Founded in 1973 by a legendary mountain climber, Patagonia has grown into one of the most iconic outdoor clothing companies in the world by being story driven. While Patagonia has its roots in rock and alpine climbing, for most of its companies, these activities are distant dreams: they may never summit a mountain peak.
But that doesn’t really matter. Why? Because Patagonia activates our aspirations—our ambitions to travel to faraway places, to push beyond the boundaries of our everyday lives, to commit feats of daring we never thought we could achieve. From its name to the majestic outdoor mountains and exotic locales that are the hallmark of its photographic “stories,” Patagonia taps into our desire for adventure and growth.
Over the years, the company’s story has evolved. It was one of the first firms to donate a fixed portion of its profits to the preserving the environment through its “1% for the Planet” contributions. Patagonia also pioneered one of the “post consumer recycled” lines by creating products woven from a polyester fabric made from recycled bottles.
With Patagonia, where a jacket comes from and what you might do when you wear it are all part of its story.
“The universe is made of stories, not atoms.” Muriel Rukeyser’s words and Patagonia’s success remind us that stories are everywhere. As writers, our job is to discover and share them with our readers.
Is there anything that can’t be made into a story? Anything that can‘t somehow be captured in words and conveyed as a shared emotional experience? Whether it’s Patagonia’s mountain-climbing message or a sci fi trip to another galaxy or a voyage of inward discovery, stories help us soar beyond ourselves. Write on!
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