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The Patagonia model shows how less can lead to more

The outdoor clothing company is putting sustainability ahead of profit and asking consumers to ‘buy less’. It’s a bold strategy, but also a smart way of doing business. Consumers account for over 60% of GDP in both the UK and US. As consumers spend more, companies prosper, and the global economy expands. And so does our level of environmental impact. Last month Patagonia continued its effort to break this chain of cause and effect. Indeed the progressive company is now actively encouraging consumers to buy less of Patagonia’s new apparel. The company intends to influence consumer behaviour in order to lower the environmental strain from ever growing consumption levels. But could a programme encouraging consumers to buy less actually lead to growth for the company and a reduction of environmental impact? If so, could other companies follow a similarly counter-intuitive approach to growth? The answers are yes and maybe. Here’s how and why. To put the idea into action, Patagonia is partnering with eBay to provide consumers a way to resell their used Patagonia apparel via the Common Threads Initiative site on eBay. In addition consumers will now be able to resell their used Patagonia apparel on a new Used Clothing & Gear section on Patagonia’s website. Those familiar with Patagonia’s mission will conclude the company’s campaign is both genuine and borderline heroic. As a family owned business with a very strong track record of environmental and social stewardship, the company is famous for putting sustainability ahead of profit. Nevertheless for-profit companies worldwide have long looked to Patagonia for managerial advice and insight. More…

News selected by Covalence | Country: USA | Company: Patagonia | Source: The Guardian

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