Popular brands that are contributing to society


Amelia Shives

Patagonia sweaters hanging up in GILKS a local boutique in Hayward, WI.

Amelia Shives, Writer

When discussing big business often people think of profits. However, A lot of big businesses are also focused on sustainability.  Normally companies do not advertise what goes on behind the scenes, but when diving deeper into what these companies are actually about people can learn a lot about what they are doing for the environment and for people around the world.

Currently Patagonia is one of the biggest companies focusing on stopping climate change. Patagonia has been attempting to make an impact on the environment since the Owner Yvon Chouinard founded the company in 1973, but there are other companies who also want to make an impact on our environment, for instance, Beyond Meat. They develop faux meat made from plant based ingredients. Due to the recent boom of their “meat” it is now in many restaurants in America providing vegetarian options. 


Apple is a world-wide technology company that specializes in consumer electronics. Apple develops the phones or computers we have in our hands or on the desk at home. Amidst their popularity, Apple was awarded the “Most eco-friendly tech company in the world” from 2015-2017. Apple has also invested $200 million in its China Clean Energy Fund to help get more renewable energy. Renewable energy is energy from a source that does not get damaged once it is used. They are working on expanding their global footprint and are working towards using 100% recycled and renewable resources. Their goal is to reduce emission, find energy solutions and help fight climate change.

Microsoft is another company that is operating towards a more eco friendly company. The company plans on shifting to 100% renewable energy by 2025 and by 2030 they want to be carbon negative, and Microsoft’s most ambitious goal is that they want to remove all the carbon they have emitted whether it was directly or from electrical consumption by 2050. Microsoft wants their customers to be able to use their products by reducing their own carbon footprint. 

Alphabet is the parent company of Google, the company became carbon neutral in 2007, and in 2017 it became the first company of its size to match its total electricity consumption with renewable energy. By 2030, Alphabet plans on being the first major company to operate full-time on carbon-free energy. 

There are a few students who are skeptical about what these businesses really stand for. Senior Emily Schmidt said, “Those companies are saying they are more sustainable because they want to reach a wider variety of people.” 

However there are some students who do think that companies do have a genuine concern for the environment. Senior Lileigh Nguyen said, “I think a lot of companies that originally started the conversationalist and sustainability movement did it for a good cause. There are companies that are following that agenda just to promote the right thing to gain a bigger audience, but most of these companies are doing it for the right reasons.” 


Nike is also actively striving to become a more sustainable company, even though they are known for supporting fast fashion. Fast fashion is clothing that is mass produced, and then sold at a cheap price. Nike’s “Bloom over Doom” campaign is their “Journey toward zero carbon and zero waste” to help protect the future of sport. Nike is currently planning on reducing 30% of their carbon emissions across their entire company by 2030. Nike reports that 75% of  their products are made with some sort of recycled material. 

There are other companies that are making an impact in other ways, like Love Your Melon. This company was founded in an entrepreneur class at St. Thomas University by two friends Brian and Zarchary who wanted to create a company that was meaningful and would have a positive impact on people. Their intentional goal was to donate a hat to every kid in America with peticartic cancer. That goal was quickly hit so they moved on to their larger goal. Donate $10 million dollars towards peticartic cancer research and continue to donate hats to kids with cancer.  


The popular clothing brand Patagonia is contributing help towards the climate crisis. Patagonia is pushing its way to becoming more sustainable and ethical. Patagonia is a popular brand known for its outdoor and adventure-like wear. Their mission statement is “build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis (Good on you).” Almost all of Patagonia’s fabrics are made from recycled resources including their nylon, polyester, and wool. 

I never really knew why Patagonia was so big on sustainability. I think that now that I know their message and mission statement, it makes me want to support the company more.

— Kassidy Hart

One thing that Patagonia is working towards is creating less fast fashion, they try to create more long lasting products that their customers will have for years. In September 2022, Patagonia decided that all their profits will go to help stop climate change. They also decided that they will no longer be working with big businesses like Scheels and their clothes will only be found in boutiques and small businesses starting soon.

Patagonia still has no animal welfare policy and continues to use leather and exoctic animal hair as some of their products. Patagonia is transparent in where their products are being made and how they are being made. In the US, Patagonia uses 100% renewable energy and 67% worldwide. They also are working on reducing the amount of water they are using and trying to keep plastic out of landfills. Patagonia encourages their customers to recycle their packages that they receive from the website. Senior Kassidy Hart said, “I never really knew why Patagonia was so big on sustainability. I think that now that I know their message and mission statement, it makes me want to support the company more.” 

Many students support Patagonia’s mission. Senior Reegan Lindholm said, “I think what Patagonia is doing is good for the environment and I think it’s great they are helping improve our environment long term.” 

Every step towards sustainability and responsibility will make a huge impact on our planet. Not only is Patagonia making an effort to become more environmentally friendly and dedicate their company to sustainable development, but big corporations are doing this as well. If more companies and people start taking action and be more responsible with their actions it will help change the Earth for the better. If big companies do not start making an impact, it will cost not only the environment, but humans as well.