Patagonia has set the benchmark when it comes to sustainable fashion and sustainable business. But there’s plenty of room at the top, and they’ve launched a fund for investing in environmentally responsible startup businesses.
It’s hard not to love Patagonia products. Anyone who has invested in their offerings—clothes, bags, luggage, etc—has likely enjoyed years of high quality performance from something that may have been a soda bottle before it was a fleece. What’s more appealing than a sustainably made, durable, superior piece of luggage? How about a company that also offers a lifetime guarantee on the product too? (Trust me, they take them back and replace them if they can’t fix ‘em, no questions.) Customer service, quality and a decreased impact on the environment fuel Patagonia’s business model, and it’s no wonder they have a dedicated hardcore consumer base.
They’ve got quite a business model, growing out of founder Yvon Chouinard’s vision for progressive leadership in outdoor lifestyle gear and socially responsible business practices. Chouinard also helped fund the popular 1% for the Planet organization that allows members to donate one percent of their annual revenue to various environmental causes. And Patagonia knows they’re not the only ones with great ideas; which is driving the company’s newest fund, entitled $20 Million & Change.
Chouinard says the money will go to help like-minded startups, focused on improving the environment primarily in the apparel industry. While some details haven’t been released yet (how many companies and which ones), Patagonia executives say the substantial investments will range from $500,000 to $5 million, unless the products directly compete with Patagonia’s offerings.
According to a post on the company website, Patagonia has also formed a new holding company, Patagonia Works, which houses the clothing company, Patagonia Media and Patagonia Provisions. “Others might see Patagonia Works and $20 Million & Change as revolutionary business ventures; we think both are just next logical steps to doing business more responsibly,” said Chouinard. “Economic growth for the past two centuries has been tied to an ever-spiraling carbon bonfire. Business – and human – success in the next 100 years will have to come from working with nature rather than using it up.”
Interested in learning more about the $20 Million and Change fund? email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (805) 667-2300.
Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger