Tell us a little about why you’re a bicycle-supporting business and a little about your business, in general.
For us at Patagonia, the protection and preservation of the environment isn’t what we do after hours. It’s the reason we’re in business and every day’s work. Our values reflect those of a business started by a band of climbers and surfers and the minimalist style they promoted. Without commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, defend clean water and air, and divest from dirty technologies, humankind as a whole will destroy our planet’s ability to repair itself. That’s why we try to stay focused on specific things Patagonia can do to reduce, neutralize, or even reverse the root causes of climate change and that includes our company wide Drive-Less program which provides a monetary incentive to employees to carpool, ride a bike, skateboard, take public transportation—anything but drive alone to work.
Why did you decide to become a Bike Austin small business member?
We believe in using our company voice to advocate for systemic change. By spreading the word about specific environmental issues, we can increase awareness and inspire action as quickly as possible. We know that our business activity – from lighting stores to dyeing shirts – creates pollution as a by-product. So we work steadily to reduce those harms. Staying true to our core values during forty-plus years in business has helped us create a company we’re proud to run and work for, and joining the Bike Austin Business member program affords us another opportunity to walk our talk and support the bicycling lifestyle within our community.
What benefits or positive outcomes do you hope to enjoy as a Bike Austin small business member?
We hope our membership with Bike Austin will help to elevate awareness about the importance of bicycle advocacy, access, and safety as an integral part of promoting Bike Austin’s vision for a multi-modal transportation system within our greater Austin area.
Why do you think Bike Austin is important to the Austin cycling community?
We believe in exercising the right to be responsible. Supporting a healthy, active outdoor life-style, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, and embracing the values of our local cyclists are all reasons we feel Bike Austin is an important non-profit partnership for our citizens.
Why/how do you think donations are important to Bike Austin’s Advocacy Fund and education programs?
Through our membership in 1% For The Planet—we’ve donated over $100 million in cash to thousands of community-based groups working to create positive change for the planet in their own backyards. These groups often have less than five paid staffers; some are run entirely by volunteers. For us, it’s not charity or traditional philanthropy. It’s part of the cost of doing business. We call it our Earth Tax. We all have a chance to make a difference. We recognize the importance of Bike Austin’s advocacy and education programs and we are proud to support groups that are working to positively transform our local community.
Anything personalized or fun about your experience as cyclists/small business owners and why Bike Austin has made this more possible, empowering, safe, groovy, etc.
Each year we close our retail locations so our employees can test our products and have some fun! We call it a Field Day, a sort of Let My People Go Surfing for the hard-working folks in our stores. Last year, the Austin staff embarked on a bike-camping trip to McKinney Falls State Park. No strangers to biking or camping, we felt it was a natural combination of outdoor activities that we all love and enjoy. When our staff isn’t seen hauling stashes of cold, local beer along our area bike routes you can find us at our shop located at 316 Congress Ave with a bike rack full of our favorite modes of transportation.