Patagonia-Driving Sustainable Innovation By Embracing Tensions Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Patagonia is an American clothing company that sells outdoor clothing marketed under sustainable clothing. Yvonne Chouinard was the founder of the company and it was founded in 1970. It's headquartered in California,U.S. Patagonia belongs to the retailing industry which provides the designs and sales of various products of clothing which are used for outerwear such as sports. Patagonia offers clothes suitable for alpine climbing, fly fishing, hiking and snowboarding, surfing, trail running, yoga, as well as other outdoor activities. The company generated over 600 million in revenues as per 2015 financial report,but still much smaller as compared to its competitors such as North Face and Colombia.(Ptagonia Company, 2017)


This case study basically focused on the main issue related to adurable water repellent (DWR) which is the chemical treatment used in the waterproofing of jackets, which is a poisonous chemical anditsbyproducts (C6 Alternatives) that are less harmful to the environment and other governmental interventions and issues are also discussed. (O'Rourke, 2017)

Patagonia-Driving Sustainable Innovation By Embracing Tensions Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

The issues that were discussed in the case are given below:

  1. Tensions between the Supply Chain and Sustainability:

According to Dwyer, the director of innovation and development: Patagonia has tried to produce the best products for consumers in terms of durability and flexibility as well as produce multifunctional products with the concern of the environment.

  • In the supply chain, Patagonia faced the issue of handling problems between the sourcing people, quality people and compliance people. The factory which is in the Philippinesmakes climbing gear for the company which is important for the Patagonia Businesses. But have an issue that employee turnover rate is high due to overworking of employees and still not producing sustainable products. As the employees left the job,it affected on the relationship of the company with the employees. Also affected the society because the number of job vacancies increased. Through this issue, the company reputation decreased which affected the financial statement and created a problem in globally.
  • Another issue was the suppliers of the company did not work together which createda problems in the company. The problem affected the relationship between the companies. When the issue increased, it affected the society in terms of consumer satisfaction.
  • The company also faceda problem in terms of decision-making because it used decentralized culture. Many people took part in the decision but did not get a better decision in favor of the company which affected the quality of the product. This issue affected the company because every person has their own point of view and when many people are involved in the decision,it may erode the quality of the decision and decrease the company morale. The company reputation affects the society and even the government through decreased company profit which affects the economy.[1]
  1. Durable Water Repellents (DWR):
  • The company uses durable water repellents for solving the problems of health, environment and supply chain. The DWR involvesalong chain of fluorocarbons (C8) that arehighly volatile and create byproducts which are toxic and dangerous for the environment.When the health problems in the society are increased, then government funds have to be raised for the treatments. In terms of relationship, the customer and company relationship is destroyed because the customer won’t trust them.(Reinhardt, 2016)....................

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