On the 31st of October, Vincent Stanley, Director of Philosophy at Patagonia, presented a lecture about the company's business history including its environmental and social strategy. By doing so, he gave a vivid and concrete example of a successful environmentally friendly business model.
Patagonia's history dates back to 1973 when the American company started to sell outdoor clothing. At that time, no one had considered the environmental or social impacts caused by business actions. Being a pioneer of its kind, Patagonia commenced with environmental campaigns. In 1996, they decided to use 100 percent organic cotton. At the start of the company's venture into sustainability and environmental consciousness, Patagonia encountered numerous difficulties.
However, today the company employs more than 1000 people and boasted sales rate of 600 million dollars in 2013. How did Patagonia manage to become a successful sustainable company? "You find business partners on the basis of common values". If you want to manage a company which takes sustainability seriously, "you have to do the right thing in the right way", Vincent Stanley explains.
The presentation was initiated by OIKOS, a student society of the Master's programme 'International Sustainability Management'.