|Private benefit corporation|
|Headquarters||Ventura, California, U.S.|
|Revenue||$209.09M (2017 estimate)|
Number of employees
|1000 (As of 2017)|
Patagonia, Inc., originally Chouinard Equipment, is an American clothing company that markets and sells sustainable outdoor clothing. The company was founded by Yvon Chouinard in 1973, and is based in Ventura, California. After going bankrupt in 1989, the company split into Black Diamond Equipment, selling climbing gear, and the current Patagonia company that sells soft goods. Its logo is the outline of Mount Fitz Roy in Patagonia, South America, which happens to border the two countries of the region: Chile and Argentina.
Yvon Chouinard, an accredited rock climber, began selling hand forged mountain climbing gear in 1957 through his company Chouinard Equipment. He worked alone selling his gear until 1965 when he partnered with Tom Frost in order to improve his products and address the growing supply and demand issue he faced.
In 1970, Chouinard obtained rugby shirts from Scotland that he wore while climbing because the collar kept the climbing sling from hurting his neck. Collared shirts were then designed and implemented into his merchandise line and quickly became the primary product sold. Chouinard Equipment was forced to file for bankruptcy in 1989 when it lost a series of lawsuits claiming "failure to inform" of safety issues related to usage of climbing hardware including one filed by the survivors of a climber who died in a fall after slipping out of a Chouinard climbing harness. The resultant increases in their product liability insurance were cited by Chouinard as the reason they stopped making climbing gear. The liquidated assets of the climbing gear side were purchased for $900,000 by Chouinard's longtime partner, Peter Metcalf, and reorganized as Black Diamond Equipment. Yvon Chouinard retained the profitable soft goods (clothing) division of the company which had already been rebranded as Patagonia.
Patagonia has expanded its product line to include apparel targeted towards other sports, such as surfing. In addition to clothing, they offer other products such as backpacks and sleeping bags.
Starting in April 2017, certain Patagonia merchandise that is in good condition can be returned for new merchandise credits. The used merchandise gets cleaned and repaired and sold on their "Worn Wear" website.
Patagonia commits 1% of its total sales or 10% of its profit, whichever is more, to environmental groups. Yvon Chouinard was a founding member of One Percent for the Planet, an organization that encourages other businesses to do the same. Patagonia also allows its customers to recycle and reuse clothing between users through its "Common Threads" project.
Politics and land preservation
In February 2017, Patagonia led a boycott of the Outdoor Retailer trade show, which traditionally took place in Salt Lake City, Utah, because of the Utah state legislature's introduction of legislation that would transfer federal lands to the state. Patagonia also opposed Utah Governor Gary Herbert request that the Trump administration revoke the recently designated Bears Ears National Monument in southern Utah. After several companies joined the Patagonia-led boycott, event organizer Emerald Expositions said it would not accept a proposal from Utah to continue hosting the Outdoor Retailer trade show and would instead move the event to another state.
On December 6, 2017, Patagonia sued the United States Government and President Donald Trump for his proclamations of reducing the Bears Ears National Monument by 85% and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by almost 50%. Patagonia is suing over the interpretation of the Property Clause of the U.S. Constitution in which the country vests Congress with the power to manage federal lands. The company's CEO, Rose Marcario, contends that when Congress passed the Antiquities Act of 1906, it did not give any president the power to reverse a prior president's monument designations.
Employee rights protection
Patagonia continues to attain financial viability without ruining the ecological environment, by being consistent in its advocacy towards social equity, and by remaining steadfast in its pursuit towards lasting defense of employee rights.
Fair trade labor and CSR
The company’s commitment to impartial business transactions, unprejudiced treatment of employees, dedicated concern towards community stakeholders and supply chain players and to its clients, and its compassionate use of animal-sourced raw materials can be seen through its continuous efforts to inform its consumers via content-rich articles, instructional video messages, and documentaries that can be found on its website.
On forced labor
All types of human trafficking and all forms of forced labor in the company’s supply chain are rigorously barred. When assessing prospective factory partners, purchases are not made when signs of forced labor are perceived by the company’s auditors. In any event when forced labor is discovered in a partner’s production plant, such factory will be subjected to Patagonia’s escalation policy, which covers a remediation arrangement showing sincere commitment to eliminate the practice. However, when conditions signify slavery or instances of human trafficking are not stopped, business relations with Patagonia Inc. will be terminated.
