Outdoor gear manufacturer and retailer Patagonia has been one of the frontrunners when it comes to being transparent about their sustainable business practices, from their sources for materials to the labor practices behind the making of their products, so it may come as no surprise that their most recent effort is focusing on the “Responsible Economy.”
“The Footprint Chronicles® examines Patagonia’s life and habits as a company. The goal is to use transparency about our supply chain to help us reduce our adverse social and environmental impacts – and on an industrial scale. We’ve been in business long enough to know that when we can reduce or eliminate a harm, other businesses will be eager to follow suit.” – Footprint Chronicles
In a recent essay, Patagonia’s iconic founder, Yvon Chouinard, lays out a great case for businesses stepping up as leaders in a move toward a responsible economy:
“Can we even imagine what an economy would look like that wouldn’t destroy the home planet? A responsible economy?” – Chouinard
Chouinard also offers a scathing indictment of our culture of consumerism:
“If everyone consumed the way an average American does, humans would be using up more than four planets’ worth of resources. Hardly “sustainable.” The reason for this crisis is very simple. There are too many of us consuming too much stuff, and we demand that it be as cheap and disposable as possible.”
While it may seem antithetical to best practices in business to urge people to use less, to buy less, and to own less, in the end it may be this type of thinking that brings us into a future where we can have a healthy and responsible economy that will continue to function for our children and grandchildren.
Read the full essay from Chouinard at Patagonia: The Responsible Economy.