Monday, March 11, 2013

living with a conscience...

My dream
since I switched careers has been to work for a more responsible business someday.  
My struggle
with my career change from day one has been that I help people make products that will end up in the landfill.  
My desire
has been to take what I have learned with this career change and use it for the better good.  

I am not one to advocate for change by shouting loudly and carrying a sign, 
I speak quietly and make purposeful decisions with how I live my life and spend my money.  
I want to take what I do for a living and help people make things with a moral, environmental, and human conscience that is well designed, purposeful, and thoughtful.  And yes, I still want to make money doing it.
For years I have said that the more responsible business I would like to work for is Patagonia.  Tonight, hearing Vincent Stanley talk at my local Patagonia store instilled this belief in me further.  

My biggest question going to the talk tonight was 
"How does Patagonia reconcile the fact they they advise people not to over-consume (take this ad campaign for instance), tout that they are environmental and ethical, and at the same time make and sell goods to be consumed with the purpose of making a profit?"  
As I heard Vincent speak tonight I answered this question for myself.  In fact, I guess I knew better than to ask it.

Patagonia is here looking out for us and our planet the best they can.  They aren't perfect, they make mistakes, but they believe in trying.  The dollars we spend in their stores help them to make a difference for us, and make our world a better place.  If I didn't shop at Patagonia, the products I buy would not be thoughtfully made (in as many ways as possible) and I would still need them and purchase them somewhere else where my dollars would not speak for positive change, instead my dollars would continue to support degrading our future.  We need places like Patagonia, and we need to support them.  The fact of the matter is, we need more Patagonia's.

Vincent has been, and is, in an amazing position to work for positive change.  We all as human beings must consume - but lets all learn from our mistakes and work to do it in a better way.  He truly seemed Real.  Honest.  Thoughtful.  Human.

The majority of American's have not demonstrated in the last decades that they are willing to pay for the true cost of goods, either by the higher price tag, or looking at the supply chain from which it came.  

We need to start.

Maybe we can't make a good decision with every purchase, but we can start by making one, and then another, and then another...

May we all start to work towards positive change by living with a conscience.

Thank you Vincent, you have inspired...

and no, this is not a paid Patagonia ad, this is me.