In 2012, UK animal activist group Four Paws said that Patagonia used live-plucked down feathers and downs of force-fed geese. In a statement on their website, Patagonia denied use of live-plucking but said it had used down procured from the foie-gras industry. As of fall 2014, Patagonia said it was using 100% traceable down to ensure that birds were not force-fed or live-plucked and that down is not blended with down from unknown sources.
In February 2005, Patagonia's sourcing of wool from Australia was criticized by PETA over the practice of mulesing. Patagonia has since moved its sourcing of wool from Australia to South America and the cooperative Ovis 21. However, in August 2015 PETA released new video footage showing how sheep were treated cruelly in Ovis 21 farms. This led Patagonia to stop sourcing wool from Ovis 21.
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- Wang, Jennifer. "Patagonia, From the Ground Up". Entrepreneur. Retrieved 2016-04-26.
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- Stevenson, Seth. "Patagonia's Founder Is America's Most Unlikely Business Guru". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2016-04-26.
- Steiner, Christopher (September 10, 2014). "A Fight For The Mountaintop: Yvon Chouinard's Disciple Challenges Patagonia". Forbes. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
- "Patagonia stakes a wider claim on the beach". Men's Vogue. Archived from the original on May 12, 2008. Retrieved March 27, 2008.
- Feldman, Jamie (2017-01-30). "Patagonia Just Made Another Major Move To Save The Earth And Your Wallet". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
- Patagonia, "The Activist Company"
- "Environmentalism: Environmental & Social Responsibility". Patagonia. Patagonia. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
- March 29, 2017. "1% for the Planet". Newf Surfboard Net. Retrieved 2017-03-31.
- Hemlock, Doreen (27 May 2013). "One Percent for The Planet: Businesses commit to donate 1 percent of sales to environmental nonprofits - tribunedigital-sunsentinel". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
- "Collen IP: The Sharing Economy: Radical Reproduction of "Owning" or Rebranding of Renting" (PDF). Collen IP. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
- "Introducing the Common Threads Initiative – Reduce, Repair, Reuse, Recycle, Reimagine". Patagonia. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
- Frederick Reimers (8 February 2017). "Moving Outdoor Retailer Isn't About Politics. It's About Money". Outside Magazine. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
- Marcario, Rose (December 6, 2017). "Patagonia CEO: This Is Why We're Suing President Trump". Time. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
- David Gelles. "Patagonia v. Trump". The New York Times, May 5, 2018.
- Bhaduri, G. (2011). "Do Transparent Business Practices Pay? Exploration of Transparency and Consumer Purchase Intention". Clothing and Textiles Research Journal. 29: 135–149.
- California Transparency in Supply Chains Act (SB 657) and UK Modern Slavery Act Disclosure Statement 2017, p. 3. Retrieved 25 July 2018 from http://www.patagonia.com/on/demandware.static/Sites-patagonia-us-Site/Library-Sites-PatagoniaShared/en_US/PDF-US/Patagonia-US-and-UK-Disclosure-Statement-061317.pdf
- "Outdoor Company Patagonia: Down from brutal force-feeding". Four Paws. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
- "The Lowdown on Down: An Update". The Cleanest Line. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
- "Patagonia's 'Sustainable Wool' Supplier EXPOSED: Lambs Skinned Alive, Throats Slit, Tails Cut Off". PETA Investigations. Retrieved 2016-05-09.
- "The Cleanest Line: Patagonia to Cease Purchasing Wool from Ovis 21". www.thecleanestline.com. Retrieved 2016-05-09.
- Michelson, Megan (2016-07-29). "Want Ethically Sourced Wool? Buy from Patagonia". Outside Online. Retrieved 2017-01-20.
- "Patagonia Wool Standard" (PDF). Patagonia. 2016.
- Patagonia’s Circular Economy Strategy
- Patagonia’s Balancing Act: Chasing Mass-Market Appeal While Doing No Harm
- A company that profits as it pampers workers
- How Patagonia Keeps Employee Turnover 'Freakishly Low'
- If Patagonia’s business model is a paragon of virtue, should more companies follow suit?
- Patagonia joins forces with activists to protect public lands from Trump
- Derby Berg, Meredith (December 17, 2013). "Why Advertising Is 'Dead Last' Priority at Outerwear Marketer Patagonia". AdAge. Retrieved July 13, 2018.