"Most of the damage caused to the environment, to nature, is caused unintentionally. It is us just blundering along not questioning what we do. In the clothing business this means asking a lot of questions." Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia
When they asked the question about the impact of the materials they use on the environment, they discovered that cotton is the most damaging fiber used in their processing. Because of the way it is grown. That lead them on a 2-year journey to switch from conventional cotton to organic cotton. It is a great story and you can listen to him tell it here (start at minute 37 for the cotton story). And of course, there is always more to the story.
As Chouinard says, "more knowledge gives us more choices". If we understand how what we do impacts the environment, we have a lot more options for what we do.
In the last year, the company has decided "Patagonia is in business to save our home planet". What if each of us of examined our habits with an intention to care for the planet?
What if we started with single-use plastic? Here is a lovely 20 minute film about what happened when the residents of Lopez Island did that and then started a movement for a "Plastics Free Salish Sea". They started waking people up to the downstream effects of single-use plastic and creating fun and simple alternatives.