Photo: Climbers Shop, Patagonia surfing ambassador Lea Brassy and Patagonia rock climbing ambassador Tommy Caldwell
Suddenly, their name was everywhere. On my Instagram flow people were wearing their clothes during outdoor activities, on my subscribed articles from Pocket and clearly fronted in the display window of some of my favourite physical shops in Stockholm. However, non of my digital exposure were their own commercials. It was other people; influencers and journalists, giving them that exposure (makes sense though, their first commercial in 44 years was not about buying their clothes, rather about NOT buying them).
Since I belong to those kind of people that probably see themselves as more of an outdoors person than they really are - I had to get hold of some Patagonia clothes. After reading about their effort to save the planet by fashion, they were on my list of good companies to support.
But how did an old outdoor company with a logo you few years ago didn’t want to show off suddenly became such a hit?
Well, depends on who you’re asking. If you’re american you’ll probably would never say that Patagonia has become a hit. It can’t - because it’s cult. And if you’ve ever been wearing their clothes you know why. Since my interest in clothes lately mainly have been from a sustainability perspective I didn’t really get it until I did tried one of their sweaters - and I can completely agree - it FEELS lovely to wear it.
But let’s go back to the hit thing - since my theory is that they have become a hit - we need to test that idea. To be able to do so I’ve been looking at some figures. Patagonia reached a revenue peak in 2017 with 750 million American dollars after a few years of constant growth. Their first commercial is claimed to be a protest by the company after Donald Trump won the American election 2016. The internet is crowded with interviews of their CEO Rose Marcario and her feelings about the election. According to the articles it is said that she, the day after the election, sent an e-mail to the whole team of the company with the message to keep calm to be able to protect wilderness. For someone who doesn’t know the history of Patagonia that might sound controversial but anyone who have read about the founder and adventurist Yvon Chouinard knows better.
Patagonia is not a normal capitalistic company - it has its own activist twist. And since wilderness is threatened now more then ever - due to increase election of right wing politicians in many countries, the global climate crisis and the biodiversity collapse on many scales - it makes sense for the company to step up their own environmental effort and support.
When the society seems to be on a dangerous path - this company break their tradition and give the people what they want and need to hear - someone that will look after their loved nature, and who could be a better guidance than the clothes they’re wearing while enjoying it.
Want to learn more about Patagonia’s mission to save the planet? Visit their website.