Commercialization / Consumption (Social)
One of Patagonia’s biggest selling points for their clothes is that they are made of durable, versatile material. From the first stages of production, the cotton they use for all their inner-ware, jacket linings, and t-shirts goes through a long process of refinement to make sure it wont break or wear through quickly. This long lasting product keeps customers happy, and also means less wasted products, which in turn means less wasted labor, CO2 emissions, transportation costs, and consumption habits.
The social/commercial aspect of the company is close to that of REI’s, and can be seen right when a viewer visits their website. They promote outdoor activity. Patagonia makes : snow-shells for skiers/snowboarders, wetsuits for surfers, river crampons and aluminum bar wading boots, water resistant down parkas, alpine shells, waders for fishermen, trail running gear, footwear, waterproof backpacks, etc. The list goes on. Whatever an outdoor enthusiast might want, Patagonia will sell them.
They like to call the sports they support “silent.” “None requires a motor, none delivers the cheers of a crowd. In each sport, reward comes in the form hard-won grace and moments of connection between us and nature.” And the company has grown steadily since their launch in 1972 growing from a small company that made custom tools for climbers into a huge corporation with suppliers from all over the world. To me, that says their products are in high demand.
In a culture where consumption habits run rampant, it is comforting to see a major supplier take the environment, and fair trade practices into consideration as it continues to sell to more and more people. Every company should practice the same commitment to transparency and beneficial trade habits.