Our Footprint Stories

Keri Oberly
Partnering with the People Who Make Our Clothing, with Fair Trade Practices

We started developing our social responsibility program in the mid-1990s, working side by side with factory partners. In 2001, we became a founding member of the Fair Labor Association, a nonprofit that works to improve working conditions worldwide. With over a decade of close focus on our cut-and-sew factories, in 2011, we moved one link…

Patagonia
9 min Read
The “Father of Recycling” Has a Message For You

Donald Sanderson launched the country’s first mandatory curbside recycling program in Woodbury, New Jersey, in 1980. The recycling landscape has since changed. A lot. Is it still worthwhile?

Erin Grace Scottberg
6 min Read
The Great Cotton Experiment

This is a test to grow our clothes differently.

Rachel G. Horn
2 min Read
Changing the Fabric of Our Lives

Can a cotton T-shirt really help stop the climate crisis?

Lindsay Morris
7 min Read
2025 Or Bust: Patagonia's Carbon Neutrality Goal

In Japan, it is possible to simultaneously stand both in a cultivated field and under a solar array. A group of engineers and entrepreneurs developed a model whereby solar panels can be installed on top of existing farmland and still allow the required amount of sunlight to reach the crops below. These collaborations between businesses…

Rodrigo Bustamante
7 min Read
How We’re Reducing Our Carbon Footprint

Ever since Patagonia had an office (and wasn’t just selling gear out of the back of Yvon’s car), we’ve devoted desk space, our free time and a percentage of our sales to protecting wild nature. From our travels, we knew our land, air and water was in real trouble from short-sighted profiteers. Over the years,…

Patagonia
6 min Read
Letter from Tuscany (Where We Get Our Used Wool)

She went to Italy to see how recycled wool is made and discovered that everything has an impact, including recycled.

Mădălina Preda
7 min Read
What We’re Doing About Our Plastic Problem

Our home planet has a deeply disturbing and pervasive problem with plastics. In April, a group of researchers studying the deepest part of the ocean—the Mariana Trench—discovered plastic bags and candy wrappers floating nearly seven miles below the surface of the Pacific Ocean. Globally, about 450 million metric tons of plastic are produced every year and 9.5 million tons of…

Patagonia
8 min Read
Hemp Is Back: How Some of Ours Is Produced, in Photos

It’s hard not to notice the hype around hemp today. Pick up any lifestyle magazine, enter a pharmacy, talk to a health-food store employee or just the person next to you in yoga class—at some point you’ll learn about its miraculous powers. In particular, near-unbelievable claims swirl around cannabidiol, or CBD, oil derived from hemp:…

Diane French
5 min Read
What’s at Stake Is the Future of Humankind: An Interview with Yvon Chouinard

“Forget Mars,” Yvon Chouinard said recently—although, come to think of it, he might have used a stronger f-word. Our founder was responding to a glib idea that comes up from time to time in conversations about the climate crisis—that if we exhaust the Earth as a habitat for humans, we’ll all just up and move to the…

Patagonia
6 min Read
Teaming Up to Get to the Bottom of Microfiber Pollution

Together with industry partners, Patagonia commissioned Ocean Wise’s Plastic Lab to investigate microfibers, the tiny textile particles that shed from garments over their lifetime. The scientists at the Plastic Lab have just completed the first phase of this research project, so we asked them for an update. While plastic debris in the ocean has rightfully…

Stephen Chastain
4 min Read
Giving Workers More of a Voice

Behind everything we make is the hard work of a human being—from growing raw materials and weaving fabric to cutting and sewing the finished product. Yet those who work in garment factories—and, globally, more than 60 million people do—have historically been subject to substandard working conditions and unable to report those issues. That’s why, in…

Rachel G. Horn
7 min Read
All Our Wool Is Now Certified to the Responsible Wool Standard

In 2015, we made the conscious decision to put a pause on our wool sourcing “until we can assure our customers of a verifiable process that ensures the humane treatment of animals.” We are happy to have accomplished our goal and to update you that as of fall 2018, all of the wool in our…

Patagonia
3 min Read
Regenerative Organic Certification Unveiled

On Saturday, at Natural Products Expo West, the Regenerative Organic Alliance unveiled our new certification. Here is an excerpt from my speech and make sure to watch our video. In 2012, we started Patagonia Provisions, a food company focused on products sourced in innovative ways that benefit and regenerate the planet. And the more we learn about food,…

