Yvon Chouinard

A Quote by Yvon Chouinard on conscious business, business, conscious capitalism, risk, environment, and sustainability

I had always tried to live my life fairly simply and by 1991, knowing what I knew about the state of the environment, I had begun to eat lower on the food chain and reduce my consumption of material goods. Doing risk sports had taught me another important lesson: never exceed your limits. You push the envelope and you live for those moments when you’re right on the edge, but you don’t go over. You have to be true to yourself; you have to know your strengths and limitations and live within your means. The same is true for a business. The sooner a company tries to be what it is not, the sooner it tries to “have it all,” the sooner it will die.

Yvon Chouinard

Source: Patagonia: Let My People Go Surfing: http://www.patagonia.com/usa/patagonia.go?assetid=5625

Contributed by: ~C4Chaos

A Quote by Yvon Chouinard on business, conscious business, conscious capitalism, ethics, values, and philosophy

While our managers debated what steps to take to address the sales and cash-flow crisis, I began to lead week-long employee seminars in what we called Philosophies. We’d take a busload at a time to places like Yosemite or the Marin Headlands above San Francisco, camp out, and gather under the trees to talk. The goal was to teach every employee in the company our business and environmental ethics and values.

Yvon Chouinard

Source: Patagonia: Let My People Go Surfing: http://www.patagonia.com/usa/patagonia.go?assetid=5625

Contributed by: ~C4Chaos

A Quote by Yvon Chouinard on business, values, conscious capitalism, conscious business, patagonia, environment, and sustainability

I took a dozen of our top managers to Argentina, to the windswept mountains of the real Patagonia, for a walkabout. In the course of roaming around those wild lands, we asked ourselves why we were in business and what kind of business we wanted Patagonia to be. A billion-dollar company? Okay, but not if it meant we had to make products we couldn’t be proud of. And we discussed what we could do to help stem the environmental harm we caused as a company. We talked about the values we had in common, and the shared culture that had brought everyone to Patagonia, Inc., and not another company.

Yvon Chouinard

Source: Patagonia: Let My People Go Surfing: http://www.patagonia.com/usa/patagonia.go?assetid=5625

Contributed by: ~C4Chaos

A Quote by Yvon Chouinard on growth, business, and customers

Growth isn't central at all, because I'm trying to run this company as if it's going to be here a hundred years from now. And if you take where we are today and add 15% growth, like public companies need to have for their stock to stay up in value, I'd be a multi-trillion-dollar company in 40 years. Which is impossible, of course.

So all of these companies that are going for the big growth, if it continues for any length of time, will outlast their resources and outlast their customers and go belly-up. And that's why these huge companies have massive layoffs all the time.

Since I'm trying to run this company like it's going to be around a hundred years from now, we have to limit our growth and keep it to what we call "natural growth." In other words, I don't advertise on billboards in inner cities so that kids buy our black down jackets instead of The North Face's. In fact, we hardly advertise at all.

We grow by letting the customer tell us. So when the customer tells us that they're frustrated, that they just got their catalogue and we're already out of a product they wanted, then it tells me that we're not making enough. We let the customer tell us instead of creating an artificial demand for our products. Any time you're making products that people don't need, you're at the mercy of the economy, you're at the mercy of whatever is going on. So we tried to avoid that situation.

Yvon Chouinard

Source: The TH Interview: Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia (Part One): http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/02/the_th_interview_yvon_chouinard.php

Contributed by: ~C4Chaos

A Quote by Yvon Chouinard on moment and business

I live for the moment. I'm basically a Buddhist-type person. I'm just here right now, and I don't think about what's going to happen a hundred years from now. I try to concentrate on what's going on right now.

But I’m really trying to run this company like it is going to be here a hundred years from now. That's what's important.

Yvon Chouinard

Source: The TH Interview: Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia (Part One): http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/02/the_th_interview_yvon_chouinard.php

Contributed by: ~C4Chaos

A Quote by Yvon Chouinard on sustainability, conscious business, conscious capitalism, business, cradel to cradle, consumption, and recycling

...we've teamed up with some Japanese companies to, basically by 2010, make all our clothing out of recycled and recyclable fibers. And we're going to accept ownership of our products from birth to birth. So if you buy a jacket from us, or a shirt ,or a pair of pants, when you're done with it, you can give it back to us and we'll make more shirts and pants out of it.

Which is a different idea about consuming. Right now the world runs on consuming and discarding, and we're saying that we're taking responsibility for our products from birth to birth. Can you imagine if a computer company said, "When you're done with your computer, we'll buy it back from you and make more computers out of it." Instead, they sell you computer and you can't even get service from them!

It's a different way of accepting responsibility.

Yvon Chouinard

Source: The TH Interview: Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia (Part One): http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/02/the_th_interview_yvon_chouinard.php

Contributed by: ~C4Chaos

A Quote by Yvon Chouinard on corporation, business, responsibility, and corporate social responsibility

...it's always been difficult for us to lead an examined life as a corporation. I've always felt like a company has the responsibility to not wait for the government to tell it what to do, or to wait for the consumer to tell it what to do, but as soon as it finds out it’s doing something wrong, stop doing it.

Yvon Chouinard

Source: The TH Interview: Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia (Part One): http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/02/the_th_interview_yvon_chouinard.php

Contributed by: ~C4Chaos

A Quote by Yvon Chouinard on business, conscious business, conscious capitalism, and sustainability

Yeah, leading an examined life, I always say, is a pain in the ass. It adds an element of complexity to business that most businessmen don't want to hear about. They just want to call a fabric manufacturer, and say, "Hey, give us 10,000 yards of shirting."

Yvon Chouinard

Source: The TH Interview: Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia (Part One): http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/02/the_th_interview_yvon_chouinard.php

Contributed by: ~C4Chaos

A Quote by Yvon Chouinard on business, profit, goal, and process

...it's the same with business. If you focus on the goal and not the process, you inevitably compromise. Businessmen who focus on profits wind up in the hole. For me, profit is what happens when you do everything else right.

Yvon Chouinard

Source: TIME: Reaching the Top by Doing the Right Thing: http://www.time.com/time/reports/environment/heroes/heroesgallery/0,2967,chouinard,00.html

Contributed by: ~C4Chaos

A Quote by Yvon Chouinard on sustainability, conscious business, conscious capitalism, business, and manufacturing

...there's no such thing as sustainability. There are just levels of it. It's a process, not a real goal. All you can do is work toward it. There's no such thing as any sustainable economy. The only thing I know that's even close to sustainable economic activity would be organic farming on a very small scale or hunting and gathering on a very small scale. And manufacturing, you end up with way more waste than you end up with finished product. It's totally unsustainable. It's just the way it is.

Yvon Chouinard

Source: Grist: Don't Get Mad, Get Yvon: http://www.grist.org/news/maindish/2004/10/22/little-chouinard/

Contributed by: ~C4Chaos

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