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The Responsible Company: What We've Learned From Patagonia's First 40 Years Paperback – Deckle Edge, May 25, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“If you have any doubt at all that doing right by the natural world is good for the bottom line, please, stop right now, wherever you are, find a seat, put the smartphone on mute, and read this freaking book. Yvon and Vincent aren’t here to bum you out about a planet turning to desert, or to shame you into anything. They affirm that the ingenuity and hard work required to clean up our offices and industries will be the most rewarding (and profitable) work we do.”--Brad Wieners, Executive Editor, Bloomberg BusinessWeek

From the Back Cover

 Over the past 40 years, Patagonia has consistently done the outrageous and unusual -- switched to exclusive use of organic cotton clothes, introduced recycled (and recyclable) underwear and fleece, and created an interactive website, the Footprint Chronicles, to clue customers in to the social and environmental impact of Patagonia's products. The company's Common Threads Initiative redefines the relationship between company and customer, to help reduce consumption, wrest the full life out of every product made, and recycle or repurpose what can no longer be used. 

About Patagonia

Patagonia, Inc. is a Ventura, California-based outdoor clothing company, founded in 1973 by Yvon Chouinard, with current annual sales of over $500 million. Its reason for being: build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis. 

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Patagonia Books; 1st edition (May 25, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0980122783
  • ISBN-13: 978-0980122787
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,616 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Nora Gallagher on May 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
The Responsible Company is like the Elements of Style, that basic guide to writing that has served so many writers and readers. In beautifully written, clean prose, it boils down the basics of responsibility to employees, customers and the planet. There is another way to do business besides the quick profit and the scorched earth policy of so many corporations. There is another way to do business and survive as a business. Even make a profit.
I recommend this book especially to people who do not read business books, whose inclination might be toward literary essays or novels. It's a great read and you will know so much more about the realities of the business world, and the often agonizing decisions Patagonia had to make to get to where it is now: a company trying to earn the
right to call itself responsible.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Marblehead on May 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
Truly inspiring. A must read for those starting out in business as well as those who are already established. This book shows there is a way to run a business, make a profit, and still sleep well at night knowing you are doing the right thing for the earth.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Josephine Ireland on August 12, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Responsible Company is surprisingly hard to put down and the antidote to all the discouraging news about corporate America. Simple in concept, it describes clearly and succinctly why we need to revamp our collective business practice before the planet's resources run out, then provides practical checklists for how to go about it. The authors draw on their own experiences at Patagonia, describing some of the moments that "stunned them into consciousness", and also bring news of other companies who have come to the table--DuPont, Nike, and Wal-Mart among them--and some of the surprising and heartening coalitions they've formed. The writing is excellent, the voice that of someone you'd be happy to find yourself seated next to at an interesting dinner party. Despite the credibility of Patagonia--I always think of them as a company that tries to "walk the walk"--the tone is one of humility; there's an inherent conflict between making and selling products that consume resources and create waste and acting responsibly, and Chouinard and Stanley acknowledge it and are candid about how far Patagonia or anyone else is from achieving real sustainability. Still, it's a hopeful book, one I wish everyone would read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Seapc on May 25, 2012
Format: Paperback
A book about business (and the environment) that is enjoyable to read! It is beautifully written, optimistic, and entertaining. I couldn't put it down and was truly inspired and empowered.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mary Volmer on October 26, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a pretty good sequel to 'Surfing' and just about as inspiring. Choinard reminds us that regardless of what we're doing in our lives we have a responsibility to make it right, whether that be the workers who make our products or the raw materials that go into them. Do we embrace a cradle to grave philosophy in our product lifecycle? Are the people that create and manufacture our products made to feel successful and secure? What about our customers? Does our product satisfy the needs that they were seeking? The book opens our eyes these and other sustainable questions that we might not otherwise think about. Choinard is humble, he admits that in the beginning they (Patagonia) didn't either but are now constantly challenging each other with possible better ways to make their products.

What if we were to step back and assess the impact our decisions make on the lives of others and our planet? Would we change our ways? After reading this book (and Surfing) I know I will. I hope you will too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cristian Guajardo Garcia on July 2, 2012
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This is a very beautiful book. Its honest, trutfull and compelling.

Patagonia is teaching us how to run a business and be profitable while staying truth to our core values and commitment to save the world.
Similar to what Atul Gawande did with his The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right Patagonia gives us actual steps to move onward leading a green change in both, our companies and personal lives.

This is how a company should be lead.
The book inspires and its an eye opener.

Its an absolutely must.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is amazing.

As a business owner, I feel that we can make conscious and sustainable choices that still improve our overall bottom line, and the bottom line for the planet.

I realize that when businesses win, the environment often loses. That being said, the book encourages us to take a look at all aspects of our business and create a path toward reducing impact and making your business more sustainable in steps. I think this is an important concept and allows for a thoughtful starting point for all businesses. Some choices will be strictly financial to reduce packaging and waste. Others will be need to be driven by larger goals of sustainability.
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By Jacquelyn A. Ottman on January 27, 2013
Format: Paperback
The moment you pick up this book, you know you're in for something special. The cover design, the choice of thick, irregularly cut paper, gives the book a specialness, a very appealing aesthetic (that no e book could hope to match!).

The book was alot more self-congratulatory in tone than I was led to believe by the introductory remarks, but the quality of the writing and the engaging stories make it very inspiring and worthwhile a read. Recommended for anyone looking to understand how to approach building a relevant company in today's business world, and for some inspiration, encouragement -- and strength -- to make the seemingly hard but "right" decisions.
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The Responsible Company: What We've Learned From Patagonia's First 40 Years
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