Rose Marcario, CEO
3 min Read
The Night They Drove Organic Down

Looking back on the USDA meeting in Jacksonville, I am left with anger, grief and a sense of urgency that we keep moving forward. The meeting of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) was an historical turning point for the National Organic Program (NOP). It was a watershed moment. “All of the organic philosophy is…

Dave Chapman
20 min Read
Organic Standards Stem from the Soil

For almost 20 years since the “organic” certification first passed, there has been a debate surrounding growing methods. Some foods are grown in soil, and others are grown hydroponically in large buildings and under lights. There is a reason for both growing methods, but it is important that they be labeled differently. Since the 1920s…

Rose Marcario, CEO
2 min Read
Join Us: The Journey to Regenerative Organic Certification

Working closely with Rodale Institute, Dr. Bronner’s and other key allies, we created Regenerative Organic Certification to establish a new, high bar for regenerative organic agriculture. The certification is the result of a lively and cooperative effort among a coalition of change-makers, brands, farmers, ranchers, nonprofits and scientists, all with a clear goal: to pave…

Rose Marcario, CEO
4 min Read
What You Can Do About Microfiber Pollution

Addressing the shedding of microfibers from synthetic garments continues to be a top priority for us at Patagonia. We know there are a lot of contributing factors to microplastic pollution, and we have been learning all we can about the release of fibers from our garments. Patagonia has commissioned two research projects on microplastics—one through…

Patagonia
3 min Read
Finding Moral Certainty for Businesses in an Uncertain World

Over the past few months, the business environment has changed dramatically. I’m not talking about trade policy or tax reform, but rather the heightened moral and ethical uncertainty many business leaders now feel at a time when the foundations of our democracy are challenged. New injustices seem to arise almost every day, demanding we speak…

Rose Marcario, CEO
3 min Read
Welcome to the B Corp Community, Stonyfield!

We’re happy to welcome Stonyfield to the B Corp community. When Patagonia was young we felt kinship mostly with companies in the outdoor industry and our friends who worked there. Two companies we admired in the then unfamiliar territory of food included Ben & Jerry’s and Stonyfield, which grew out of an organic farming school…

Vincent Stanley
4 min Read
Making Surf Gear at a Fair Trade Certified Patagonia Facility

As I step into MAS Active-Leisureline, a Fair Trade Certified factory that makes Patagonia products near Colombo, Sri Lanka, the first thing that confronts my senses is the sound. Row after row of clamorous cutting and sewing machinery is being operated by a few hundred workers, all dressed in bright green uniforms and working under…

Dave Rastovich
6 min Read
An Update on Microfiber Pollution

In June 2016, we provided a comprehensive update on Patagonia’s work to investigate the emerging issue of ocean pollution from tiny fibers, which often originate from synthetic textiles (such as nylon, acrylic or polyester) that are used in products available to consumers around the world. Research about microplastics pollution is just starting to emerge among…

Patagonia
8 min Read
Regenerative Organics: Drawing a Line in the Soil

In recent years, we’ve seen a boom in production and sales of organic foods worldwide. The global organic food market is expected to grow by 16 percent between 2015 and 2020, a faster rate than conventionally-grown foods. This seems like good news—but in truth, organic farming makes up just a tiny fraction of the global agriculture…

Rose Marcario, CEO
6 min Read
Rose Marcario: Expanding Our Commitment to Fair Trade

You may be familiar with the “Fair Trade Certified” symbol and its assurance that some of the money spent on a bag of coffee or bar of chocolate goes directly to its producers and stays in their community. Patagonia, in partnership with Fair Trade USA, now makes clothes that provide the same benefit. The program…

Rose Marcario, CEO
4 min Read
Why We No Longer Source Wool from Red Pine Land and Livestock

Note: As of March 2017, Red Pine Land and Livestock is not a Patagonia supplier and their wool is not in our products. Over the past 10 months, we have been working diligently to develop a new wool supply chain that reflects high, and verifiable, standards for both animal welfare and land management. We’ve now reached…

Patagonia
6 min Read
What Do We Know About Tiny Plastic Fibers in the Ocean?

