A while ago, people have been laughing at me buying Patagonia. They say words like Patabronia or Patagucci to me, almost every time when they see me wear it. I never want to have conflicts with anyone, so I just carry on, but it really makes me sad inside.
But why I am being judged? I have no idea what these references coming from. So I took the time to understand these references. Apparently in the United States, Patagonia has been attached to these labels because they used to sell custom clothing to evil hedge funds, Wall Street, and Silicon Valley. Patagonia has fixed its corporate sales program now. Patagonia is a certified B corporation since 2012, and now Patagonia only wants to work with more B corporations. There is no problem.
My first encounter of Patagonia was in 2017. A Japanese coworker wear only Patagonia, literally everything, from hat to socks, underwear, everything. I did not ask him why at the time. I just thought he really likes Patagonia. I learned later on he really cares about environment and a very nice, yet stubborn Japanese guy with very strong beliefs.
Then one day, I watched this amazing interview, Yvon Chouinard: Founding Patagonia & Living Simply (Full Program):
This one from 2005 is even better, The Education of a Reluctant Businessman with Yvon Chouinard:
Basically a summary of his book: Let my people go surfing.
- 79% of work force and high level up are woman.
- 1st onsite childcare center ever in America
- Work life balance pioneer
- Toyota 5 whys got Patagonia moved away from industrial grown cotton to organic alternative
- Natural growth instead of hyper growth in order to be sustainable
- Nature loves diversity, dislike monoculture
7 years later, he also published another book: the responsible company.
These made me fell in love with Yvon and what Patagonia is doing. Their founding story and stories we wear are truly inspiring. Then I started to buy some Patagonia stuff. Also it is really comfortable, isn't it?
There are people always telling me that things should not cost more than its material. But if you pay the maker reasonable wage, use environment friendly material, make products with ethics. Of course it's gonna be more expensive than as if you get all the materials yourself (and you have to spend time making it). Also we are not just paying the cost of material, also the years of their creative work put into making it.
Patagonia's core values:
Build the best product.
Cause no unnecessary harm.
Use business to protect nature.
Not bound by convention.
Cause no unnecessary harm. They realize there is no way to cause no harm, because the law of thermodynamics, so they put a lot of efforts into causing much less harm.
Patagonia's mission statement:
We’re in business to save our home planet.
Let's be part of that business.
Thanks for reading,