In my Marketing Strategies for Sustainability class we have repeatedly revisited the conversation of how in the past, marketers have been some of the main culprits responsible for encouraging and pushing our society’s purchasing habits towards an economy that is driven by over-consumption. Since we got ourselves into this mess, as a new generation of “green marketers”, it is now our responsibility to encourage consumers and businesses to shift to a more responsible and sustainable economy. One company that has taken a bold stand for a more responsible economy is the mountain and outdoor clothing company, Patagonia. A couple years ago they launched a unique campaign, featuring one of their jackets, and encouraging consumers NOT to purchase it. Their goal was to spark a conversation about what it would look like if we truly had a sustainable economy and what that would look like.
In line with the conversation they are trying to, Patagonia practices what they preach by producing high quality products that will last a long time, as opposed to some products that are intentionally made to break and/or be replaced after a certain amount of time. Patagonia also offers product repair services, and once you get tired of the item, Patagonia encourages customers to bring it back to a store and participate in their take back program. Doing so, customers will be rewarded with store credit, and then Patagonia will refurbish the item and sell it in their used clothing section. Additionally, Patagonia is expanding more into their recycling program where they have been able to achieve closed-loop technology for their polyester-made goods.
Check out the full interview with Rick Ridgeway, the man leading responsible for Patagonia’s Responsible Economy campaign, here!