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Design Stories

Kyle Sparks
“Harvesting Liberty:” A Film About Growing Hemp in the USA
Photo: Donnie Hedden
“Harvesting Liberty:” A Film About Growing Hemp in the USA
Dan Malloy & Jill Dumain

TAKE ACTION! Ask Congress to pass the Industrial Hemp Farming Act, allowing American farmers to freely grow this commercially and environmentally important crop. Sign the petition at Change.org Industrial hemp is a crop that has the potential to lower the environmental impacts of textile production, empower small-scale farmers and create jobs in a wide variety…

6 Min. Lesezeit
From Shirt to Dirt: Thoughts on the Patagonia Design Philosophy
Photo: Tim Davis
From Shirt to Dirt: Thoughts on the Patagonia Design Philosophy
Patagonia

Miles Johnson, our senior creative director, oversees the work of all our designers in both technical and sportswear categories, as well as the product development and textile, graphics and color teams. We caught up with Miles recently at the picnic tables outside our child care center to ask him about his life and work and…

7 Min. Lesezeit
The Slab Hunter: Ben Wilkinson Woodwork
Photo: Travis Rummel
The Slab Hunter: Ben Wilkinson Woodwork
Malcolm Johnson

It didn’t take long for Ben Wilkinson to figure out that there was freedom to be had in working for himself—and that freedom was the first requirement if he wanted to go surfing whenever the waves got huge. “I left home when I was 16,” he remembers, “which was old enough in my eyes. But…

4 Min. Lesezeit
A Different Path
Photo: Kevin Ahearn
A Different Path
Brooke Ortel

Living and designing sustainably in Southern Chile with Bureo co-founder Ben Kneppers.

6 Min. Lesezeit
Touring Seattle’s Bullitt Center: The greenest commercial building in the world
Touring Seattle’s Bullitt Center: The greenest commercial building in the world
Touring Seattle’s Bullitt Center: The greenest commercial building in the world
Charles Clark & Jacqueline Sussman

“… after some thinking, I’d say I’d rather be a functioning cog in some great machinery, serving something beyond me.”              –Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes, “Helplessness Blues” On a far from average Wednesday, we arrived to work at Patagonia Seattle for a morning meeting led by brand responsibility analysts, Paul…

6 Min. Lesezeit
The Bicycling Life: 14 Months of Product Testing
The Bicycling Life: 14 Months of Product Testing
The Bicycling Life: 14 Months of Product Testing
Leslie Kehmeier

As we gear up for the New Year and some backyard adventure stories (there’s still time to submit yours) we present a bicycle-loving couple whose adventure took them as far from their own backyard as possible. In the fall of 2007, Leslie Kehmeier and her husband Chris began a 14-month journey of a lifetime. Their…

3 Min. Lesezeit
The Story of Fleece
The Story of Fleece
The Story of Fleece
Rachel G. Horn

A tale of tinkering.

6 Min. Lesezeit
Product Testing: Run Phatty Patty, Run!
Product Testing: Run Phatty Patty, Run!
Product Testing: Run Phatty Patty, Run!

We test our gear on a variety of levels. Our athletes and ambassadors are responsible for putting the latest designs and fabrics through the paces before we’ll add a new product to our lineup. But just because something reaches our shelves doesn’t mean testing is over. Once a new item shows up in our catalogs,…

7 Min. Lesezeit
Fast Boy Cycles Owner Ezra Caldwell on Handmade Bikes
Fast Boy Cycles Owner Ezra Caldwell on Handmade Bikes
Fast Boy Cycles Owner Ezra Caldwell on Handmade Bikes

We were walking  around SoHo in New York during Bike to Work week and happened to pass by the Patagonia store. In the window, was the most beautiful bike I’ve ever seen.  We went in, and it turns out the bike was handmade by Ezra Caldwell, a local guy, who happens to be Hillary Nanney’s…

