Cool Companies

PATAGONIA "We look for 'dirt bags' to work for us," says Lu Setnicka, director of public affairs at Patagonia, the Ventura, Calif.based manufacturer of outdoor sports clothing and equipment. "We believe that it's easier to hire passionate outdoor people [dirt bags] than to teach passion for the outdoors."

Patagonia gives 1 percent of its annual sales to grassroots activist organizations like Buffalo Nations, which is committed to protecting the wild buffalo population of Yellowstone N

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