A Cali climbing brand combating Climate Change.

With more and more emphasis being placed on business to trade in an environmentally-friendly fashion, Patagonia is without doubt one of the best around. The Californian brand is committed to fighting climate change, tackling it head-on. Its founder, Yvon Chouinard is a self-taught blacksmith, entrepreneur and an aspiring figure not only in the climbing and […]

With more and more emphasis being placed on business to trade in an environmentally-friendly fashion, Patagonia is without doubt one of the best around. The Californian brand is committed to fighting climate change, tackling it head-on.

Its founder, Yvon Chouinard is a self-taught blacksmith, entrepreneur and an aspiring figure not only in the climbing and fashion worlds, but in every aspect of life. Chouinard is a passionate climber who started selling climbing equipment, specifically steel pitons from the back of his car and before he knew it, he had a business. During the winter, his days were filled by making climbing hardware and the summer months he spent climbing and selling his climbing gear. Economically he was a very frugal young man, selling what he made to cover his living costs.

Yvon Chouinard

Soon enough, the demand for his product out-weighed his resources. In 1965 he partnered up with Tom Frost and the pair began creating gear using professional tools and machinery, ‘Chouinard Equipment’ was born.

Five years on Chouinard Equipment established itself as the number one mountain equipment supplier in the US. Climbing became so popular that the steel pitons used started to cause horrible damage to the environment. With this realisation, the duo phased out its steel pitons and created ‘clean’ climbing tools in the form of aluminium chocks.

Clothing entered the fold when Chouinard was on a climbing trip in Scotland and picked up a rugby top that he found ultra-functional and super-practical for climbers. He returned to the States with said rugby top and his friends all wanted to know where they could get their hands on one. A well-known English sports manufacturer, Umbro were selling them at the time so he ordered as many as he could and. These rugby jerseys sold so well that more had to be sourced from from New Zealand and Argentina.

The clothing aspect of the business really helped support the brand financially. The clothing quickly expanded with a range rain shells bivouac sacks, gloves and hats all being added to the brand’s offering. A name change was required as the direction shifted from equipment to a clothing and accessories. The name Patagonia was selected for a few reasons, it was pronounceable in all languages; the brand wanted to be known for more than just equipment and Patagonia was almost seen as some sort of mystical, magical place.

For more on the brand’s philosophy and tales from Yvon Chouinard, recommend reading is ‘Let My People Go Surfing’ as this article is just the tip of the iceberg.

Responsible Business Decisions

Without doubt Patagonia is leading the way in the sustainable clothes-making space. It’s mission statement is powerful, poignant and political. ‘Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environment crisis’.

Environmental and social responsibility runs through the brand’s veins. With its alpine roots, climbing will always be a core aspect of the brand’s identity however Patagonia is a name associated with surfing, trail running, skiing, snowboarding, fly fishing and paddling, all sports that don’t require an engine. Instead these sports requite people connecting with nature and using natural sources to motor along.

Patagonia massively appreciates the planet it abodes and it continues to drive movements, campaigns and awareness to help reverse the rapid rate of climate change. This selfless brand donates time, services and 1% off all sales to environmental groups whose main goal is to combat climate change. It is aware of the pollution and fuel it uses to run everyday business activity but continues to innovate in creating the most earth-friendly clothing possible.

Whether it’s the recycled fabrics, organic cotton or reclaimed fixture and fittings in its stores, Patagonia show no signs of slowing down its battle with Climate Change. Patagonia’s success is somewhat down to the fact its core values have been un-altered since day one and how more and more people are leaning towards and crave and an environmentally-friendly lifestyle.

Worn Wear

Patagonia encourages people to buy less and recycle more. Worn Wear is Patagonia’s repair hub that fixes and mends damaged goods. Whether it’s a broken zip or an accidental tear Patagonia will repair it for you. As well as online repair and care guides Worn Wear is an in-store pop up as well as mobile trucks.

It doesn’t matter where you bought it from, if it’s broken Patagonia will fix it for you, for free. Just as you thought Patagonia couldn’t get any more sustainably responsible, Worn Wear shows up.

Fair Trade Certified

Patagonia pays a premium for every Fair Trade Certified product it creates. Money raised goes direct to the factories and the workers democratically decide how the funds are used. Fair Trade promotes healthy and safe environments for workers and encourages crucial conversations between workers and managers. Other important Fair Trade factors are helping increase workers’ wages and improving living standards.

Patagonia’s Artwork

Without question the P-6 Logo is Patagonia’s most commonly used and popular logo. For this season, Patagonia has worked on its P-6 logo t-shirts to make them even more environmentally-friendly with the Responsibili-Tee. This t-shirt is made from 100% recycled materials including recycled cotton and post-consumer recycled polyester. Logos have been screen-printed using PVC and phthalate-free inks and the sewing is Fair Trade Certified. To produce this t-shirt Patagonia use 4.8 plastic bottles, 0.26 pounds of fabric scrap and in comparison to a regular cotton t-shirt, 63 gallons of water is saved.

This Responsibili-Tee manufacturing process continues with the Shop Sticker Logo and Line Logo t-shirts. The Shop Sticker crops into the peak of the Fitz Roy mountain range and the branding sinks to just below the artwork. The Line Logo T-Shirt is an almost digital-like Patagonia Logo with an alternate typeface, more of a free-flowing mountain range all packed into a rounded rectangular border.

Two other Patagonia logos available are the Up & Out and Fitz Roy Hex logo. Both can be found on t-shirts made up of the same stuff as the aforementioned t-shirts. The Up & Out logo is pretty retro with a mountain slope and a sunset in the distance along with ‘Conquerors Of The Useless’ beneath the Patagonia script logo. The Fitz Roy Hex logo is like a sports badge. Within a hexagon border is the Fitzy Roy mountain backdrop, script branding is switched to uppercase along with references to its Californian HQ and the established date.

A constant presence on The Hip Store rails and available all-year round, Patagonia logo t-shirts not only have cool branding but they’re easy-wearing and comfortable. All t-shirts featured are available in Leeds and online now.

Published by Tristan Chidlow

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