Patagonia Clothing is a company that very few people will be able to place but when we heard about them and learnt about them we were pleasantly surprised by their products and attitude.
They started as a niche company that made tools for climbers and still makes clothes for climbing – as well as for skiing, snowboarding, surfing, fly fishing, paddling and trail running. Have you noticed the similarities between those sports? Individualist sports that take place in the great outdoor and are relatively environmentally friendly – no motors, no crowds and no teams. Person versus themselves and person versus environment.
I started digging into their environmental and corporate pages expecting the normal couple of pages listing what rewards they had achieved and what standards they had got to and was blown away by what Patagonia has available and does. They have pages detailing their corporate responsibility, the environmental grants and support the company gives out, historical information on how they got where they are, a recycling and reuse program and detailed information on their supply chain. Particularly impressive is their 45 person clothing repair facility.
This all sounds great but are the actual products any good and what do they actually make now? Outdoor clothes and sports equipment of almost any conceivable type for men and women and for kids and babies, sports and travel bags and books. The short version is if you need very high build quality long lasting outdoor clothes from your underwear to snowsuits to wetsuits and bags to carry it in or with you Patagonia has probably got it covered. The downside is that quality of that level costs but regarded as a long term investment it makes much more sense.