So maybe a year and a half back, Yvon Chouinard’s book-Let My People Go Surfing-popped up on my business-books-to-read radar. I read it, loved the story behind it, bought into the ideology entirely and recommended the book to a whole bunch of friends (who I hope have enjoyed it too). It’s a different kind of book on business, but it’s fantastic. While Chouinard may have started to redefine what it could mean to be an ethical and globally responsible organisation, the attitude and the hunger for change is ultimately the most inspiring part and what I took from the book. Trying to track/map the footprint of the manufacture of each garment has McDonough/Braungart’s Cradle To Cradle ideology all over it. But I feel Yvon’s need to do this was achieved independently and originally, making the idea/concept/process that little bit more powerful.
Now looking back through emails from the last year, I happened to come across one to my father where I justified the purchase of a new Patagonia Nano Puff jacket purely because Let My People Go Surfing was such a great book, painting such a wonderful picture of Patagonia. Here’s what I said:
Also, purchased a light alpine jacket from Patagonia. It’s literally the nicest jacket ever. You will LOVE it. Weighs about 250g, and compresses to fit in its own inside pocket. Entirely windproof and mostly water resistant, very thin, but will keep one warm down to the temperatures where the Canada Goose jacket is required. Even better, on warm days, it’s totally breathable, so you feel the right temperature, not too warm. I only bought it because I read Chouinard’s book (Let My People Go Surfing (though he has a new one now!)) and the company sounded excellent. The book’s a great marketing idea and the jacket surpasses every expectation I remotely had. You should think about getting one similar if you get a chance.
9 months on, I still agree with everything I said then. The jacket is fantastic and one of the best purchases I’ve made in a while. On a slightly related note, I was surprised to find my exact jacket for sale used in Shimo-Kitazawa for more than I paid for it. Talk about great resale value (or a weak Yen?). Nonetheless, if you need a new light jacket, and want something incredible, you now know where to look.