When it comes to clothing choices, I am more about comfort and quality than the trend or style. My favorite brand, while admittedly overpriced, is Patagonia. This brand is special to me not only because the high quality of outdoor clothing, but also because of the values that are central to their brand. I am highly passionate about environmental causes and Patagonia is one brand that has made its main image about environmental preservation and the fight against climate change. In recent news, Patagonia closed all of its New York City stores in order for its employees to participate in the Climate Change March. While reading further into this choice, I began to see even more information that I had not known prior to my research for this blog. This one particular page on their site was especially striking to me as it states that consumers should not buy Patagonia products unless they need them. This act of discouraging over consumption was unexpected coming from a pricey retail store that doesn’t necessarily sell fundamental items. They talk further about subsistence living and the concept of a lifestyle that does not revolve around material possessions and excess.
The program of “1% for the Planet” was initiated by the founder of Patagonia and is used to serve as a model for other businesses. The concept of 1% for the Planet commits that Patagonia will give 1% of its sales to support grassroots environmental organizations around the world. This is not just “Greenwashing” as we’ve seen many high profile companies doing. Patagonia commits its time and resources to the causes they are involved in and make an effort to improve the environmental impact of its product supply chain.
Not only are they focused on sustainability, but also Patagonia attempts to commit to full transparency of their working conditions, supply chain, and shortcomings. They focus on sourcing, quality, social and environmental responsibility. The corporation chooses their factories based on their ability to meet the standards set by Patagonia rather than choosing a factory and then attempting to change their conditions. Patagonia is also working with the FLA to increase the wages in their factories. The video included below discusses this process in depth.