For Every One, A Purpose
We are fortunate. All of us. Despite the individual challenges we face regularly, North Americans live in a relatively-stable, relatively-wealthy world. Keep in mind, I’m not talking Bugatti-and-caviar, or even work/live loft existence. I mean we have food each day, clean water and a roof over our head. Most of us have this. Much of the world does not. As such, we are in a position to move from the foundation of Maslow's hierarchy of needs further up the pyramid. We can feel safe. We can build relationships. We can explore what our purpose is. As individuals, we are encouraged to improve, find our passion, become better. Everywhere around us, companies market this idea to us, so why are companies criticized for doing the same?
When Patagonia sued to keep access to public land, critics came out in droves. When Nike stood beside a kneeling Colin Kaepernick, an entire nation became bizarrely politically engaged. And in 2019, when ecologyst put their weight behind Pacific Wild and the B.C. herring fishing moratorium, we were told that it wasn’t our fight. We are, after all, a clothing company. Why should we get a say in industrial fishing practices? I answer back: why shouldn’t we?
The future is everyone’s responsibility. And whether you are an individual, a shareholder or an executive making the big decisions at a company, how you operate is how our future will be decided. At ecologyst, we operate on a different model than most. As both the CEO of this company and in my personal life, I surround myself by others that use their business as a force for good. Still, I'm frequently surprised when I meet people that simply cannot imagine a company doing anything other than trying to make as much money as possible, as quickly as possible.
We believe you can make money while doing good. This is the thesis we are proving out. Our company—and any company for that matter—is made of a group of humans. It so happens that our particular group of humans at ecologyst is extremely passionate about protecting this coast. If ecologyst doesn't use its voice on matters like herring and microfibres and logging, we would not exist. Speaking up is as important to us as making money.
We will continue to make timeless clothing that does not ruin the earth. We will continue to raise our voice for those that cannot. We will continue to push for protections for the natural world we rely on for life. If you can’t get on board with this business model, it may be time to examine your own purpose. Why are you here? What do you want to see in the world?