Patagonia, Inc. is an American clothing company that markets and sells outdoor clothing. The company was founded by Yvon Chouinard in 1973 and is based in Ventura, California. They have hundreds of stores in 10+ countries across 5 continents, as well as factories in 16 countries.
Patagonia is best in class when it comes to ethical shopping.
Energy and Climate Change
Environment Policy and Reporting
US outdoor clothing brand Patagonia has been named a UN Champion of the Earth, receiving the UN’s top environmental honor for a dynamic mix of policies that has put sustainability at the heart of its successful business model. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) recognized Patagonia in the entrepreneurial vision category. Since Patagonia was founded in 1973 by renowned environmentalist and entrepreneur Yvon Chouinard, it has won plaudits for its sustainable supply chains and advocacy for the environment. The company recently updated its mission statement to reflect the urgency of the environmental crisis: “We’re in business to save our home planet”. From a small company making tools for climbers, Patagonia has become a global leader in sustainability. Its drive to preserve the planet’s ecosystems runs through the entire business from the products made and the materials used to the donation of money to environmental causes.
Nearly 70 percent of Patagonia’s products are made from recycled materials, including plastic bottles, and the goal is to use 100 percent renewable or recycled materials by 2025. The company also uses hemp and organic cotton. It is committed to simplicity, utility and durability — a novel undertaking in a world where fast fashion is the norm for many companies and consumers. Since 1986, the company has contributed at least 1 percent of annual sales to the preservation and restoration of the natural environment. In 2002, Chouinard and Craig Mathews, founder of Blue Ribbon Flies, created a non-profit organization — 1% for the Planet — to encourage other companies to do the same. Thanks to its 1 percent pledge, Patagonia has provided more than US$100 million to grassroot organizations and helped train thousands of young activists over the past 35 years. Source
Community Development and Philanthropy
Human Rights and Supply Chain Management
Compensation and Benefits
Diversity and Labor Rights
Training, Health and Safety
Patagonia’s business model is to create value by selling high-quality, high-utility outdoor products, especially for low impact sports like hiking, climbing, snowboarding, and others. They do this while maintaining corporate ethics that have made it one of the “World’s Most Ethical Companies” for over six years in a row. They root their business model in four core values – quality, environmentalism, integrity, and innovation – all of which are plainly conveyed through their operational model.
Most companies have a specific department responsible for all social responsibility. Oftentimes, this department is one person. In 2014, Patagonia got rid of their large sustainability office, decentralizing all the roles across key departments in the company. Following the policy recommendations of leading ratings and certificate leaders, “sustainability team members with environmental materials expertise were moved into the materials department, and folks with social labor and environmental impact skills are now installed in the design department — advising on the impacts of design choices at the drawing board.”  This decentralized approach ensures that sustainability and corporate responsibility is considered at every step of product development, marketing and sales – truly integrating the Patagonia business model into their operating model. Source
Patagonia’s moral leadership is grounded in the fact that the Chouinards and other top managers draw at least part of their counsel from his nephew Vincent Stanley, the company’s director of philosophy — as outlandish and bizarre as that sounds in the ears of mainline business orthodoxy.Rose Macario, the company’s current CEO and the chief financial officer who helped quadruple Patagonia’s revenue over the past decade, continues to make waves with stands of her own. In April, for example, she announced that Patagonia no longer would make logoed apparel for companies that didn’t share a strong commitment to its environmental and social values.
During an interview earlier this decade at Yale University, Yvon Chouinard acknowledged that he owed an important part of his business vision to E.F. Schumacher’s “Small is Beautiful” — a book by an outside-the-box Oxford economist whose views were drenched in both philosophy and theology. The Chouinards have grounded themselves in ancient soils quite different from those of customary, utilitarian business thinking. By doing so, they have managed to nurture an enterprise that has become a robust tree in the shifting sands of short-termism. As obvious as it may sound, Patagonia remains an archetype of responsibility because it can bite the hand that feeds it. Source
Sustainability News Feed
Jan 13, 2021 — Patagonia also has ambitious goals for the future. They aim to be carbon neutral by 2025, source 100% of their energy from renewable energies, …
Sep 24, 2019 — From a small company making tools for climbers, Patagonia has become a global leader in sustainability. Its drive to preserve the planet’s …
Patagonia’s sustainability strategy: Don’t buy our products … In 2005, Patagonia launched the Common Threads Recycling Program. The goal was to reduce the …