transform profits into social good.
Every year, Patagonia gives millions of dollars to provide grant funding to organizations around the country (you can take a look here). They also recently unveiled $20 Million and Change, an internal fund that invests in startups that seek to make our planet a healthier place.
The price tags are hefty. But there is something to be said to a jacket that will last a decade, manufactured by a company that pledges to use profits to make our earth more sustainable. We have entered an era where we need to be thoughtful consumers. And this kind of global change starts with us – the individuals.