We are in love…with Patagonia. Garance constantly gushes over their incredible ethics and Emily may or may not have considered buying the entire store after her recent Patagonia clad ski trip to Lake Tahoe. Come to think of it, my first creative meeting here with the team consisted mainly of tangents about everyone’s love for the brand.
For me, it all started when I watched their documentary The Fisherman’s Son – a touching and thought provoking piece about environmentalist surfer, Ramon Navarro, and the ancient relationship the people on Chile’s coast have with the ocean. Which I would say is a pretty rare way to become infatuated with a brand, don’t you think? That’s what makes Patagonia so magical. They’ve created this incredible, informative environment for their consumers and are truly reinventing what it means to be socially responsible. So, here is a round up of reasons why WE, as a team, love Patagonia.
1. It was started by a band of climbers & surfers and inspired by their minimalist/ utilitarian approach to style. Founder Yvon Chouinard is a rock climber and alpinist who quickly became a trailblazer in conscious business and a hero among environmentalists. His motto… “don’t buy what you don’t need” is a refreshing and honest look at consumer culture.
2. They donate their time, services, and at least 1% of total sales (a self-proclaimed “Earth Tax”) to hundreds of grassroots environmental activist groups all over the world.
3. They are honest, aware, and open about pollution and their effect on the environment. (Check out their Footprint Chronicles).
4. A large portion of their products are made from recycled materials or raw organic cotton – even their catalogs! Plastic soda bottles are made into fleece jackets, guayule plants are made into wetsuits, and they offer 192 products that are Fair Trade Certified.
5. They fix customers gear for free (under warranty), teach them how to fix broken items, encourage them to purchase quality used clothing or gear, AND they take back all worn out Patagonia products that consumers return to the store at no charge to then recycle them into their supply chain.
6. They support their employees with medical insurance, maternity & paternity leave (yay for mom & dad!), subsidized child-care, and paid internships with non-profit environmental groups.
7. Their internal investment fund Tin Shed Ventures helps like-minded, socially responsible start-up companies use their business to address environmental problems.
8. They use their voice to advocate for systemic change on issues they are genuinely concerned about through their blog The Cleanest Line.
9. Their mission statement: “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”
10. And last, but definitely not least…you can have fun wearing their conscious clothes and you don’t even have to be the outdoorsy type to work it out. You can give it some city flair like Brionka (who, granted, makes just about anything look cool).
Patagonia, we love you, keep doing your thing!