The following interview and article comes from Joel Makower of GreenBiz and addresses the Patagonia ‘Responsible Economy campaign’.
The clothing and gear company Patagonia continues to challenge us to rethink our relationship with stuff. Two years ago, the company launched a provocative marketing campaign that said “Don’t Buy This Jacket,” an effort to tamp down impulse buying in favor of quality goods built for the long term — which, of course, is what Patagonia makes.
The company’s newest campaign is to promote a “responsible economy,” an expanded effort to curb consumption aimed not just at consumers but at the business and policy worlds as well.
Changing the economic model is a steep climb for a small, privately held company that started out selling mountaineering gear, but the company’s founder, Yvon Chouinard, has never shied away from the tough stuff.
Patagonia’s Responsible Economy campaign wasn’t created by Chouinard, however. It originated with a group of employees led by Rick Ridgeway — like Chouinard, a pioneering climber and adventurer. Since 2005, Ridgeway has led environmental affairs at Patagonia; he also sits on the company’s board.
I spoke with Ridgeway recently about the new campaign, and how a tiny company hopes to change a mammoth problem.
You can read the article here.