If you were born for adventures and hiking, we are sure you would care about nature. And most likely you would try to protect the environment. By getting fair trade outdoor clothing for example? Learn about all the initiatives that Patagonia is kicking in.
The founder of Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard, always thought of his company as an experiment by making decisions based on quality and responsibility. Now it is not an experiment anymore.
Patagonia is out to change the fashion industry, but most of all are passionate about improving the environment. In good or bad times, Patagonia sticks to their culture to make decisions – giving priority to what matters the most. For this brand, healthcare, childcare, training, and development are more important than cutting corners. Because that would affect the most vulnerable people as well as the planet. They have an unconventional approach, where any company would go left, Patagonia would go right.
Patagonia has always produced good quality clothes. This means a garment piece would have a very extended life-cycle compared to other cheaper and lower quality brands. This is already an impact to consider, as more products sales mean increase of waste and emissions from producing, shipping and packaging.
“Don’t buy this jacket” campaign
In 2011 Patagonia run a four-page campaign on the newspapers with a front-page ad saying “Don’t buy this jacket.”
In there, they specified that “the journey of this jacked from its origin to our warehouse generated nearly 20 pounds of carbon dioxide, 24 times the weight of the finished product” and “this jacket comes with an environmental cost higher than its price”. It finished with “don’t buy what you don’t need; think twice before you buy anything”.
More sales for Patagonia would mean growth for the business. Their success would mean a decline in the very nature that their customers seek to experience and Patagonia is willing to protect. As we mentioned, this is essential to their business culture.
Another outstanding quality of the brand is to make high-quality stuff that lasts for years and can be repaired, so you don’t have to buy more of it.
According to this, Patagonia launched a second campaign called “The Worn Wear.” It consisted of a caravan that would drive around the USA claiming that “Repairing clothes is a radical act.” They had the chance to tell stories such as the one from 20-year-old surf shorts which were “better than new.” Through this program, Patagonia and its lifelong customers had the chance to celebrate the stories they wear, keep their gear in action longer as well as finding an easy way to recycle the garments when they were beyond repair.
Their honesty has captivated the loyalty of their customers.
By proclaiming being anti-consumer and pro-environmentalist the company has still managed to increase its revenues to 40% in just two years of running the “Don’t buy this jacket ad.”
Another remarkable fact of Patagonia is that the brand hates the word “consumer”; they call it “customers.” And they focus on those customers that recognize the impact of their consumption. As the VP, Environmental Affair Patagonia, Rick Ridgeway says at the Netflix documentary “The True Cost” “Without the reduction of consumption we won’t collectively find a solution to the problem.”
If you love the brand’s philosophy, then seek for their Fair Trade Certified™ styles; every purchase sends more money back to factory workers that can be allocated as cash, used for collective social investment or both.
If you are wondering what Fairtrade is about, check out one of our latest articles!
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