Much has been written about the effects of plastic on the marine environment, from the Texas-sized Great Pacific garbage patch, to bottles expelled from cruise ships washed up on the beach, to “ghost” nets and weirs abandoned by factory-sized trawlers, and more. A new report on marine plastics was presented at the World Economic Forum earlier…

Patagonia
6 min Read
“Harvesting Liberty:” A Film About Growing Hemp in the USA

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…

Dan Malloy & Jill Dumain
6 min Read
The View from Europe: Say No to TTIP

This past week Greenpeace leaked 248 pages of negotiating texts and internal position papers that reveal a deep rift among the 28 European governments, the European Union and the U.S., involved in the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The Greenpeace report has caused an uproar here in Europe, including an announcement of opposition…

Ryan Gellert
3 min Read
Creating Climate-Beneficial Fiber Systems

How can we solve the climate crisis? The answer may exist beneath our feet, in the soil. Carbon is a finite resource that moves through soils, oceans, food, fibers and the atmosphere—and ancient carbon is fossilized in Earth’s core. There is no more carbon entering or leaving Earth—we are simply seeing the effects of having…

Rebecca Burgess
2 min Read
Repair is a Radical Act

This holiday season, I have an early New Year’s resolution for the sake of Planet Earth: let’s all become radical environmentalists. This sounds like a big leap—but it’s not. All you need is a sewing kit and a set of repair instructions. As individual consumers, the single best thing we can do for the planet…

Rose Marcario, CEO
5 min Read
Patagonia Opposes TPP

By Rose Marcario, Patagonia CEO Now that full text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has finally been made public, we can say unequivocally that we oppose it, as it advances the interests of big business at the expense of the environment, workers, consumers, communities and small businesses. This confirms our previous fears (here and here)…

Rose Marcario, CEO
3 min Read
Our Earth Tax – Patagonia Environmental + Social Initiatives 2015

In the conventional model of philanthropy, the big funders—corporations and foundations—mainly support big professional environmental groups. The large national organizations (those with budgets over $5 million) are doing important work but they make up just 2% of all environmental groups, yet receive more than 50% of all environmental grants and donations. Meanwhile, funding the environmental…

Patagonia
4 min Read
An Update on Our DWR Problem

Update: The majority of this post first appeared on March 6, 2015. It was updated on September 8, 2015 and has been updated again on July 15, 2016 with the most recent information about Patagonia’s work to improve chemical safety in our supply chain. Patagonia—as well as other high-quality outdoor outerwear suppliers—for years relied on a Durable…

Patagonia
5 min Read
Patagonia to Cease Purchasing Wool from Ovis 21

Dear Friends, We’ve spent the past several days looking deep into our wool supply chain, shocked by the disturbing footage of animal cruelty that came to light last week. Patagonia’s partnership with Ovis 21 has been a source of pride because of the program’s genuine commitment to regenerating the grassland ecosystem, but this work must…

Rose Marcario, CEO
2 min Read
PETA’s Wool Video [Updated]

Update 8/17/15: Thank you to everyone who commented on this story. Your feedback is very important to us. Please see our follow-up post on this issue for the latest news. PETA has shown us video footage from within the Ovis 21 farm network that supplies merino wool for Patagonia’s baselayers and insulation. It is as…

Patagonia
7 min Read
TPP? One global business says, “No thanks.”

By Rose Marcario, Patagonia CEO Patagonia opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement and Fast Track approval. We stand to gain financially from TPP and the potential duty relief on products made within the region, but the minor potential gains are not worth the social and environmental costs. We have listened closely to the Administration’s…

Rose Marcario, CEO
3 min Read
How a Deeper Dive into Our Supply Chain Led to a New Migrant Worker Standard

Imagine paying $7,000 to get a job. That’s what some labor brokers charge migrant workers in Asian countries to place them in factory work in Taiwan, where many factory jobs go wanting these days. The practice is considered an acceptable part of doing business, though brokers regularly charge above legal limits. Transportation, work visas and…

Patagonia
9 min Read
Our DWR Problem

Please refer to the updated version of this post for the most recent information about Patagonia’s work to improve chemical safety in our supply chain. Patagonia—as well as other high-quality outdoor outerwear suppliers—for years relied on a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) of a certain chemistry (described below) to bead up, then disperse, surface moisture from…

Patagonia
4 min Read
Patagonia Introduces 100% Traceable Down

From this season (fall 2014) forward, all Patagonia down products contain only 100% Traceable Down. This means all of the down in all of our down products can be traced back to birds that were never force-fed and never live-plucked—we never blend with down we can't trace. The Traceable Down Standard provides the highest assurance of animal…

