Patagonia is not your average clothing manufacturer. Generally regarded as the outdoor clothing company, Patagonia’s way of operating its business should be a model for every employer in the United States-in the world, for that matter.
But don’t take our word for it, according to the financial magazine Fortune 500, Patagonia is one of the best employers in the country, primarily based on how well its employees are treated.
Lunchtime at your job probably consists of a hurried 30-minute, fast-food, power scarf. Not so at the Patagonia cafeteria. “We’re about 80-percent organic. We have a full-time chef named Barbara, and she has a couple of prep cooks as well,” says Chip Bell, the coolest receptionist ever and freestyle Frisbee champion (yes, they have those). “We offer a new entrà‡e every day. The joke around here is that the only thing that doesn’t change is the beans and rice.” Because the company’s owners subsidize the food costs, nothing is over three bucks-even sushi day. “We just make sure to cover the cost of the goods-there’s no profit,” adds Chip.
And just because lunch is over, Patagonia employees aren’t hurried back to their cubicles. In fact, they’re encouraged to participate in an after-lunch yoga class, play a game of volleyball, or do some aerobics-all free of charge. True, yoga’s cool-but what about surfing? Don’t worry, future Patagonia employees. Chip explains, “Yvon’s (CEO Yvon Chouinard) quote is ‘Let my people surf!’ and activities like yoga and aerobics actually add to productivity and create a healthy work atmosphere.”
Ready to quit your job yet?-Justin Cote
Patagonia has more than 1,000 employees.
One percent of Patagonia’s profits go to the planet.
Employees can work for any nonprofit organization for two months a year-while getting their full pay.
Conference rooms at Patagonia are named after surf breaks such as the Overhead, Outer Banks, and Rincon rooms.
An on-premises board factory, Point Blanks, produces surfboards made from closed-cell foam and epoxy resin, creating stronger and lighter boards than traditional methods.
Most furniture and carpeting at Patagonia is made from remilled and recycled materials.
Check out the Web site at patagonia.com.