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Last Update: Thursday July 29, 2021

Key Idea: Go Green With Caution

Using re-cycled materials raises the cost of goods needed to make the popular fleece products.

Key Question:


Become a green manufacturer but only if you think your customers will pay for it.

Being "green" can be expensive. Be careful. You can almost hear the song being sung, "Green, green, we're green, I say, but who's gonna pay the bill?" (Excuse us, Christy Minstrals, for the abuse of your lyrics.) But the question needs an answer: "Who is going to pay those added costs of being green?" Can these costs be allocated to part of the marketing-sales? Will the potential customer pay a little more? Will you take a little less?

No matter what their politics, outdoors people are some of the biggest environmentalist in the world. And, anybody with an ounce of common sense would agree that we should not be depleting non-renewable natural resources without carefully looking at alternatives. But in this little clip, you hear Margaret tell us that they spend an extra $1.50 per yard for "green" fabric woven from regurgitated plastic bottles.

Is this practice -- Margaret calls it their moral imperative -- hurting or helping the business? Is that extra $1.50 per yard costing so much that she is pricing herself out of margin? Would a mix of "green" and "traditional" been possible or does her moral imperative (strong words, an indication of her depth of belief) cloud her options?

A: Business is tough. Margaret perhaps has a moral imperative to keep the doors open. She has a moral imperative to pay her bills. She has a moral imperative to be fair to her team members. And now, there are some backslider environmentalists who claim that we are spending more resources collecting, sorting and converting old plastics than we do processing the raw materials (oil) to create new. It is a difficult issue; the answers are not easy or straightforward, and we are open to everyone's contribution to this dialogue.

The bottom line, however, is the bottom line; and at the end of the day, we need to stay in business.

Do you think Margaret and Paula made a special appeal to every environmentalist group to buy their clothing because it was "green"?

Yes, they tried with the Sierra Club and the club wanted a very high fee to structure the relation ($50K). A special campaign to target these smaller markets requires added resources and time. Like most of us small business owners, they have little extra of either time or money.

By the way, the fabric company at $1.50 per yard did not survive and Margaret had to resort to traditional fabrics. They are, however, researching a corn derivative as a substitute.

Think about it

How have you changed your ways of doing things to be more conservative with natural resources?  Have you made these changes without a government mandate?  Do your new ways of doing things attract new customers?

Clip from: Jagged Edge Mountain Gear

Enjoy your summer while you have it!  Winter will return!

Telluride, Colorado and Moab, Utah: Deep-seated within every American is the dream of starting and owning a business. Most of us are barely aware that this concept is deeply ingrained in our culture. The modern concept of a corporation actually has its roots in the American revolution. This drive to start a business -- to incorporate under a name -- mystifies much of the world and it has a lot to do with one's sense of purpose or "calling" and also one's process of self-actualization.

In this episode of the show, you meet many very special people, but the stars are Margaret Quenemoen and her sister, Paula. It will become quickly apparent that they are identical twins who share a huge love of life. Their honesty and integrity, their openness and their achievement, their vision and their tenacity, over-qualify them to be our MasterClass teachers.

So, let's drive into the deep mountains of Colorado to look at their foundations, business plan, financing, direct public offering, and so much more.

We'll learn what went right, what went wrong, and what their vision of the future is.

Jagged Edge Mountain Gear (MQ)

Margaret Quenemoen, Founder

223 E. Colorado Ave.
PO Box 2256
Telluride, CO 81435

Visit our web site:

Business Classification:

Year Founded: 1991

Go Green With Caution

MARGARET: All of our fleece is made from recycled plastic soda bottles. And they cut it into shards, and then from there, it goes into almost a fiberglass-looking type material. From there, it's spun, actually, into the fleece. And we used to just buy our fabric from wherever we could get it. But once we found out that recycled fabric was available, we had no choice but to use it.

HATTIE: Is it more expensive?

MARGARET: It is; it's about $1.50 more a yard. But with our commitment to being a green company, we felt that it was our moral imperative to use this fabric

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