The [Patagonia] case competition …inevitably will be one of the greatest highlights from my business school career. Working alongside an interdisciplinary team and presenting to Patagonia’s leadership team not only solidified the importance of diverse minds coming together, but reaffirmed the notion that doing good is good business.” – Aysha Malik (University of Michigan), 2016 Winner

About the Patagonia Case Competition

This one-of-a-kind case competition redefines the relationship between business and a healthy planet.

Graduate students from across the US tackle the interconnected business and responsibility aspects of a current, real-life issue facing the outdoor gear retailer Patagonia. In the first round of competition, interdisciplinary teams submit solutions to a case developed by the Berkeley Haas Case Series and Patagonia. Senior leaders from Patagonia review all submissions and select finalists to present their solutions to Patagonia executives in person at Berkeley Haas.

For students at Berkeley Haas and beyond, this case competition is an unparalleled opportunity to work on a pressing corporate responsibility issue with one of the most forward thinking companies in the world. Not to mention a unique source of fresh perspectives and innovative ideas for Patagonia leadership. As the competition enters its 5th year, we’ve compiled an extended overview of the competition’s drive to solve Patagonia’s most pressing sustainability challenges here.

2020 Patagonia Case Competition


Team registration for the 2020 Patagonia Case Competition is closed. Please check back in fall of 2020 for more information on the 2021 Patagonia Case Competition.

Case Topic

Waste not, want not: Eliminating Patagonia’s pre and post consumer textile waste

As a leader in the sustainable apparel industry, Patagonia aims to reduce its textile waste by shifting consumer behavior and innovating solutions. This includes not only the cut-and-sew scraps and the liability fabrics, but also the garments end-of-life. In order to achieve this goal, innovation must occur throughout the entire lifecycle of Patagonia’s products: from design and manufacturing, to the consumer behavior side – buying high-quality and durable products that they truly need, as well as creating alternatives to landfill upon end-of-life. With the mission of: “We are in business to save our home planet,” Patagonia must achieve this in such a way that other companies can replicate.


The top three teams receive cash prizes of $15,000 for first place, $5,000 for second place, and $2,500 for third place. All finalists get to engage with Patagonia executives during the final competition round in Ventura, CA. Surfing and exploring with the Patagonia team included! The top two teams will meet with Patagonia executives to discuss the implementation of their idea on April 9, 2020.

Past Case Competition Topics

Past Winners

2019 Winners

2018 Winners

2017 Winners

2016 Winners

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