Read up on some of Patagonia’s latest innovations and initiatives and get to the bottom of their latest leap onto the Earth’s eco-stage.
On November 25 (Black Friday), 2011, Patagonia placed an ad in the New York times featuring a picture of one of their signature fleeces with the bold words “DON’T BUY THIS JACKET” printed at the top. This was considered incredibly bold by some critics, seeing it as a highlight of the impact even Patagonia’s own organic, recycled goods can make on the environment, especially as it was posted in the USA’s most influential tabloid at what is considered the beginning of the holiday retail season.
Beneath the ad, Patagonia speaks proudly of its Common Threads Initiative, encouraging consumers to Reduce, Repair, Reuse and Recycle instead of getting sucked into the seasonal overspending hype which we see all too often associated with Black Friday. This is a theme that has been very much at the forefront of what Patagonia is and represents since its inception.
Though many could dispute that Patagonia, as a huge, international manufacturer could be hypocritical for such an ad, in truth it is their transparency and ability to recognise its shortcomings and act on them which helps make it so popular. Since this ad, this already eco-conscious company has taken things up several notches.
Patagonia has more than earnt the reputation of being a producer of highly praised, functional, and well-made outdoor clothing and gear, all with a traceable eco-friendly and ethical manufacturing process which in any way they can muster, builds products that are made to last countless adventures in harsh environments, the sort of thing you’d rather repair than replace. Patagonia’s approach to the manufacturing of their goods, whether using organic cotton which doesn’t pollute the environment around it or even, particularly of Patagonia fleeces and jackets which are made using 100% recycled polyester, an innovation that has proven to be a game changer in the outdoor industry now being taken up by many of the world’s best gearmakers.
What just happened?
Patagonia has always had a habit of causing a stir. In 2017, Patagonia sued then US president, Donald Trump over the shrinking of the Utah national parks and has been funding radical grassroots organisations devoted to the protection of the planet almost since the company’s inception. However, it is with this latest development that we once more see Patagonia enter the realms of the world stage. Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia founder and self-proclaimed “reluctant businessman” has signed over 100% of the ownership of his company to a uniquely structured trust and non-profit called the Holdfast Collective, designed to pump all of the company’s profits into saving the planet. This means that each year after reinvesting in itself, Patagonia will put 100% of its profits into helping combat climbing change. This is said to be around £100 million dollars annually. Their latest statement is fitting, “Earth is our biggest shareholder”.
To compare, Patagonia’s previous 1% for the Planet scheme, shared by many other brands in the outdoor industry has raised £140 million since the scheme’s founding in 2002. This is obviously, quite the upgrade.
Our feelings with Patagonia and its place in the industry, especially when compared to a brand of equal size with its own campaign for sustainable action, Patagonia shines brighter in its Honesty and Commitment. The fact is … Patagonia is a big company, still leading the way in sustainability. The most important thing worth noting is that they admit to their mistakes and address them seriously. This reality, devotion, and humanity behind their brand are why we and many other outdoor aficionados love them so much. Another fact is that they are doing so much, whether through protest, product innovation or simply donating to real causes since they’ve had the means as a company to do so. With each year the business continues to grow, and so does their work in real change for the planet and those that make their products.
Take a look at our latest range of intrepid Patagonia gear, new for Autumn and Winter 2022.
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