Case

Patagonia

Sustainability is one of the big themes for outdoor brand Patagonia. It all began back in the 90ies when they decided to use only biological cotton -- yet they didn’t stop at that. From then on, the brand also decided to measure the environmental impact of selected pieces of clothing, publishing the results on their blog Footprint Chronicles.

Patagonia strives for transparency throughout the entire supply chain. It should not come as a surprise, then, that they even took on a corporate responsibility specialist.

Next up were two collections of fleece jackets: one made from recycled plastic bottles and one made from old (recycled) jackets.

Patagonia wants to place the sustainability stamp firmly on the entire brand, looking into every detail going from the paper that is used for the catalogs to the way their employees commute to work. In addition, the company donates 1% of its annual profits to grassroots activists.

2011 was the year Patagonia launched a surprising ad campaign showing one of their most popular products with the caption “Don’t buy this jacket”. While there was obviously nothing wrong with the jacket, they wanted to warn against overconsumption. Patagonia wants to cultivate the attitude of thinking twice before buying, encouraging customers to reflect on whether they really need something new.

Other Patagonia projects are for instance the Repair & Care guides that offer a manual to clients who want to fix their own clothes. They also offer customers the possibility to return worn out clothing so it can be recycled.