Updated: Apr 25, 2019
By Hannah Elauria
“We can't bring ourselves to knowingly make a mediocre product. And we cannot avert our eyes from the harm done, by all of us, to our one and only home.” - Yvon Chouinard
The outdoor adventure industry is continuously making waves in the consumer product industry. These adventure-driven companies are tackling both economic and social challenges which face them and the world they choose to have a relationship with. With so many different brands in the market, it’s more important now than ever for consumers to know who they are financially supporting when purchasing a product. Transparency is slowly getting more and more important to brands, especially with the growth of brands on social media platforms. One brand on our favorites list has been ahead of the socially conscious curve for a while now, and their impact on the world is consistently noticed worldwide.
Patagonia is an outdoor clothing company, founded by Yvon Chouinard, headquartered in Ventura, California. Chouinard started his journey as a climber in 1953. Falling in love with the sport, he later became invested in creating reusable hardware for climbers. As the company transitioned from mainly mountain climbing gear to general outdoor gear and clothing, Patagonia ensured that they kept their moral obligations in mind. Their environmental and social impact has been a priority from the beginning, even when their profits did not seem large enough to support such decisions.
“We have never had to make a "break" from the traditional corporate culture that makes businesses hidebound and inhibits creativity. For the most part, we simply made the effort to hold to our own values and traditions.” - Yvon Chouinard
What sets Patagonia apart from the rest is their holistic relationship with the products they provide for their consumers. From environmental and social impact to ethical supply chains, the outdoor company has made it their mission to be “in business to save our home planet.”
What exactly does Patagonia do to help better the world surrounding them?
The Footprint Chronicles - Their website provides an interactive map of their footprint across the world — from textile mills, to factories and farms. These manufacturing decisions range from: use of only organic cotton, fair trade certifications, ethical supply chain conditions, proper living wages, etc.
Wornwear.com - A partnership with Wornwear.com gives consumers the option to purchase refurbished products or donate old gear for repair or recycling. This decision effectively tackles the “wear-it-once and throw it away” culture.
Their Ventura, CA headquarters has been updated to improve its environmental efficiency.
Their Reno, NV Service Center cost the company more to build, but it ultimately was paid back to the company with energy savings up to 35%. In fact, this center earned a gold level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the US Green Building Council.
Energy Use:Their headquarters, service center and retail stores are retrofitted with solar panels, clean ventilation, LED lights, metering equipment, etc.
Storm-Water: In their Ventura headquarters, Patagonia has installed a bioswale, which drains stormwater and releases it into the soil which naturally filters it before flowing into a storm drain.
Landscaping:Their Ventura headquarters has nurtured greenery which were planted several decades ago. In addition, they provide outdoor employee recreational areas and an herb garden for foraging for meals.
Employee Transportation: Patagonia has a “Drive-Less” program which provides monetary incentives to carpooling or commuting to work through means other than driving a car. In Ventura, the company has installed electric vehicle chargers for both employees and the public.
These are only some of the amazing things Patagonia is employing to ensure their company is bettering the environment around them, their employees and the world overall. These perks are enough to make anyone want to quit their job and apply to be part of this stellar company. These corporate decisions are the type of decisions which mark companies as unique, innovate and inspiring brands and set them apart from the rest. Patagonia is continuously paving the way to a better Planet Earth by focusing on long-term benefits over short-term gains, and we at Lum A Terra are excited to learn and reap the benefits.
There's just something amazing about being able to experience the beauty of nature while donning a (beautifully-made) garment that represents a brand like Patagonia — a brand that supports the planet that we're lucky enough to call home. I've even been lucky enough to travel to some incredible places with my trusty Patagonia Torrentshell Jacket, (which I highly recommend if you're in the market for a windbreaker you can easily layer with). This durable puppy has been with me all throughout the coast of California, the Pacific Northwest, the Rockies in Banff, and countless more adventures in the future. Thank you Mr. Chouinard, for representing an impeccable company that we believe will save this planet.