3 min Read
Benefit Corporation Update: Patagonia Passes B Impact Assessment, Improves Score to 116

Patagonia has a passion for the outdoors. We aspire to make the best products for the most committed athletes, all the while trying to minimize our impact on the earth and the communities that inhabit it. It can be challenging at times for us to clearly convey how this passion for the outdoors is so…

Elissa Loughman
5 min Read
Trying to Be Responsible – Patagonia Environmental & Social Initiatives 2014

We just finished our 2014 Environmental & Social Initiatives booklet and would love to share it with you. In it you’ll find a pretty comprehensive accounting of everything Patagonia did this year to conduct ourselves in an environmentally and socially conscious manner. The booklet includes stories about our efforts as a business and as individuals,…

Patagonia
2 min Read
Patagonia’s Plastic Packaging: A Study on the Challenges of Garment Delivery

Patagonia’s finished goods factories package each individual product we make in a polybag. Some of our direct customers (people who order from our catalog or Patagonia.com) have expressed disappointment in the amount of waste generated by polybags. This customer feedback inspired us to investigate ways to reduce the amount of plastic waste generated from Patagonia’s…

Nellie Cohen
9 min Read
Working for Wildness – Patagonia Environmental Initiatives 2013

“In wildness is the preservation of the world.” – Thoreau This year, Patagonia will be 40 years old. There is much to celebrate on this anniversary, but what I am proudest of is the support we’ve given the people who do the real work to save wildness: grassroots activists. I’m not an activist. I don’t…

Yvon Chouinard
4 min Read
Re-Imagining Rubber: PLUSfoam’s Flip-Flop Recycling Revolution

Even the most tender-footed outdoor enthusiasts amongst us are familiar with the scenario. You are walking back to camp from a quick creek swim, or perhaps making your way home after a day spent chasing the hollow insides of pitching lumps of salt water, and your trusty flip-flops decide to blow out. Maybe the strap…

Ethan Stewart
7 min Read
Working Towards Responsible Supply Chains: Our Factory Monitoring Efforts

All of us at Patagonia have been shaken by the recent tragic events in Bangladesh. We offer our deepest condolences to all of the victims and their families. We are monitoring the press, the actions of governments around the world in response and the courageous efforts by the charities on the ground. Our stakeholders may…

6 min Read
Wooly in Patagonia

We have some great benefits at Patagonia. But none is better than the opportunity to volunteer with environmental groups through our internship program. During my 15 years working as an editor here at our headquarters in Ventura, I’ve gotten to follow wild buffalo in West Yellowstone, see the effects of industrial forestry in Chile, learn…

Jim Little
7 min Read
Well to Wheel – UCSB Grad Students Evaluate Patagonia’s Transportation Practices & Opportunities

Over the years, Patagonia has focused a tremendous amount of time and energy on finding ways to reduce the impacts of our business operations. Through life cycle analyses of our clothing and gear, we’ve learned that most of the environmental impacts come from growing or synthesizing the fibers and manufacturing the fabrics. But until recently,…

Patagonia
3 min Read
Excerpt from “The Responsible Company” by Yvon Chouinard

We are still in the earliest stages of learning how what we do for a living both threatens nature and fails to meet our deepest human needs. The impoverishment of our world and the devaluing of the priceless undermine our physical and economic well-being. Yet the depth and breadth of technological innovation of the past…

Yvon Chouinard & Vincent Stanley
8 min Read
Introducing the New Footprint Chronicles on Patagonia.com

by Lisa Polley As an employee of Patagonia for the past 12 years, I’ve had the opportunity to work on many projects. Some of these have been interesting, some just a necessary part of my job. Never have I experienced a project with such a direct impact on the company, on its employees and on…

Lisa Polley
6 min Read
Patagonia Clothing: Made Where? How? Why?

