Skip to content

Ethical brand ratings and accreditation since 2001

Back to table


How ethical is Patagonia?

Patagonia, a fashion retailer brand owned by Patagonia Inc., is one of The Good Shopping Guide’s below-benchmark ethical brands. The brand receives a poor Good Shopping Guide ethical score of Patagonia in our Ethical Fashion Retailers Ratings Table and therefore does not pass our benchmark to be considered a good ethical brand.

We encourage other companies in the Fashion Retailers sector to keep pushing for sustainability and adopt more ethical policies and practices.

Is Patagonia sustainable?

Patagonia has a mixture of poor and good Ethical Scores across all categories of our research into the Environment, Animals, and People, and how the brand considers these criteria in its business practices.

Patagonia scores highly on its Sustainability page, which highlights several goals for 2025 & 2030. These include: “By 2025, [Patagonia] will eliminate virgin petroleum fiber in [its] products and only use… virgin counterparts…”, its “packaging will be 100% reusable, home compostable, renewable or easily recyclable…” by 2025 and by “2030, [they] will be net zero* across [their] entire business.” (For a full breakdown of what ‘Net Zero’ means, follow this link to Patagonia’s site.)

Patagonia also made headlines in 2022, when the “earth” became its sole shareholder. But what does this mean? Patagonia CEO, “Chouinard took that commitment a step further in his September announcement that “the earth is now our sole shareholder.” His family transferred all company voting stock (about 2% of overall shares) to the Patagonia Purpose Trust, which will ensure that Patagonia keeps operating according to its values of social responsibility.” (From Corporate Knights.)

The Fair Labor Association® (FLA), a nonprofit organisation with headquarters in Washington, D.C., was founded to hold clothing manufacturers accountable for ethical labour standards. Patagonia is a founding and accredited member of the FLA.

Another of Patagonia’s positive Environmental policies is its 100% organic cotton products (certified by Regenerative Organic Alliance). Organic products prevent toxic chemicals from negatively affecting the environment, wildlife or farmers. Check out one of Patagonia’s certified-organic products here.

Where does Patagonia get a low GSG rating for its sustainability and ethics?

Patagonia falls down in its Animal Welfare practices. Whilst Patagonia offers a ‘Traceable Down Standard’ and a ‘Wool Standard,’ there is no explicit Animal Welfare Policy available on its site. Following prior allegations of maltreatment, PETA criticised Patagonia for keeping its new wool policy under wraps. However, its criticism provides no proof of any misconduct, and so Patagonia receives a medium Good Shopping Guide rating for Animal Welfare.

For its Human Rights policies, Patagonia receives a good score, particularly for its Code of Conduct, which protects workers in its supply chain and keeps brands accountable to consumers and ethical consumer groups.

To find out more about Patagonia’s sustainability, see its website.

If your fashion brand values ethics and sustainability, why not check out The Good Shopping Guide‘s Ethical Accreditation? Increase customer and investor confidence and stand out from the greenwash.

Ethical performance in category


GSG score


GSG category benchmark


Ethical Rating


  • Environmental Report


  • Organic


  • Nuclear Power


  • Better Cotton Initiative



  • Animal Welfare



  • Armaments


  • Code of Conduct


  • Political Donations


  • Ethical Trading Schemes


  • Human Rights



  • Ethical Accreditation


  • Other Criticisms


= GSG Top Rating = GSG Middle Rating = GSG Bottom Rating