Outdoor apparel company Patagonia recently announced that it would donate $10 million in unplanned cash to grassroots organizations that are working to help fight climate change. This decision comes from Trump's tax cut last year, where he lowered the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%. Therefore, instead of investing the extra money back into the business, founder Yvon Chouinard decided to donate it.
As we know, Patagonia has strongly advocated for environmental conservation and fighting climate change since the beginning. It is apparent that the company will do anything and everything they can to stop Trump's policies on climate from interfering with theirs. This was apparent when Chouinard blacked out Patagonia's homepage last year and wrote ‘The President Stole Your Land’ in opposition to Trump’s decision to reduce the size of two national monuments in Utah. According to Forbes, Chouinard has always shied away from involving in political matters, but the action he took was a huge step for him as well as the company.
Patagonia’s Mission to Protect
After hearing news of Trump becoming president, CEO Rose Marcario scrambled to find ways to protect the company as she agonized over Trump's campaign policies on bringing back coal, diminishing public land and much more. Since then, the company has ramped up its effort to protect the planet in every way they can. According to Forbes, Marcario believes that taking a stand against Trump’s policies doesn’t hurt the company, but instead whenever they stand up for or do something good for the environment the company ends up making more money.
Patagonia has always run on a flywheel approach, similar to Amazon's (AMZN - Free Report) style. The more it invests into the values and beliefs of the company, the better it performs.
Patagonia has always seemed to be more profitable when they stand up against different policies or raise awareness through different campaigns. In 2011, they bought an ad in The New York Times that featured a shot of a fleece jacket captioned 'Don’t Buy This Jacket'. This encouraged customers to repair and reuse their clothing. The more Patagonia emphasized on this anti-consumerist message, the more profit they made. During this time, sales of the company increased almost 30% to $540 million.
Marcario Making Things Better
Ultimately, when Marcario joined the company in 2008, she worked very quickly to fix supply chains, streamline production and help the company eliminate any excess packaging and waste. Patagonia also started using newer technologies such as recycled insulation from Primaloft. Primaloft has worked with other companies such as Nike (NKE - Free Report) , Adidas (ADDYY - Free Report) and North Face (VFC - Free Report) , transforming their products while being sustainable at the same time. With every new addition and improvement to the company, Marcario has transformed Patagonia into a million dollar company.
From Patagonia’s food section (Patagonia Provisions) to its Worn Wear recycled clothing, the company has introduced and improved parts that other companies still haven’t achieved. It can be said that Patagonia is one of the most forward heading and innovative companies in its industry. According to Fast Company, Patagonia was placed sixth under the World’s Most Innovative Companies list. Chouinard and his team have established a dedicated brand working towards all the right goals.
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