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Scaling Activism at Patagonia

Long considered the “gold standard” for purpose-driven companies, Patagonia might be considered an activist organization that happens to sell apparel and outdoor gear. This week, we continue our conversation with Corley Kenna on the organization’s move to becoming a B-Corp, scaling community activism and more.

Listen for Corley’s insights on:

  • How Patagonia developed and evolves key purpose-led initiatives including Patagonia Action Works, Tin Shed Ventures, Patagonia Provisions, Patagonia Films, and Worn Wear
  • How Patagonia enforces transparency throughout the business and supply chain, including addressing its own ills and articulating clear steps forward
  • Why Patagonia has thrived as a business while taking sometimes contentious, and frequently unapologetic stances based on values—such as telling customers “don’t buy this jacket” or encouraging advocates to “vote out the a**holes”
  • How Patagonia empowers its employees to live the company’s values—and their own—through industry-leading initiatives and benefits

Links & Notes

  • (00:00) – Welcome to Purpose 360!
  • (01:04) – Patagonia Part 2
  • (02:28) – Leadership
  • (04:21) – New CEO Ryan Gellert
  • (07:08) – Ryan’s Special Question
  • (08:23) – Yvon’s Involvement
  • (09:40) – Becoming a B-Corp
  • (11:46) – Scaling Actions Like Time to Vote
  • (15:16) – In the Know
  • (17:27) – Products
  • (20:42) – Patagonia’s Films
  • (23:38) – How to Start Your Shift to Be Purpose-Focused
  • (26:20) – Advancing Your Purpose Further
  • (28:44) – Surround Sound Storytelling
  • (29:59) – Communicating to Every Employee
  • (31:41) – Parting Words
  • (32:03) – Wrapping Up

Business is an unlikely hero: a force for good working to solve society’s most pressing challenges, while boosting bottom line. This is social purpose at work. And it’s a dynamic journey.

Purpose 360 is a masterclass in unlocking the potential of social purpose to ignite business and social impact. We illuminate the growing impacts of purpose, from engaging employees and fostering deeper consumer loyalty to inspiring product innovation and increasing market share.

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