Photo: Via Patagonia - Photographer Tim Davis
Patagucci is the mocking term sometimes used to label the outdoor clothing company, Patagonia, in reference to what some people view as high priced goods. We don't know what Gucci do with their money, but Patagonia's customers are transparently informed where a sizeable chunk of their spend is headed. To initiatives that help make the world a saner place.
In the past fiscal year Patagonia gave away $3,816,750 in grants and in-kind donations. That makes $34 million USD they've put back into the environmentally and socially responsible community since 1985. To give that figure some context, its worth remembering that Patagonia is still a privately held company, whose owners aren't pocketing those millions. Instead, this past year almost 400 environmental groups were beneficiaries of this generous largess. But grantees aren't the only ones to reap the rewards of Patagonia's benevolence.
What about the worms and gardens that reveled in two tons of compost from the company's own cafeteria?
Or the cardboard recyclers who scored 206,800 kg (456,000 lbs) of cardboard?
Or the charities who shared in the $200,000 USD that Patagonia paid out as part of their Employee Charity Match, whereby the company equals charity contributions made by employees.
Consider the cleaner air and smaller carbon footprint that resulted from the 14,280 miles which Patagonia employees rode to work in Bike to Work Week alone.
Read the downloadable PDF document "Patagonia Environmental Initiatives 2009" and you gain an insight into this company's many other green endeavours. Like how the 80% of their Fall 2009 clothing line can now be recycled through their Common Threads program. How they've trained 953 activists, at their Tools for Grassroots Activists Conferences. (These are not casual affairs -- the 2008 conference cost Patagonia almost $100,000 to run.) And how 750 employees have been paid, since 1992, to donate their energy, skills and enthusiasm as part of Patagonia's environmental internship program.
In the document Catherine Barnes described how as a retail inventory manager,she helps generate sales that fund Patagonia's environmental programs. Then, "as a member of the grants council, I help to distribute some of that money. The synergy makes my daily work more meaningful, giving me a greater sense of pur-
pose as I help Patagonia fulfill its mission to "use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis."
So next time you are griping about the ticket price of a Patagonia product consider the broader positive result your purchase will have. As the company themselves see it; "Patagonia is a small, but relatively influential company. We know that if we don't reach beyond our own walls to implement our environmental work, the impact won't be felt."
More Patagonia Eco Initiatives
• Patagonia Say Resole Worn Shoes, Before Buying New
• Patagonia Expand Common Threads Recycling Program
• Patagonia Adds Five Products to Footprint Chronicles
• Patagonia Continue to Walk Their Eco Talk
• Yvon Chouinard Wins Environmental Good Guy Award