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Business reputation case study

What does a successful approach to cultivating a positive business reputation look like? Learn more in this article using Patagonia as a case study.

Let’s explore a case study of an organisation that has built and maintained an excellent reputation.

In the world of outdoor apparel and gear, Patagonia stands as a shining example of a company that has built an exceptional business reputation. Beyond producing high-quality products, Patagonia has become renowned for its commitment to sustainability and ethical practices. This case study explores how Patagonia has crafted its strong reputation, focusing on its sustainable business model, responsible supply chain, and bold activism. By prioritising social and environmental responsibility, Patagonia has not only garnered customer loyalty but has also inspired other businesses to follow suit.

Patagonia’s commitment to sustainability is deeply ingrained in its business model. The company’s founder, Yvon Chouinard, established a philosophy centred on minimising environmental impact and promoting conscious consumption. Patagonia’s products are designed to be durable and long-lasting, encouraging customers to buy less and invest in high-quality items that endure. Through its “Worn Wear” program, the company encourages customers to repair and reuse their Patagonia products rather than discard them.

Patagonia goes to great lengths to ensure that its supply chain is socially and environmentally responsible. The company strives to source materials that have the least negative impact on the environment, such as organic cotton and recycled fabrics. Patagonia also takes steps to ensure fair labour practices throughout its supply chain, conducting regular audits and working closely with its suppliers to maintain high standards.

Moreover, Patagonia takes a proactive approach to transparency. The company provides detailed information about its suppliers, manufacturing processes, and the environmental and social impact of its products on its website. This transparency allows customers to make informed purchasing decisions and holds Patagonia accountable for its commitments.

Patagonia’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond its own operations. The company actively engages in environmental and social activism, leveraging its influence and resources to drive positive change. Patagonia has used its brand and platform to advocate for the protection of public lands, fight against climate change, and support sustainable agriculture.

One notable example of Patagonia’s activism is its “1% for the Planet” initiative. The company commits 1% of its sales to environmental organisations around the world, contributing millions of dollars annually to support grassroots environmental efforts. This initiative demonstrates Patagonia’s dedication to making a tangible impact beyond its direct business operations.

Patagonia also takes a stand by using its marketing campaigns as a platform for raising awareness. Its thought-provoking advertisements, such as the famous “Don’t Buy This Jacket” campaign, encourage consumers to question their consumption habits and consider the environmental consequences of their choices.

Patagonia has built an excellent business reputation by prioritising sustainability, responsible supply chains, and bold activism. By integrating sustainability into its business model, the company encourages conscious consumption and fosters a culture of durability and repairability. Patagonia’s commitment to transparency and fair labour practices further solidifies its reputation as an ethical brand. Its activism initiatives and support for environmental organisations demonstrate its dedication to making a positive impact beyond its own operations.

Through our case study, we can see that Patagonia serves as an inspiring example for businesses worldwide, showing that sustainable and ethical practices are not only possible but can also contribute to long-term success.


1. Environmental & Social Footprint – Patagonia [Internet]. Available from:

2. Snider J, Hill RP, Martin D. Corporate Social Responsibility in the 21st Century: A View from the World’s Most Successful Firms. Journal of Business Ethics. 2003 Dec; 48(2):175–87. Available from:

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