4 Min. Lesezeit
Product Testing: Climbing Lovers’ and Beating the Heat
Product Testing: Climbing Lovers’ and Beating the Heat
Product Testing: Climbing Lovers’ and Beating the Heat
localcrew

We test our gear on a variety of levels. Our athletes and ambassadors are responsible for putting the latest designs and fabrics through the paces before we’ll add a new product to our lineup. But just because something reaches our shelves doesn’t mean testing is over. Once a new item shows up in our catalogs,…

4 Min. Lesezeit
Video Highlights from the T-Shirt Art Show
Video Highlights from the T-Shirt Art Show
Video Highlights from the T-Shirt Art Show

Not long ago we mentioned an art show that was happening at Patagonia Santa Monica. Many of the artists who contributed to the spring 2008 line of Patagonia T-shirts were on hand to show off their own art and talk to folks about the designs they created for our tees. We know geography kept many…

1 Min. Lesezeit
Product Testing: On Sol Patrol in Africa
Product Testing: On Sol Patrol in Africa
Product Testing: On Sol Patrol in Africa

We test our gear on a variety of levels. Our athletes and ambassadors are responsible for putting the latest designs and fabrics through the paces before we’ll add a new product to our lineup. But just because something reaches our shelves doesn’t mean testing is over. Once a new item shows up in our catalogs,…

5 Min. Lesezeit
If the Shoe Fits…
If the Shoe Fits…
If the Shoe Fits…

Beset with questions by those intrepid customers willing to navigate the murky waters of on-line clothes shopping, our fearless colleague delves into the sometimes-frivolous and often-fickle forum of Fit. Keep an eye out for future Fit Posts. Have something in particular you want fit details on? Leave a comment or send us an e-mail: customer_service@patagonia.com.…

3 Min. Lesezeit
Product Testing: Baby Capilene
Product Testing: Baby Capilene
Product Testing: Baby Capilene

We test our gear on a variety of levels. Our athletes and ambassadors are responsible for putting the latest designs and fabrics through the paces before we’ll add a new product to our lineup. But just because something reaches our shelves doesn’t mean testing is over. Once a new item shows up in our catalogs,…

4 Min. Lesezeit
Product Testing: Hemp and SunTech Tame the Horrors of Okra
Product Testing: Hemp and SunTech Tame the Horrors of Okra
Product Testing: Hemp and SunTech Tame the Horrors of Okra
Patagonia

We test our gear on a variety of levels. Our athletes and ambassadors are responsible for putting the latest designs and fabrics through the paces before we’ll add a new product to our lineup. But just because something reaches our shelves doesn’t mean testing is over. Once a new item shows up in our catalogs,…

5 Min. Lesezeit
Sock Testing with Ultra Long-Distance Walker Gregor Sieböck
Sock Testing with Ultra Long-Distance Walker Gregor Sieböck
Sock Testing with Ultra Long-Distance Walker Gregor Sieböck

Earlier this year, I was introduced via email to Austrian ultra long-distance walker, Gregor Sieböck. An interesting individual, an even more interesting pursuit; what exactly is ultra long-distance walking? I came to discover that it’s not a competitive sport, but more a way of life for Gregor and a vehicle to carry his message of…

5 Min. Lesezeit
Developing Our First Wetsuit—That’s Also Sustainably Made
Developing Our First Wetsuit—That’s Also Sustainably Made
Developing Our First Wetsuit—That’s Also Sustainably Made
Patagonia

Recently there has been a lot of talk in the surf world about “green” wetsuits (1, 2, 3, 4). Most of the claims revolve around the use of neoprene made from limestone rather than petroleum. I asked Todd Copeland, who works on Patagonia’s Fabric Development team, to shed some light on these claims. Many of…

4 Min. Lesezeit
All the Hemp That Fits
All the Hemp That Fits
All the Hemp That Fits
Jeff McElroy

Patagonia has 73 styles using hemp this season. Cultivation of hemp replenishes vital soil nutrients, prevents erosion and requires no synthetic fertilizer.

