Patagonia’s first Tools for Grassroots Activists conference was born out of our desire to do more than just write checks to environmental organizations. Then as now, we want to use the assets of Patagonia to help find solutions to urgent environmental problems. We share your concern about these problems and believe we’re in this together.
To us, the ways in which you confront and publicize issues, convince the public of their importance and motivate others to take action are similar to the ways in which we bring a product to market, promote it and convince the public it’s the best. We call it marketing. While you may have another word for it, creative, honest marketing can mean the difference between success and failure—for a product or an issue.
We held the first European Tools Conference this year in October in Lake District, where 42 environmental organisations from 13 countries worked on a mix of core skills: strategy, leadership and creativity, grassroots fundraising and working with business.
We don’t profess to have all the answers, but we hope that together we can share best practices and swap ideas on how to get the important work done. As a company, we’ve made a lot of changes in the way we do business in order to drastically reduce our impact on the environment and to provide useful assistance to environmental organisations But we have a long way to go. Perhaps by bringing together pieces of this complex puzzle, we’ll all become more effective in reaching our goals.