As someone who espouses simplicity and buying only what we need, Brooke has an uneasy relationship with the idea of capitalism. But as a business-owner, a traveller and someone who does indeed purchase things on occasion, she recognises that this means she takes part in a capitalist society every day.
During a conversation with Carolyn Tate back in September last year, Brooke was introduced to the idea of conscious capitalism, in which for-profit organisations are making capitalism stand for something good – for people, for the environment or for social change. It was also through Carolyn that Brooke was introduced to her guest today – Dane O’Shanassy of Patagonia.
If you’ve listened to the poggie for any length of time, you’ve probably heard Ben and Brooke talk about Patagonia and how impressed they are with their commitment to ethical manufacturing and the environment. Founded by hardcore climbers, surfers, skiiers, mountaineers and explorers, Patagonia is a company that loves nature and wants to protect it.
They actively discourage people from buying new clothes unless they’re needed, and have in-store repair stations where you can have your Patagonia gear fixed for free. They distribute 1% of sales (not profits) every year in to grass-roots campaigns, and are highly engaged both as a company and individuals in environmental activism. They’re currently transitioning to 100% Fair Trade and are incredibly transparent – both in terms of supply chain and business management. In fact, founder Yvon Chouinard’s book ‘Let My People Go Surfing’ is basically the blueprint on which Ben and Brooke are trying to build their own business.
Ben and Brooke recently travelled down to Torquay to chat with Dane, and while they do talk about the work Patagonia is doing both here in Australia and globally, they also focus on his personal journey towards a more sustainable, simple life. As a surfer, Dane loves being outdoors, and he and Brooke share a similar philosophy on the best way to get people to actually care about the environment: spend time in it.
This is a great conversation that doesn’t shy away from the tension that exists between environmental protection and manufacturing, and also left Brooke feeling hopeful for the possibilities that come when people turn their passion in to action (and activism!)
Head over to the blog for links to everything mentioned in today’s episode and to enter the giveaway to win a pack of three Patagonia books (entries close 23:59 March 30, 2017).
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