If you’ve been outside on a cold day at Bucknell, you are familiar with the Patagonia brand. Their high quality, high performance, and fashionable winter-wear has made the company a global leader in the outdoor apparel industry. Shockingly, Patagonia has been able to achieve such distinction despite its certification as a benefit corporation or, B-Corporation. This means that that it is committed to using its power as a corporation to benefit the environment. A short video on B-Corps can be seen below:
In my own mind, this commitment legitimizes Patagonia in the minds of consumers. It strengthens a trust that is vital to Patagonia’s success. If I, as a consumer, know that paying an extra few dollars for a winter jacket ensures that they will be spent responsibly (or even donated to grassroots organizations), I am far more likely to do so and will certainly feel better about my decision. A huge part of this trust is Patagonia’s transparency. Jill Dumain, Patagonia’s director of environmental strategy, says her most common response from consumers with regard to their publicly available supply chain information is “I trust what you tell me on the good, because you’re willing to tell me about the bad” (NY Times). Surely this relationship is at least partially responsible for Patagonia’s chart-topping brand loyalty.
One of the most recent initiatives that Patagonia has taken on is the mission to ensure that their products all use 100% Traceable Down. After critics questioned their supply chain ethics, they have worked hard over the past few years not just to convert their old practices into new sustainable ones, but to encourage other industry leaders to do the same. You can read more about traceable down here or watch the short video below:
By staying true to their mission, they are also able to gain an advantage in the market. This is what Patagonia does so well. After watching the video, how does this initiative make you feel? Is Patagonia making good on their promise to contribute to environmental issues? Does it deserve B-Corp certification?
Featured Image: http://www.ecouterre.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/patagonia-1-537×402.jpg