Aug 12, 2015
Patagonia is a Business With A Soul
"We have a different way of doing business than most companies," Jordan Hart, the manager of Patagonia Honolulu's storefront, explains to us from the bustling showroom on Ward Avenue.
"We feel that we have a social and economic responsibility to the planet and our customers." Around us, the store is abuzz with shoppers eagerly checking out a mix of items including recycled board shorts and organic cotton tees. "We've built a customer base out of people who really appreciate our commitment to responsibility."
In the 1960s, Southern California's Yvon Chouinard, an avid hiker and outdoorsman, transitioned his business of making hiking equipment into creating an apparel line, which he named Patagonia. From the beginnings of his business, Chouinard placed a premium on environmental responsibility and created a workspace that allowed employees more freedom. At the time, this was a revolutionary way to run a business. With their strong ties to the environment, Patagonia instituted a policy that committed one percent of its sales or 10 percent of its profits to protecting the environment.
"I've been working with Patagonia for nearly five years now and I can tell you that it is truly a special company," adds Hart. "We really try and take care of our people. For instance, a lot of us take surf breaks at lunch. If the waves are really good down at Kewalos or Bowls and you surf for longer than your lunch break, it's not a big deal at all. It's what makes Patagonia special."
That's the Patagonia way of doing business.
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