Patagonia, the OG regenerative company

Small Steps Vol 64: Connect with Giant Leap 💡; $3b Patagonia stake given back to the earth 🤲🏽; and mushrooms on the runway 👜
September 21, 2022
Giant Leap

“If you want to understand the entrepreneur, study the juvenile delinquent. The delinquent is saying with his actions, "This sucks. I'm going to do my own thing.”

Yvon Chouinard, Founder of Patagonia

Kick start

🤔 If you've ever thought “what do impact investors think impact is?”, “how do I embed impact into my business?”, or "how do you spell SDG?", you're not alone (okay, maybe on that last one).

🤼 We at Giant Leap have wrestled with these questions and helped founders navigate them too, leading to us developing an impact roadmap for founders. We also have two strong beliefs: 1) the best learning comes from peers, and 2) everyone likes breakfast (or at least coffee for you 16/8 fasters out there).

🥐 That’s a smooth transition to asking you to join us at our Impact Founder Brekkie & Learn! (Melbourne). It'll involve a run down of our impact toolkit for founders, how we use our impact calculator, and meeting with other impact driven founders.

Register for Impact Founder Brekkie


What we’re thinking about

🌎 Patagonia, the OG regenerative company. In 2018, Patagonia, arguably the world's most prominent B Corp and leader of the 1% for the Planet movement, changed the company’s purpose to "We’re in business to save our home planet". Last week, Founder Yvon Chouinard and his family put that into action in an OG way befitting Patagonia's history of ignoring business norms by committing their $3b stake in the company to a not-for-profit trust that will funnel proceeds to nature-based projects.

Our hats are off to the people behind Patagonia, who are teaching us the meaning of regenerative business that adds to rather than extracts from our natural balance. Patagonia’s story is also a case study for how an impactful founder's values can make all the difference if they can retain control over the long term. Impact intent is everything.

🌱 Plant based is better, not perfect. The plant-based sector is hitting speed bumps after some stellar years, with valuations down 80% for publicly listed plant-based champions and growth in plant-based spending slowing to basically match overall growth in food and beverage rather than outspeed it (Source: SPINS).

Some of this is no doubt due to growing criticisms about the health profile of plant-based alternatives, which are often highly processed. However, this is probably an unproductive criticism if its impacting adoption. Yes, a plant-based burger is less healthy than a raw vegan diet. BUT if it's replacing meat, it's a huge improvement in both the environment hoof-print and impact on your health (fun reminder you didn't need: 1 in 25 packets of chicken contain salmonella!)

New paths

🧠 Seer is searching for a Senior UX Researcher

✈️ Swoop Aero is on the lookout for a Talent Acquisition Specialist

💻 Coviu is on the hunt for a Backend Software Engineer

🧻 Who Gives A Crap is looking for a Product Designer (UX/UI)

🐛 Goterra is tracking down a Head of Facilities

🔥 Also, check out our Giant Leap Fund jobs board for over 80+ available positions or fill in our expression of interest form. There’s even more jobs at ethical companies on the global B-Work job board.

Giant leaps

🎙️ HEX’s Jeanette Cheah featured on the High Flyers podcast.

👩🏾 WORK180’s Gemma Lloyd finalists in Women Weekly’s Women of the Future Contest.

📰 Giant Leap has also been recognised by the AFR in the past few weeks as a leader for its investment in women-led startups.

For the road

🔬 Synthetic embryos. With pioneering artificial environments made from synthetic mouse embryos, scientists are able to simulate never before seen cell interactions to understand how genes affect embryo growth, and why pregnancies fail.

🍄 Mushy handbags. Funghi is so in fashion right now, with brands like Hermes, Adidas, Gucci, and Stella McCartney showcasing how Mycelium can be turned into luxury goods. According to Quartz, the vegan leather market is set to hit $86.3 billion by 2027.

🥱 Burned out. Employment Hero’s Wellness at work report is out and the findings are sobering: over half of Australian employees are suffering burnout at work. It’s not surprising that investors are seeing this as a huge pain point and market opportunity, with wellness in the workplace startup Sonder raising a huge $35 million.

👼🏽 Climate angels. Ecotone Partners, backed by LaunchVic, is launching a Climate Angel Network. This should build up the earliest stage muscle to back new climate solutions being produced by the likes of the…👇

🧑‍💻 New Civvic Labs EnergyTech cohort. LaunchVic is teaming up with the Victorian Government’s Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning to bring the next wave of EnergyTech innovation to market. Register for the 5th October launch here.

👩🏽‍💼 The next generation of women founders. UNSW is hosting a pitch night on September 23 aimed at closing the gender gap in entrepreneurship.

🪥 Advice worth its age. Martha Manning just turned 70 and we love her “Stupid Advice with Good Intentions”.

💃 And finally: The fine arts of hydraulic pressure.

Further Reading

Read ALL