4 Min. Lesezeit
Elemental Awareness with Element Skateboards
Elemental Awareness with Element Skateboards
Elemental Awareness with Element Skateboards

Friend of The Cleanest Line and periodic commenter, CM, hipped us to a cool program put on by our comrades over at Element Skateboards called Elemental Awareness. "Even though this month is celebrating the bicycle. I felt other non carbon producing forms of transportation need a little spotlight. Skateboarding isn’t just for the kids. Sidewalk…

2 Min. Lesezeit
Product Testing: MLC and Overhead Shed
Product Testing: MLC and Overhead Shed
Product Testing: MLC and Overhead Shed

We test our gear on a variety of levels. Our athletes and ambassadors are responsible for putting the latest designs and fabrics through the paces before we’ll add a new product to our lineup. But just because something reaches our shelves doesn’t mean testing is over. Once a new item shows up in our catalogs,…

3 Min. Lesezeit
What Do You Want in a Wader?
What Do You Want in a Wader?
What Do You Want in a Wader?

Attention fly fishers: Steve Stracqualursi, fly fishing product line director for Patagonia, is looking for feedback to help make our already-awesome waders even better. Visit his weblog WayUpStream and let him know what you’re looking for. [With thanks to The Trout Underground]   

1 Min. Lesezeit
Why We Don’t Give Temperature Ratings
Why We Don’t Give Temperature Ratings
Why We Don’t Give Temperature Ratings
Old School

Our Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) are our front line of communication with Patagonia fanatics far and wide. The crew here at our Call Center in Reno, NV are at it seven days a week, taking orders, helping with returns, and most importantly, answering the astonishing range of questions our customers fire at us. Like flocks…

5 Min. Lesezeit
Product Testing: Babes in the Woods
Product Testing: Babes in the Woods
Product Testing: Babes in the Woods

We test our gear on a variety of levels. Our athletes and ambassadors are responsible for putting the latest designs and fabrics through the paces before we’ll add a new product to our lineup. But just because something reaches our shelves doesn’t mean testing is over. Once a new item shows up in our catalogs,…

5 Min. Lesezeit
Up with Down
Up with Down
Up with Down

Because the best down comes from mature geese and because the Eastern Europeans prefer older and larger geese, the best down tends to come from Eastern Europe. The down is harvested and then separated into different grades depending on the quality of down. Hit the jump for more details . . . Down is graded…

4 Min. Lesezeit
“Biomimetics: Design by Nature” in National Geographic
“Biomimetics: Design by Nature” in National Geographic
“Biomimetics: Design by Nature” in National Geographic

For those skeptical business types who wonder why we need toconserve wildlife habitat and diversity, you might be interested in the article Biomimetics: Design by Nature in this month’s National Geographic. It’s about how species living in the natural world around us are increasingly inspiring modern product inventions and innovations. [Could mimicking the lotus leaf…

2 Min. Lesezeit
Product Testing: Light Smoke, Rubicon Pants, Tech Belt, and Wool
Product Testing: Light Smoke, Rubicon Pants, Tech Belt, and Wool
Product Testing: Light Smoke, Rubicon Pants, Tech Belt, and Wool
Jeremy "Crater" Creighton

We test our gear on a variety of levels. Our athletes and ambassadors are responsible for putting the latest designs and fabrics through the paces before we’ll add a new product to our lineup. But just because something reaches our shelves doesn’t mean testing is over. Once a new item shows up in our catalogs,…

5 Min. Lesezeit
Product Testing Fun with the Freightliner Luggage
Product Testing Fun with the Freightliner Luggage
Product Testing Fun with the Freightliner Luggage

Our infamous Freightliner is currently in the works for a revision.  Over years of long term use, we unfortunately do see some Freightliner products returned for hardware failure such as retractable handle and wheel failure. These occasional failures are good for us in hindsight because it pushes us to make our products better. The luggage…

