Have you ever heard of Patagonia? You probably have; in fact, you might even own a Patagonia jacket. This company, which makes outdoor clothing and gear, was founded by Yvon Chouinardin 1973. Transparency has become a growing trend amongst private businesses and nonprofits, but Patagonia has become a leader in transparency due to its effort to make its openness line up with its company values.
The company became a leader amongst other organizations by always looking for new ways to give us, their clients, what we want. They’re open about the good, the bad, and the ugly of their company. Yes, that’s right; the ugly referring to some things they know their clients might not agree with. Patagonia for example not only tells us that it uses organic cotton to make its t-shirts, it also informs us which factories in third-world countries manufacture Patagonia’s clothing.
You can see Patagonia’s transparency for yourself by going to the company’s website and perusing through The Footprint Chronicles. In order to accommodate the needs and wants of the public, Patagonia introduced The Footprint Chronicles, an interactive map on Patagonia’s website, in 2007 as a way to give its customers an inside look into what materials go into making each product. If you want to know where your Patagonia came from, take a look at the tag on the garment you are wearing. Using Patagonia’s website, you can trace it back to see exactly which textile mill was used to make it. Awesome, we know. Patagonia also practices transparency by listing all of a product’s information right on the item’s web page. This makes the shopping experience an easier and more knowledgeable process, and it demonstrates the company’s dedication to taking care of the environment.
Patagonia does not hold anything back, because it embraces change and always seeks to manufacture more environmentally-friendly products. The Footprint Chronicles allows the consumer to be informed about which farms Patagonia sources its materials from, which textiles were used in the making of each garment, and which technologies and materials were put into each garment. The Footprint Chronicles also describes the labor conditions of workers at Patagonia’s factories. You can find information such as languages spoken, gender percentages of the factory, and images of the location by clicking on one of the map’s multi-colored arrows.
Patagonia’s efforts towards transparency demonstrates that honesty is indeed the best policy for a business in the 21st century.