Waste not, want not: Eliminating Patagonia's Pre- and Post-Consumer Textile Waste

by Rachel Dzombak, Clayton Critcher, Henry W. Chesbrough, Kate O'Neill, Seren Pendleton-Knoll, Christine Rosen, Robert Strand

Patagonia has set a goal of eliminating all textile waste by 2025. As a leader in the sustainable apparel industry, this includes not only the cut-and-sew scraps and the liability fabrics, but also the end of life for all of its garments. In order to achieve this goal, innovation must occur throughout the entire lifecycle of Patagonia's products - from the design and the manufacturing, to the consumer behavior side. The company has sought to change the way customers think about clothing - encouraging them to buy fewer, more durable products based on real needs. Patagonia has also worked to create alternatives to landfill for garments at the end-of-life - like repair, recycling, and upcycling. With the mission of: 'We are in business to save our home planet,' Patagonia must achieve this in such a way that other companies can replicate. The case explores aspects of this goal through the eyes of a number of Patagonia employees who work on different teams within the apparel and gear business.

Learning Objectives

This case is centered around the ways in which an established apparel company can work to address larger persistent issues of textile waste within the apparel industry. The company has found ways to innovate in an established apparel supply chain. It also addresses how waste should be valued within a supply chain, and how to change consumer behavior.


Pub Date: May 1, 2020

Discipline: Social Enterprise

Subjects: Consumer behavior, Innovation, Operations management, Recycling, Green business, Open innovation, Design thinking, Supply chain management, Social responsibility

Product #: B5953-PDF-ENG

Industry: Retail & Consumer Goods, Waste management & remediation

Geography: United States, California

Length: 21 page(s)

Berkeley Haas Case Series
Berkeley Haas Case Series The Berkeley Haas Case Series is a collection of business case studies written by faculty members at the Haas School of Business. Cases are conceived, developed, written, and published throughout the year, on subjects ranging from entrepreneurship and strategy to finance and marketing. Each case includes a teaching note for use in the classroom.


Berkeley Haas Case Series

A new collection of business case studies from Berkeley Haas

The aim of the Berkeley Haas Case Series is to incite business innovation by clarifying disruptive trends and questioning the status quo.

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