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