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Published January 19, 2008 10:05 AM

Patagonia and the Footprint Chronicles: Showing that Honesty is the Best Policy Toward Sustainability

"There is no business to be done on a dead planet."-David Brower

These are the words etched into the front door of Patagonia’s headquarters in Ventura, California. And it has been Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard’s mission to model his company upon that foundation.

Chouinard and Patagonia aren’t new to readers of Triple Pundit, but what you may not be aware of is a new online project called the Footprint ChroniclesFrom here you can track the environmental footprint of five Patagonia products from design through delivery. Each product is thoroughly examined including distance traveled (an admitted weak spot for Patagonia’s production cycle), carbon emissions, waste produced, and energy used.


Under Chouinard’s leadership, the company has never been prone to – dare I even use the word – greenwashing. Patagonia is, in fact, the antithesis of that dreadful term. The Footprint Chronicles advances that antithesis and with it comes complete honesty – the good, the bad, and the ugly. A customer can easily get a complete picture of the impact a product has on the environment, something sorely missing in mainstream consumer products, where at best there is only a vague notion of what happened before those nifty hiking boots showed up on the store rack. 

For Patagonia, the idea is simple:
“Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”

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