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Posted on November 29, 2021
Our guest on Episode 7 of the For Love & Money podcast is Dane O’Shanassy, Country Director of Patagonia

Like many people who value purposeful organisations, I love Patagonia. They are an unconventional business that is difficult to categorise in traditional business terms. Their purpose is a hugely ambitious one - they’re in business to save our home planet.


In this episode I speak to Dane O’Shanassy, Country Manager for Patagonia. 


Dane shares stories about this extraordinary company from its origins to where it is today. Along the way he shares the philosophies that has guided the business over the last few decades. What I loved about our chat was Dane’s view that Patagonia’s approach isn’t complex. It’s really simple. In fact it boils down to doing the right thing. 


As Dane says in the interview, he is fortunate to work for people who simply want the people who work for Patagonia to figure out how they can use business as a tool for environmental protection. 


I hope you enjoy this episode and the insights that come from it. There are some great learnings here. We did have some connection issues during this recording, which we’ve done our best to edit out. I hope it doesn’t affect your listening experience too much.


Here are some of the stories and themes we cover in our interview:

  • Patagonia’s origins and the climbing experience that inspired Patagonia’s founder, Yvon Chouinard to start the business back in the 1950s

  • Patagonia’s journey towards 100% organic cotton including the employee experience in this changeover

  • How Yvon practices his own version of an MBA - Management By Absence - giving people opportunity

  • Putting people first is the most important thing we can do as business leaders and colleagues

  • Dane shares Patagonia’s purpose and values and explains how they go deep into the culture and beliefs of the organisation

  • How transparency and being accountable for mistakes as well as successes has built trust in its brand

  • The story behind Patagonia’s traceable down certification (it’s a great lesson on how the way leaders respond to a crisis can be a way to build brand equity)

  • What attracts potential employees to Patagonia. And the diversity of employees it attracts

  • How Patagonia’s focus on quality supports their purpose by making things that last

  • Patagonia’s commitment to pledging a 1% “Earth Tax” and how it has built partnerships and collaborations in service of its mission to save our home planet

  • Some examples of Patagonia’s activism, including how a film made by Patagonia led to the biggest environmental petition to the Tasmanian State Parliament; and how a campaign for protection of The Great Australian Bight against oil drilling led to a Norwegian oil company to rescind their drilling permit

  • How marketing for Patagonia is an opportunity to tell stories about things they care about


About Dane O’Shanassy

Since August 2013, Dane has been leading Patagonia in Australia, New Zealand and South-East Asia, supporting growth in sales and brand awareness, alongside steering our regional environmental impact. He finds joy and satisfaction through building strong teams and creating business strategy that can be disruptive and transformational. A Master’s in Business Administration at Melbourne’s Deakin University underscores more than 20 years working with some iconic Australian brands including Rip Curl, Bellroy and Colorado.


Now in his role at Patagonia, Dane has the opportunity to demonstrate that business success and positive environmental impact don’t have to be at odds, in fact, they can be harmonious and profitable. Dane finds his passion in the surf, the mountains, and through spending time with his family at home on Victoria’s Surf Coast.


About Patagonia

We’re in business to save our home planet.

Founded by Yvon Chouinard in 1973, Patagonia is an outdoor apparel company based in Ventura, California. A certified B Corporation, the company is recognised internationally for its commitment to product quality and environmental activism – and its contributions of more than US$145 million in grants and in-kind donations to date.

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