Patagonia also frequently brings events to the workplace. A film festival recently played at the company’s headquarters, and employees were encouraged to leave their work behind in the afternoon to attend. A frequent lecture series brings prominent speakers, such as environmentalist Jane Goodall, to the workplace. “It’s just the integration of your life and your work,” Griswold says. “You don’t leave everything behind and go toil at a desk for eight hours, then go home.”
While these events and activities make Patagonia a great place to work, it also requires a certain type of employee. “You have to hire responsible people who won’t let down their teammates,” Griswold notes. “We do take off and go surfing if the right conditions are there. But not if you’re leading a meeting with 20 other people. You’re responsible for yourself and people around you.”
That responsibility, both to the environment and successful cataloging, is the driving force behind Patagonia’s longevity and sustainability.
Headquarters: Ventura, Calif.
Year founded: 1973
Merchandise: outdoor apparel and equipment
Average order size: $150
Annual circulation: about 6 million
Mailings per year: 11
Retail stores: 22
# of SKUs: 600
# of employees: 1,000
Customer demographics: active, high-income men and women, in their mid-40s
Channel breakdown: 50 percent wholesale; 25 percent retail; 25 percent direct
Direct channel breakdown: 75 percent Web; 25 percent call center
Annual sales: more than $250 million
Printer: Arandell Corp.
The Web as a Testament
Patagonia’s Mission Statement: “Build the best product, do no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”
Dedication to Saving the Environment: “For us at Patagonia, a love of wild and beautiful places demands participation in the fight to save them, and to help reverse the steep decline in the overall environmental health of our planet. We donate our time, services and at least 1% of our sales to hundreds of grassroots environmental groups all over the world who work to help reverse the tide.”