How Does Patagonia Help the Environment?

Woman canoeing in lake with mountains

How does Patagonia help the environment? Let me count the ways.

Well aside from having a pretty dope founder and making clothes that would make the perfect gift for lil’ old ladies who might get cold, they also do a lot of great things for the environment. And no, I am not a Patagonia shill. Have you read my other articles? I’m an anime nerd. I don’t write for multi-billion dollar companies. I FLY IN THE FACE OF PETTY CORPORATE CULTURE.

Now that’s out of the way, let’s get to it.

1. They use recycled materials

Who doesn’t love recycling? Well, most corporations honestly. But not Patagonia! To eliminate the risk of their gear filling up landfills, they use 87% recycled materials for their clothing and equipment. They also create high-quality clothing that you really only need to buy one of. One jacket will last you yearsand if it doesn’t, they even have a “reuse and repair program” that lets you send in damaged clothes in exchange for money so you can replace your gear and they can make new gear out of the gear you sent in. That’s pretty damn cool. They even advertise about how you shouldn’t buy their clothes. They had a whole campaign called “don’t buy this jacket” in order to convince consumers to “think before they buy” and not purchase their clothing on impulse. Do you think Amazon would do something like that? hell no. They made a literally machine to put in your house and listen to your conversations so they could sell you shit that they overhear you talking about. Thanks, Alexa. You creepy bitch.

2. They’re donating all their profits to fight climate change

Wild-right? The Patagonia CEO, Yvon Chouinard, recently announced that he is donating the ownership of his company to a nonprofit and trust dedicated to fighting climate change. All profits made by the company (that aren’t being reinvested into the company, yes, there’s a catch) will be put into said nonprofit and trust, which works out to about $100 million dollars a year. That’s pretty damn good! Especially because their other options were to 1. sell the company with no guarantee that the new owner would commit to the ethics of Patagonia or 2. go public with the company and please shareholders by creating short-term gain instead of long-term sustainability. So, they basically created a third option to give the company “to the Earth”. Pretty romantic notion. As far as multi-billion dollar companies go you could do far, far worse.

3. They dump on Trump

Patagonia was one of the companies to oppose Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate accord, and they made it clear, in no uncertain terms, that they vehemently opposed the former president and his disastrous environmental policies. They made headlines with their “vote the assholes out” campaign in 2020, and have a stellar history of haranguing Trump about his fossil fuel advocacy and climate change denial of him. When Trump won the election, they created a Black Friday campaign called “fundraiser for the earth” that donated 10 million dollars to environmental organizations. Patagonia launched a series of court cases against Donald Trump for his decision to remove federal protections for the Bears Ears national monument. Their CEO, Yvon Chouinard, even went to testify before Congress on behalf of the Bears Ears monument. The company spent nearly $700,000 on radio and TV ads in Montana and Utah condemning Trump’s decisions to move against Bears Ears and other national monuments. We love to see it.

Featured Image Credit: Atia Naim on unsplash

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