"Any amount of consumption is unethical!" I whisper to myself as I look at yet another pair of pants online that I don’t need.
I like to think of myself as a glass half full kinda gal. Some days that viewpoint wavers more than others, but it has generally held strong against the impending the-world-is-ending-what-do-we-do tides. These last few years though, cracks in my glass have formed. I find myself obsessing about how much waste I, as one single person, create. How much waste the companies I purchase from create. How much waste just my city creates! I see the endless piles of trash on the streets of New York and wonder where on earth they are putting all of this stuff. That plastic trash bag alone will last longer than you or your kids or your grandkids ever will. Sorry if that messes up your day! Welcome to the club. Add to that living in a world that is seemingly falling apart in front of our eyes and you’ve got yourself a Grade-A case of: Everything’s-going-to-the-dogs-maybe-that-glass-half-EMPTY-after-all???
So, when the Patagonia founder, Yvon Chouinard, came out and announced they are giving the company away to the planet my glass-half-full has runneth over! Finally, a company is laying it all on the line for our world, our home. His quote should resonate with all companies:
“If we have any hope of a thriving planet — much less a thriving business — 50 years from now, it is going to take all of us doing what we can with the resources we have.”
He’s right, we need companies like Patagonia to step up and help us move this needle. They are the ones with the power to enact real change. A paper out of Harvard championed Chouinard’s move for the chain reaction of “Green Entrepreneurship” it could spark.
“The Chouinard strategy represented best practice green entrepreneurship, which if widely adopted might markedly reduce the environmental impact of business.”
All is not lost. Small and large moves are starting to be made. Isn't it the golden rule of budgeting that: 'the coffees add up'? So why wouldn't my old pair of jeans getting repurposed to housing insulation add up too? The reality is, production of goods will never be able to fully cease, so Patagonia’s bold move is an incredible first step. One that will hopefully inspire other companies to make similar moves. There are countless sustainability movements that are beginning to 'add up': Patagonia’s Worn Wear, Eileen Fisher’s incredible Waste No More and Renew movements, Nordstrom’s BeautyCycle, The North Face's Clothes The Loop program. Even companies like TeraCycle that stemmed from the goal of “Recycling the Un-recyclable.” Or the incomparable and humbling Fridays For Future, a youth-led climate strike movement, who sums it up perfectly when they say we are “fighting for our future and our lives.” Here is their latest, created with the help of Fred & Farid Los Angeles
Get me another cup I’m overflowing here!!! These are the kinds of clients we should all be seeking out. Ones who are joining us; grabbing the wheel to try to stop this all from going sideways. We need their help, we cannot do this alone.
I saw some scientists speak a few years back who worked on restoring the coral reefs in Baja. They were able to accomplish it in just YEARS! They discussed how there’s so much “everything-is-doomed” information constantly coming at us, and that it’s high time we all shift our focus to everyone who is doing good. They're all around us. How does that phrase go? Look for the helpers? Ok Mr Rogers, I promise. #hailstormio #BAdreamin