2 Min. Lesezeit
Stand Up for Your Favorite
Stand Up for Your Favorite
Stand Up for Your Favorite
localcrew

We’ve been having a conversation here at Patagonia of late; one that comes up often. The conversation is about some of our classic designs, time-tested pieces, old favorites. Some of the questions tossed out there: What do we do with those “classics”? Where have they gone? Should they come back? How do the current designs…

2 Min. Lesezeit
Product Testing: Vagabond Boots
Product Testing: Vagabond Boots
Product Testing: Vagabond Boots

We test our gear on a variety of levels. Our athletes and ambassadors are responsible for putting the latest designs and fabrics through the paces before we’ll add a new product to our lineup. But just because something reaches our shelves doesn’t mean testing is over. Once a new item shows up in our catalogs,…

3 Min. Lesezeit
Where Our Wool Comes From
Where Our Wool Comes From
Where Our Wool Comes From

The following report is brought to us by Ken Larussa, from our Reno Distribution Center, home of Patagonia’s Customer Service.  If you’re a long-time customer, chances are good you’ve spoken to Ken at least once.  After hearing about Ken’s trip and seeing his pictures, we’re lucky he came back. Wool. We all know it comes…

5 Min. Lesezeit
Product Testing: Bike Touring PA style
Product Testing: Bike Touring PA style
Product Testing: Bike Touring PA style

We test our gear on a variety of levels. Our athletes and ambassadors are responsible for putting the latest designs and fabrics through the paces before we’ll add a new product to our lineup. But just because something reaches our shelves doesn’t mean testing is over. Once a new item shows up in our catalogs,…

5 Min. Lesezeit
How Much Down Is in Our Jackets
How Much Down Is in Our Jackets
How Much Down Is in Our Jackets
Old School

Our Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) are our front line of communication with Patagonia fanatics far and wide. The crew here at our Call Center in Reno, NV are at it seven days a week, taking orders, helping with returns, and most importantly, answering the astonishing range of questions our customers fire at us. Like flocks…

3 Min. Lesezeit
Product Testing: Angel’s Landing in a Monsoon
Product Testing: Angel’s Landing in a Monsoon
Product Testing: Angel’s Landing in a Monsoon

We test our gear on a variety of levels. Our athletes and ambassadors are responsible for putting the latest designs and fabrics through the paces before we’ll add a new product to our lineup. But just because something reaches our shelves doesn’t mean testing is over. Once a new item shows up in our catalogs,…

4 Min. Lesezeit
Thoughts on the S08 Line
Thoughts on the S08 Line
Thoughts on the S08 Line

Thank you all for your insight on the Fit of our F07 line. As the dust settles from the Fall 07 Sale, we’re getting started with Spring 2008 offering (you can see the new S08 offering at Patagonia.com). Indeed, it’s an exciting time; this is when we get to see the fruits of the previous…

2 Min. Lesezeit
Patagonia T-Shirt Art Exhibit
Patagonia T-Shirt Art Exhibit
Patagonia T-Shirt Art Exhibit

If you live in the Los Angeles area, or happen to be passing through, join us at Patagonia Santa Monica on Saturday March 29 from 8-10 pm for an art exhibit by the talented group whose designs grace some of our T-shirts. These professionals – who also work in pen and ink, handprints, oils, paper…

1 Min. Lesezeit
Product Testing: Ski Wear (Rubicon Puff, Capilene, R1, and Ski Socks)
Product Testing: Ski Wear (Rubicon Puff, Capilene, R1, and Ski Socks)
Product Testing: Ski Wear (Rubicon Puff, Capilene, R1, and Ski Socks)

We test our gear on a variety of levels. Our athletes and ambassadors are responsible for putting the latest designs and fabrics through the paces before we’ll add a new product to our lineup. But just because something reaches our shelves doesn’t mean testing is over. Once a new item shows up in our catalogs,…

5 Min. Lesezeit
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