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Patagonia: The Retail Rebel with a Cause (and How They Do Business Right)

Patagonia tops my personal most admired companies list. 💖

When it comes to blending business and values seamlessly, Patagonia is in a league of its own.

Take their holiday Instagram message.

Patagonia shut its stores and gave its entire workforce the week between Christmas and New Year off (paid of course) and said:

"𝙒𝙚'𝙧𝙚 𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙝𝙤𝙡𝙞𝙙𝙖𝙮𝙨 𝙨𝙤 𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙚𝙢𝙥𝙡𝙤𝙮𝙚𝙚𝙨 𝙘𝙖𝙣 𝙨𝙥𝙚𝙣𝙙 𝙩𝙞𝙢𝙚 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 𝙡𝙤𝙫𝙚𝙙 𝙤𝙣𝙚𝙨 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙘𝙝𝙖𝙨𝙚 𝙨𝙤𝙢𝙚 𝙢𝙪𝙘𝙝 𝙣𝙚𝙚𝙙𝙚𝙙 𝙛𝙪𝙣. 𝙒𝙚'𝙡𝙡 𝙗𝙚 𝙗𝙖𝙘𝙠 𝙤𝙣 𝙅𝙖𝙣𝙪𝙖𝙧𝙮 2𝙣𝙙, 𝙝𝙤𝙥𝙚𝙛𝙪𝙡𝙡𝙮 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 𝙨𝙤𝙧𝙚 𝙡𝙚𝙜𝙨 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙖 𝙛𝙚𝙬 𝙜𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙩 𝙨𝙩𝙤𝙧𝙞𝙚𝙨."

Many companies shut down over the holidays, but not in retail.

In retail, this is unheard of. Revenue and profit suffer significantly when stores close.

👉 But Patagonia gained something as well.

👉 Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia’s founder, reportedly said ‘Every time I do the right thing, I make money’. In this case, the goodwill gained with employees is invaluable vs. the cost of employee turnover. And yes, Patagonia reportedly has much lower turnover than industry average.

The other part of their message is equally important. They encourage employees to seek out fun and adventure.⛷This message is consistent with their brand, mission, and culture.

One of Patagonia’s values is ✨𝐍𝐨𝐭 𝐁𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐝 𝐛𝐲 𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐯𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧✨. Deciding to close for the holidays is an example of this.

✨𝐄𝐧𝐯𝐢𝐫𝐨𝐧𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐦✨ is a second Patagonia value.

Patagonia's commitment to environmental stewardship is ingrained in the very fabric of the company. Literally. The company's Worn Wear program is a philosophy that challenges the throwaway culture. They encourage customers to bring in torn garments for repair, reducing the amount destined for landfills.

And take their infamous Black Friday ads that proudly state ‘Don’t buy this jacket’. They commit to producing ✨𝐐𝐮𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐲✨ products (a third value) and ask customers to buy only what they need saying Together we reimagine a world where we take only what nature can replace.

Amongst retail brands, Patagonia stands out as a rebel with a cause. Its values aren't just lip service; they're the guiding principles that shape every decision, every stitch, and every campaign.

They understand that profit and purpose can coexist. By living its values, Patagonia isn't just selling outdoor gear—it's selling a lifestyle, a commitment, and a vision for a better, more responsible world.

✔️ This is how it’s done!

✔️ This is how a strong culture is built and reinforced.

✔️ This is how values come to life!

Welcome back to work, Patagonia team! See you soon!

What companies do you admire?


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