This week, I came across a great story from Patagonia. Prior to using organic cotton in their clothing, Patagonia had opened a new store in which employees were suffering headaches. They listened and brought in an environmental engineer to investigate the problem. The engineer found that the air in the work environment had toxins due to the materials being used in making the clothing. From this, Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia’s CEO, took it upon himself to research what all goes into clothing and could there be another way? From his journey, he is now not only a proponent of organic cotton and top quality, long-lasting clothing with growing sales, but a leader of a healthy workforce.
What can we learn from Yvon? He says that when he listens, he learns and evolves. He says that 10% of his customers buy Patagonia clothing simply because of the organization’s good practices. Could he also be attracting employees for the same reasons and is this number expected to grow? I believe this is a big part of Patagonia’s success. And I bet they continue to listen to their employees.
Watch the Patagonia video.