About once a week, one of our stores or our customer service receives a question about the manufacturing of Patagonia clothing: Where do you make your clothes? Are they made in China? Why? Why don’t make you make them here in the United States? What are the conditions inside your factories? We thought it would…

Enviro editor
7 min Read
Why We Don’t Use Bamboo in Our Wetsuits

Want to know what’s up with this ad? Continue reading to learn why we don’t use bamboo fabrics in our wetsuits.ON BAMBOO AND RAYON Bamboo Becomes Rayon Bamboo is the fastest-growing woody plant in the world, capable of growing up to four feet a day. Most of it is grown organically (though very little is…

3 min Read
The Lowdown on Down: An Update

In April 2011, we posted here a report on problems we’ve experienced sourcing down for our down clothing. As we mentioned, quality is not the problem. We’re proud of the down clothing we make. The designs are simple and beautiful, the fabrics are strong and lightweight, and the quality (fill-power or insulation value) of the…

5 min Read
What We’ve Learned About Our Down

We’re proud of the down clothing we make. The quality (fill-power or insulation value) of the down is excellent and appropriate to end use, as are the shell fabrics. The designs are beautiful; down clothing of all kinds has become an important part of our business. Their popularity helps pay the bills (and 1% of…

Patagonia
5 min Read
Hiking Boots with a Lighter Footprint

Building an environmentally conscious hiking boot that’s also a top performer is no easy task. Design and construction are complex; so is the supply chain. As Backpacker magazine put it: “Boots are the most complex gear in our kit, with numerous components – fabrics, leathers, soles, shanks, glues, padding, laces, hardware – plus myriad sewing…

greenewsurfer
5 min Read
Patagonia Footwear Partners Team Up to Inspect Factories

Patagonia has been working with Wolverine World Wide (WWW) for four years to build a successful line of hiking boots, lifestyle and multi-sport shoes, sandals and more. We rely heavily on WWW’s experience making footwear – an extremely complicated process – but stay involved in every step of the process. That’s why members of Patagonia’s…

greenewsurfer
4 min Read
How a Beyond Factory Gets Audited with the Fair Labor Association

No one likes to be audited – even those who spend their lives auditing other people. Our Social and Environmental Responsibility Director Cara Chacon was reminded of that fact when she was suddenly informed last June that the Fair Labor Association (FLA) would be paying Patagonia a visit the following week. Cara found out about…

4 min Read
What It Means to Make Patagonia a More Transparent Company

For the past nine weeks I’ve been taking a course in fiction writing. As part of the class, we write short stories and critique each other’s finished works.  The other night we critiqued a classmate’s story about a woman who worked for a corporation that took extreme measures – from forcing employees to sign far-reaching…

3 min Read
Patagonia Environmental Initiatives 2010 E-Book – Flip Through Our Year-in-Review

Working to protect and restore the natural world can be a dynamic endeavor. To capture the energy that goes into this work, we bring you an enhanced electronic version of our Patagonia Environmental Initiatives 2010 booklet. View a fireside chat with Patagonia founder and environmentalist-in-chief Yvon Chouinard, accompany world-renowned photographer Florian Schulz as he sheds…

3 min Read
What is Quality for Our Time? – Watch part 3 of our Footprint Chronicles video series

Writing about Patagonia’s Footprint Chronicles for the blog Greenovate, Michael Hurwitz states, “While many companies are, of course, implementing transparency initiatives, Patagonia’s project is more or less unprecedented, because of the size of the company as well as the fact that it originated from customer demand.” After over three years of steady work on our…

Patagonia
2 min Read
Outdoor Gear Brands Unite to Promote Environmentally Friendly Textiles

It’s rare when industry competitors get together to collaborate. It’s even more unusual when they get together to discuss ways they can lessen their environmental impact. Yet that’s what happened as a result of our relationship with bluesign® technologies, an independent third party that screens the dyeing and finishing of textiles. We recently met with…

4 min Read
Why We Don’t Use Bamboo or PLA

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…

Old School
4 min Read
Why We Use Down and Chlorine-Free Wool

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…

Old School
7 min Read
Footprint Chronicles Gets Freshened Up for Fall

We’ve just updated the Footprint Chronicles, our interactive mini-site we use to share information about how andwhere our products are manufactured, what the environmental costs areand how we think the process can be improved. There are a number of new features in today's Footprint update but the highlight is the release of the second in…

2 min Read
Patagonia Employees’ My Footprint Series: Learning by Osmosis

Series intro: The “My Footprint” series shares the stories of Patagonia friends and employees who have been inspired by The Footprint Chronicles, and whose inspiring lives help fuel the vision of what we can do as a company. Their stories are offered here, glimpses of individual footprints spotted along the path toward positive change. We…

Patagonia
4 min Read
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