Issue 021 / Homeworkers, Coffee Fuel and Why Patagonia Is Suing Trump

Reconsidered is a bi-weekly newsletter curating thought-provoking content on corporate social responsibility, sustainability and social impact. Click here to subscribe. 

This Week's Five Links

Patagonia CEO: This Is Why We’re Suing President TrumpTime
Earlier this week, the U.S. president announced a substantial reduction of two national monuments in Utah, sparking outrage among environmental groups, outdoor enthusiasts... and Patagonia. The outdoor retailer has responded with some bold moves, changing its homepage to read “The President Stole Your Land” and now filing a lawsuit on behalf of several environmental organizations to block Trump’s order. In this op-ed, CEO Rose Marcario explains why. 
✊🏽 TAKE ACTION: Experience Patagonia’s multimedia homage to Bears Ears National Monument and join their activist movement

Inside the Revolution at EtsyThe New York Times
After Etsy became one of the first certified B Corps to go public in 2015, observers wondered: could it balance the short-term demands of its shareholders with its long-term, purpose-driven mission? The answer appears grim. According to this article, activist investors and private equity firms have descended on the Brooklyn-based crafts marketplace, calling for a sale of the company and pushing out the sitting CEO. Projects have been shut down and nearly 140 employees laid off. And, because remaining a B Corp would require Etsy to change its legal standing, the company is letting its certification status lapse. 

London Buses To Be Powered by Coffee GroundsEngadget
Bio-Bean, Shell and Argent Energy have partnered on a B20 biofuel created by blending oil extracted from coffee waste with diesel. So far, they've produced enough of this fuel to power one London bus for a year — with the potential to ultimately provide enough oil to power a third of London's bus network.

Why Are America's Farmers Killing Themselves in Record Numbers?The Guardian
Since 2013, net farm income for U.S. farmers has declined 50% and most commodity prices remain below the cost of production. When combined with social isolation, limited mental health services and access to lethal means, the result is a continuing farm crisis, with agricultural workers having the highest occupational suicide rate in the U.S. A sad but important read.

A New Textiles Economy: Redesigning Fashion’s FutureThe Ellen MacArthur Foundation
This new report from the Circular Fibres Initiative outlines a vision and ambition to design out the negative impacts of textile production and capture a $500b economic opportunity by truly transforming the way clothes are designed, sold, and used.

Patagonia became a California benefit corporation in 2012, in order to legally enshrine our longstanding environmental and social values into the foundation of our business. Our articles of incorporation require that we confront urgent environmental threats by investing our resources as a growing business into environmental nonprofits.
— Rose Marcario in "Patagonia CEO: This Is Why We’re Suing President Trump" (Time)

Spotlight: A New Compliance Standard for Global Artisans & Homeworkers


The International Labor Organization estimates that there are nearly 300 million homeworkers around the world and that as much as 60% of global garment production happens outside the four walls of a factory.

This week, non-profit organization Nest officially launched its Nest Compliance for Homes and Small Workshops standard at a convening held at the United Nations in New York. Built and piloted in collaboration with brand pioneers including EILEEN FISHER, Jaipur Living, Maiyet, Patagonia, PVH, Target, The Children’s Place, and West Elm, Nest Compliance stands to revolutionize the industry by making homework a safe and viable option. In conjunction, Nest launched the Nest Seal as a symbol to let consumers know that the products they shop were ethically handcrafted.

As an early partner in these initiatives, I am so proud and excited that these tools now exist to help bridge the gaps between artisan producers and the global marketplace. The potential impact — especially for women artisans and their families — could be tremendous.

Reconsidered is curated by Jessica Marati Radparvar. If you enjoyed reading it, please consider sharing it!