Patagonia, Inc

By Ottman, Jacquelyn A. | Journal of Business Administration and Policy Analysis, Annual 1999 | Go to article overview

Patagonia, Inc


Ottman, Jacquelyn A., Journal of Business Administration and Policy Analysis


At Patagonia, Inc., headquartered in Ventura, California, catering to Alpine and other outdoor enthusiasts means much more than just designing and selling the highest-quality outerwear. It means making a deep commitment to pressing environmental and social concerns as well. By developing an environmentally conscious corporate culture and supporting the environmental causes and groups its customers care most about, Patagonia has hit upon a winning business formula that sets it apart from all other outerwear marketers, and stands as a shining example for all environmentally minded businesses. Their "doing well by doing good" strategy is paying off in stellar sales and fiercely loyal customers.

Patagonia's reputation for innovative social and environmental responsibility extends back to the company's roots. Founder Yvon Chouinard started Patagonia in the late 1960s as a sister to the Chouinard Equipment Company, purveyors of hardware for Alpine climbing and other outdoor activities. When Chouinard realized that climbing equipment adversely affected the pristine wilderness setting in which it was used, he decided to make his equipment environmentally responsible, offering an innovative alternative to the bolts that were traditionally used.

Although Chouinard Equipment Company has since been sold, the environmentally responsible tradition lives on at Patagonia. The company takes environmental issues into consideration in all aspects of its business, from the materials in its clothing and the construction details in its retail stores to supporting various environmental causes of concern to its customers.

Edible Landscaping

Patagonia's commitment starts with an internal assessment that helps the company understand and prioritize opportunities to minimize environmental impact. Everything from the wood and lighting in Patagonia's retail stores to the food in the corporate cafeteria has been scrutinized for possible environmental harm. The company now maintains an extensive recycling program, composts its food waste, uses low-flow toilets, and participates in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's voluntary Green Lights energy-efficient lighting program. Even the grounds around company headquarters feature edible landscaping -- banana trees.

Outerwearwith Minimal Environmental Impact

Patagonia works closely with suppliers to minimize the environmental impact of its clothes. In 1993, Patagonia was one of the first customers for Wellman's EcoSpun fiber, which they incorporated into fleece jackets and pants redubbed Synchilla PCR (for post-consumer recycled). Anxious to help build the market for this innovative material, Patagonia spread the word on "PCR Synchilla" within the industry and, today, the use of recycled materials in various types of fabrics is widespread, helping to keep costs low for all.

To help cut down on the pollution of soil, air, and water associated with cotton farming, which is chemically intensive despite its benign image, Patagonia uses only organically grown cotton, effective with the spring 1996 line. To avoid letting the relative expense of organic cotton stand in its way, Patagonia chose to "split the difference" with consumers, reducing its margin while asking them to accept a $2-s 10 price increase on each garment. To help enlist their support for the more sustainable alternative, Patagonia educated their consumers about the environmental imperative of growing cotton organically. Educational efforts included extensive customer communications including an essay in the Spring 1996 catalog by Yvon Chouinard, and an interactive display in its Ventura headquarters.

As part of its attempts to reduce the environmental impact of its products, Patagonia simply makes fewer of them. Supporting the company's corporate goal to be a model sustainable enterprise, in 1993 the company decided to limit its product line to 280 styles. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Patagonia, Inc
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.