Patagonia Inc. is an American clothing company that was founded by Yvon Chouinard in 1973 in California. It markets and sells outdoor clothing. The manufacturing is done by contracted factories spread across 16 countries. The clothing is high-quality that requires very little rework.
Yvon Chouinard is an accomplished rock climber and started by selling hand-forged mountain climbing gear in 1957. He is also an environmentalist, kayaker, surfer, falconer, activist, and a billionaire. Patagonia considers itself an activist company and commits 1% of its total sales to environmental groups through “One Percent for the Planet”, an organisation that encourages businesses to commit 1% of their annual net revenue to non-profit charity organisations focused on conservation and sustainability. In 2016, Patagonia pledged 100% of sales from Black Friday to environmental organisations. It sold $10 million, much more than the expected $2 million on that day.
In late 2018, Patagonia announced that it is donating the $10 million savings it received from tax cuts on account of reduction of tax rates from 37% to 21% to causes supporting climate change. Patagonia is also known for its worker-friendly maternity leave policies and Fair Trade Certified range of clothes. The Fair Trade Seal shows customers that one cares about an ethical supply chain. In April 2020, Patagonia announced that it will no longer make customised uniforms such as fleece vests and other clothing for financial companies and other non-planet-forward businesses and would instead shift the priority of its corporate sales programmes towards mission-driven eco-friendly and sustainability-focused companies.
Its brand promotes anti-consumerism, environmental causes, and fair trade and yet has been very successful in proving that one can make profits by doing good and being good. Other than the fact that its products are high-quality, customers get attracted to Patagonia for the core values that define the brand and the organisation. People are attracted to the larger cause of environment protection and sustainability. Patagonia also walks the talk. Its words are followed by genuine concern and action. It does so many small things that reinforce the idea of sustainability and non-consumerism. It encourages customers to repair what they wear instead of disposing them. The “Worn Wear” events across the country encourage customers to repair their products. Customers can pick up a used garment, repair it, and keep it for themselves. Alternatively, they can get their Patagonia products and get them repaired free of charge. Patagonia operates the largest garment repair facility in North America, and it had done 40,000 repairs in the first few months of 2020.