Can you shop Patagonia with a clear conscience? – NRK Norway – Overview of news from different parts of the country

The owner of the clothing manufacturer Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard (83), is giving away his company to an organization that wants to stop climate change, according to The New York Times.

Patagonia was an early adopter of environmental initiatives such as organic cotton and free clothing repairs, and attracted attention in 2011 with an advertising stunt where they encouraged people not to buy more clothes.

The advertising poster shown in The New York Times in 2011 urged readers not to buy any more clothes.

Patagonia is given away to a foundation set up to ensure that all income from the company will go to save pristine nature and prevent climate change.

New type of capitalism

– Hopefully this can help create a new type of capitalism that doesn’t end up with a couple of wealthy people at the top and a bunch of poor people, says Chouinard in an exclusive interview with The New York Times.

Chouinard has been committed to the environment all his life, and Patagonia has a reputation for being among the most environmentally conscious clothing manufacturers in the world.

Patagonia store in New York. The company has long been one of the most environmentally conscious companies in the world.

Photo: Michael M. Santiago / AFP

According to Chouinard himself, the plan was never to become a businessman. He was originally a mountain climber and writes in his biography that he took great pleasure in climbing mountains precisely because it had no economic value for anyone.

Don’t trust the stock market

He tells the New York Times that he is relieved that the company will now carry on his values ​​even after he has passed away.

He says that he has no faith in the stock market, and feared that Patagonia would not be able to prioritize things such as workers’ rights or combating climate change if they became a listed company.

– If you work to maximize profit for the shareholders, you become just one of many irresponsible companies, he says in the interview.

Still a long way to go

– There are many irresponsible companies out there, and Patagonia also has a long way to go, says manager of Fremtiden i våre hands, Anja Bakken Riise.

The head of the Future in our hands, Anja Bakken Riise, also believes Patagonia has a long way to go.

Photo: Christian Olstad

She says that although Patagonia is good at environmental measures, their business model is still based on increased growth.

The advertising campaign “Dont buy this jacket” led to increased sales of this particular jacket. Riise says that it is good if they bought this jacket rather than another jacket made in a less gentle way, but that it is best not to buy new clothes.

– All companies today are based on growth and selling more. And there is no room for that within the planet’s tolerance limits. That everyone should just make production a little more gentle but still sell more and more is not good enough, she says.

But she still believes that Chouinard is a good role model.

– I think there is no doubt that we need more business owners like him.

She explains that he has grasped his own business model from the very beginning.

– The most important thing is not how they use their earnings, but that the products or service they offer is done in the best possible way. There, Patagonia has always been concerned with reuse, repair, using textiles as much as possible. Making things that last for generations.

Riise believes that it is absolutely the most important thing when it comes to clothing production.

– Chouinard has always focused on the business model, and this comes with the fact that he is giving away the company and will donate the profit to preserve nature in addition.

She believes there is still room for improvement. Such as reducing the total volume, using plastic-based clothing, and phasing out environmental toxins.

– But compared to others, they are reasonably solid, she believes.

– The best thing you can do is take care of what you have and don’t buy more. But we will always need some clothes, and then it is good that those who make them do it in the most gentle way possible.

The article is in Norwegian

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