Many companies have lost sight of why they should participate in corporate social responsibility. It is simply becoming a trend or a band wagon that organizations are jumping on in order to not be left behind. But are these companies truly participating in these practices because they care, or is it simply to make more money?
There are some companies out there who practice social responsibility because they believe in the cause. Patagonia evolved from a small company that once only made tools for climbers into a company that now sells clothing and gear for silent sports. Silent sports do not require a motor, is low impact on the environment and has a connection with nature such as climbing, skiing, surfing and trail running. Patagonia takes the minimalist approach to their product designs and business practices. Their website is full of ways in which they are taking steps to preserve the earth and call upon others to help take part in their environment campaigns. They have recently partnered with eBay to create the Common Thread Initiative. This initiative is to create fewer things and peruse what we need not what we want. It gives nature a time to rest and heal from the natural resources we have extracted from it. The pledge is:
Reduce what you buy,
Repair what you can,
Reuse what you have, and
Recycle everything else
This company is dedicated to giving back and renewing the earth. Directly on the reduce page it refers to the fact that yes this company makes good quality products that will last, but they encourage their customers to only buy that they really need and will actually use. They teamed up with eBay and ask their customers to go onto the Patagonia Common Threads Initiative site on eBay and resell their used and unwanted clothing. This initiative may actually hurt the company, leaving them with lower sales. This company takes back clothing that can no longer be worn and they recycle it into new fabric and have been doing so since 2005, collecting over 45 tons of clothing. Think if all companies were to do this with their old products. This would reduce the need for extracting new materials from the earth. Not only that but it could also be profitable by save companies money when they do not need to buy brand new materials. Patagonia is truly a company who has the earth in its best interests and is making conscious decisions to protect the environment. These are the companies we, as consumers should be looking for when deciding what companies we are buying from or who we will want to work for in the future. There are still some companies out there who are practicing CSR for all the right reasons, the bottom line not being the top priority.