Patagonia #Becauseilove Campaign

Throughout college I have been very fond of the company Patagonia not only because it has amazing products, but I greatly admire its business model. It established the The Footprint Chronicles® which examines Patagonia’s life and habits as a company. The goal is to use transparency about its supply chain to help reduce its adverse social and environmental impacts – and on an industrial scale. Patagonia has been in business long enough to know that when we can reduce or eliminate a harm, other businesses will be eager to follow suit. It believes that a triple bottom line incorporating people/planet/profits will ultimately make the company most successful. It doesn’t necessarily focus on just improving the world we live in, but it’s a better business option, more efficient and cost effective. Patagonia also has great books by founder Yvon Chouinard that I anticipate reading. Grab a copy of Let My People Go Surfing and/or The Responsible Company if you can. Also, if you want to read more about triple bottom line business, read this post about how Corporate Sustainability is Redefining the Future of Business.

Patagonia has extended its business model to an extent that is unimaginable. Last Black Friday the company spearheaded a Don’t Buy Campaign on one of its most popular jackets. Because it wanted to be in business for a good long time — and leave a world inhabitable for our kids — it wanted to do the opposite of every other business today. Patagonia asked consumers to buy less and to reflect before you spend a dime on this jacket or anything else. In the end, from a business perspective, I am almost certain the marketing campaign did exactly what the company wanted it to do, drove sales. (Note: Making the R2 jacket requires “135 liters of water, enough to meet the daily needs (three glasses a day) of 45 people. Its journey from its origin as 60% recycled polyester to our Reno warehouse generated nearly 20 pounds of carbon dioxide, 24 times the weight of the finished product.”)

Another great campaign that is going on around this time of year and centered around the #Election2012 is Vote the Environment. Regardless of where you stand politically, this should be a pressing or at the least interesting issue to be handled by the presidential candidates. How will we reduce our deficit, while remaining energy independent and utilizing future technologies? Education, jobs, renewable energies, and much more have a lot to do with this.

From Patagonia’s website, Jack Johnson’s essay explains that, “Not only are we a product of our environment, we are an integral part of it. This statement seems obvious enough, but in our modern culture human beings often feel separate from nature. We see this when we vote: the environment has become only the 10th most important issue on a list after war, healthcare, education and other concerns. As the foundation for all of life and all human endeavors, the environment should be our first and most important consideration…When you vote to improve water and air quality, you are voting to improve human health. When you vote to provide incentives to use renewable energy, you are helping to create jobs and energy independence, in turn making an investment in peace.”

I am very grateful to have some Vote the Environment materials that I will be giving to the Sustainable Management Advisory Committee, but please let me know if you would like postcards or stickers! Tweet @zmsuhar with the hashtag #becauseilove if you want any or shoot me an email!

To follow the campaign even further, Patagonia has gained a lead on social media and on its website. Hashtags are trending, and Facebook posts are consumed with the “Vote the Environment” logos. You can even tweet, register to vote, get benefit tracks, gear and more right on Patagonia’s website (! Below you can find even more ways to interact…and I look forward to seeing some tweets about Patagonia and #becauseilove.

  • Twitter: Tweet the “#becauseilove” hashtag to share your favorite place, environmental cause or tag a photo to the tweet. Tweets with this tag will be shown on our web site, the Wilco and HeadCount websites and projected on stage at Wilco concerts this summer.
  • Get the Wilco Benefit Track: Download a live, exclusive version of Wilco’s “Whole Love,” the title track from the band’s latest Grammy-nominated album. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the sale of the song benefit HeadCount.
  • Watch/Share the Video: What kind of world do you want to live in? Created by Patagonia and Free Range studio.
  • Register to Vote: Register to vote online at or visit the HeadCount booth at Wilco tour sites this summer.
  • Know the Voting Records of Your Representatives: Check out League of Conservation Voters to know the environmental scorecard of the candidates.
  • Get a Benefit T-Shirt: Purchase a Wilco or Patagonia Vote the Environment t-shirt and Patagonia will donate $5 from the sale of each t-shirt to HeadCount.

I am curious to hear, excluding political opinions, what are the things “you love” in regards to Patagonia’s campaign? Also, what are your thoughts on its business model?

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 You can leave a response, or trackback.

One Response

Leave a Reply