Patagonia’s mission is “we’re in business to save our home planet. Its core values are to build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to protect nature, and not be bound by convention.
Breaking down Patagonia’s mission statement
Patagonia was founded in 1973 by Yvon Chouinard who started his company to sell handmade climbing equipment to mountaineers.
While the product line has since expanded to include athletic wear, backpacks, sleeping bags, camping food, and associated items, Patagonia’s environmental values have endured.
These values were solidified in late 2018 in response to the increasing urgency of climate change.
To reflect this situation, Chouinard and CEO Rose Marcario altered the company’s mission statement to a simple but poignant phrase: “We’re in business to save our home planet.”
Patagonia’s mission is supported by numerous initiatives and core values, and some of these are explained in the following sections.
Product durability and recycling
For Patagonia, one of the best ways to reduce its ecological impact is to sell durable items that last generations or which can also be recycled.
Through the Worn Wear program, the company encourages consumers to repair damaged items instead of throwing them out and buying replacements.
To that end, the company has created over 100 repair and care guides for Patagonia items and even provides instructions on how to fix old vacuum cleaners and bicycles.
If the repair job is deemed too complex for DIY, consumers can take their items to a Repair Hub and have zippers, rips, tears, snaps, or pulls repaired for free. Alternatively, customers can mail their items to any Patagonia store.
Patagonia is also moving toward 100% renewable and recycled raw materials to reduce carbon emissions. At present, 69% of raw materials are sourced with recycled inputs, while a further 18% are renewable.
Sustainable business practices
The company understands that everything it makes has an impact on the planet in one way or another. Some of the sustainable business practices that support its mission statement include:
- Materials – 100% of the virgin cotton used in Patagonia clothing is grown organically. The company also uses recycled nylon, polyester, down, wool, cashmere, and a natural, petroleum-free rubber used in surf wear that replaces neoprene.
- Animal welfare – similarly, 100% of the down used in jackets and sleeping bags is responsibly sourced. The company does not use angora, fur, or exotic animal skin and only sources wool from farmers who display responsible land management practices.
- Supplier transparency – unlike competitors, Patagonia shares information about its supply chains with consumers so they know where and how their clothes are made. The company is also working with partners to develop fair trade practices for suppliers in disadvantaged countries.
Using business to protect nature
Patagonia has directed 1% of all sales toward the protection and restoration of the natural environment since 1985. The program, known as “1% for the Planet”, has awarded over $140 million to businesses, individuals, and environmental groups involved in solving Earth’s most pressing issues.
Further to this program is the 1% for the Planet Impact Fund at National Philanthropic Trust. Here, consumers can also donate money to climate-focused investments that strive to build a more sustainable world.
- Patagonia’s mission statement reflects a fundamental need to save the Earth with sustainable products, values, and initiatives.
- Product durability and recycling are perhaps two of the most important ways Patagonia can reduce its environmental impact. The company also has strict animal welfare, fair work, and supplier transparency standards.
- What’s more, Patagonia donates 1% of all sales revenue to a raft of initiatives and organizations that are involved in sustainability projects. Consumers can also donate philanthropically to climate-focused investments.
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