Why all brands should look up to Patagonia
Like a lot of 9-5 grinders, most days I endure a horrid 2-hour commute to work, there and back, meaning more often than not I can be in the car for 4 hours a day. After spending the best part of 5 years doing this commute, it wasn't until the beginning of 2017 where I thought surely there is a productive way of using this wasted time, and this is where the podcast addiction began.
It was a standard Tuesday, standard British weather, and I switched on to one of my regular podcasts called 'How I built this' by NPR (highly recommended for aspiring entrepreneurs). This particular episode was the story of the man who founded Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard, whose story really gripped me...
Now I won't spoil it for you, that's what the podcast is for, but what struck me the most is how unique this guy is. Every interview, blog post, news article I read about successful entrepreneurs mostly contain a common thread. It could be sources of motivation, humble beginnings, experiencing failure, or like Chouinard, just producing something for the market that they can't find elsewhere. But what is really interesting, is that Yvon has developed such a unique business philosophy over time it made me think, why the hell aren't other brands doing the same as well?
Since it's inception, growth at Patagonia was at such a rate where it was actually unsustainable, and most would think, why would you want to slow down? But human consumption on our planet continues to be one of the single biggest threats, so Patagonia took a stance and began to sell us what we really NEED, rather than what we WANT.
Their worn wear program:
"One of the most responsible things we can do as a company is to make high-quality stuff that lasts for years and can be repaired, so you don’t have to buy more of it. The Worn Wear program celebrates the stories we wear, keeps your gear in action longer and provides an easy way to recycle Patagonia garments when they’re beyond repair."
The materials and technology they use, all recycled, all organic, all sourced ethically.
They are a sustainable company, building the best product whilst causing no unnecessary harm, who use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.
It's about time other brands followed suit.