In The Business to Save Our Home Planet - Ethically and Responsibly Produced Winter Gear by Patagonia
Patagonia is a brand that is very dear to our hearts. Often customers think we stock the brand just to provide them with now-fashionable outdoor clothing, which has been embraced by the fashion industry the past decade. Patagonia is much more than that. The brand has always been at the forefront of producing clothing ethically and responsibly. It is a brand that recognizes and acknowledges its flaws and what detrimental effect those have on our planet. Patagonia isn’t one to just sit around and act oblivious. They do everything in their power to solve these problems, or at least to improve on them. As founder Yvon Chouinard says himself “We’re in the business to save our home planet”. One of their missions is to fully reduce their waste. This is done by educating consumers and producing their garments from fully recycled materials. If accomplished, this would save raw materials and prevent massive landfills of clothing. This heart and soul shows in their clothing and is an element that simply cannot be replicated.
A campaign by Patagonia to raise environmental awareness in the UK.
Probably the most straightforward solution Patagonia has to not waste materials, is by preventing you from buying their products in the first place. That might sound harsh, but they thoughtfully do this. Namely, by educating their customers. Patagonia has a famous advertisement in the New York Times that tells people, “DON’T BUY THIS JACKET”. Below the capitalized caption, Patagonia explains that on Black Friday (which was just around the corner then) people often get tempted to buy stuff they don’t need. Buying clothes on a whim often leads to the garments being thrown out by the owner after collecting dust in the closet for a couple of years. This unfortunately often leads to massive landfills of clothing all over the world. As Patagonia states “it would be hypocritical for us to work for environmental change without encouraging customers to think before they buy”.
Patagonia advertisement in the New York Times.
Another rather straightforward solution Patagonia offers is their lifetime free repair service. If you rip your jacket, or whatever, you can send it over to Patagonia and they will repair or replace (and afterwards of course recycle the garment) it for free! In the spirit of the first solution, Patagonia also offers tutorials on how to repair broken garments yourself. Doing maintenance and repairs on items, whatever they may be, often gives one a greater appreciation of them, which also reduces the urge to replace them. Also, repairs on a garment tell a story, that story only becomes better if you repaired it yourself. If your garment is truly beyond repair, Patagonia will also take it from you and recycle it.
A Patagonia employee repairing damaged jackets.
Patagonia is an outdoor and lifestyle brand that has to turn a profit to exist, so, of course, they must sell clothes. They will take the responsibility of educating their customer, and with that prevent unnecessary purchases. Yet, sometimes someone just needs a raincoat or winter jacket. In that case, they will make sure you buy a raincoat with the lowest footprint they can possibly achieve and that is properly and ethically made. Patagonia can reduce the footprint of many garments by making them from recycled materials. At this moment 68% of their winter wear line is made from recycled materials. Patagonia doesn't stop there, they keep striving for the full 100%, without compromising the quality of garments! They creatively source their materials from many different places. A great example is their Net Plus collection. For this collection, Patagonia buys old fishing nets and turns them into textiles, preventing fishermen from dumping them in the ocean.
This blog only scratches the service of what Patagonia does to improve their products and reduce their impact on the environment. We encourage you to do some research if you’re a fan of the brand or enjoy their products. If you are truly in need of outerwear, you can find our Patagonia collection through this link. All of the items are made from 100% recycled materials.