Shop Informed

Shopping for food items or clothing is sometimes a confusing endeavor. What does it mean if a product is upcycled? And what is Fair Trade Certified™ chocolate, anyway? This list of terms will help guide you as you navigate your way to shopping informed.

Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC)
An international nonprofit organization that manages a global certification and labeling program for responsible aquaculture.

Animal welfare
The well-being of nonhuman animals. When an animal is in a good state of welfare, it is healthy, comfortable, well-nourished, safe and able to express innate behavior, and it is not suffering from pain, fear or distress.

Biodegradable/compostable
Capable of decay caused by bacteria, fungi or other biological means. This process requires certain conditions; not all natural products are biodegradable.

bluesign®
Every textile we use is the result of a comprehensive manufacturing process that uses raw materials, dyes and other chemicals. bluesign® technologies works in the textile supply chain to approve chemicals, processes, materials and products that are safe for the environment, workers and customers.

Carbon emissions
The release of carbon into the atmosphere; carbon emissions are the main contributor to climate change/global warming because excessive c

Carbon neutral
Also known as “net-zero.” For Patagonia, it means that we will eliminate, capture or otherwise mitigate all the carbon emissions we create, from the farms that grow our natural fibers to the factories that make our textiles and finished clothing.

Chemicals management
A broad range of efforts and practices designed to responsibly manage the production, handling and use of chemicals throughout their life cycle.

Circular economy
According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a circular economy refers to an economic activity that builds and rebuilds overall system health by using closed-loop production methods to keep resources in play as long as possible.

Closed material loop
A framework in which the regenerative cycle of nature provides a model for a circular, not linear, production process.

Corporate responsibility
A broad-based movement in business that encourages companies to take responsibility for the impact of their activities on customers, employees, communities and the environment.

CO2
Carbon dioxide, a naturally occurring gas that’s also the most common greenhouse gas emitted as a result of human activities.

CO2e
Carbon dioxide equivalents, a measurement used to compare emissions from various greenhouse gases based on their global warming potential. It’s also a standard unit for measuring carbon footprint.

Direct Trade
Direct Trade, which is different from Fair Trade, refers to a value chain in which suppliers directly connect with buyers without the use of intermediaries; most notably, coffee roasters who source their beans directly from farmers. Direct Trade aims to close the gap between suppliers and consumers.

Downcycling
The practice of using recycled material that is of lower quality and functionality than the original material.

Fair Trade Certified™
Fair Trade certification ensures responsible sourcing and shared value throughout the supply chain. 60 million apparel workers are among the lowest paid people in the world.

Fair Labor Association® (FLA)
A nonprofit based in Washington, DC, and composed of socially responsible companies, colleges, universities and civil society organizations. The FLA was established to hold apparel companies accountable to responsible labor practices. Patagonia is a founding and accredited member.

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Green Guidelines
Enforceable US guidelines designed to protect consumers from unfair or deceptive environmental marketing claims.

Living wage
According to the Global Living Wage Coalition, a living wage is “the remuneration received for a standard workweek by a worker in a particular place sufficient to afford a decent standard of living for the worker and her or his family. Elements of a decent standard of living include food, water, housing, education, health care, transportation, clothing and other essential needs including provision for unexpected events.”

Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC)
An international nonprofit organization that promotes responsible management of the world's forests.

Global Traceable Down Standard
The strictest animal-welfare and consumer assurance standards in the down industry. All the down that Patagonia sources is traced from parent farm to apparel factory, so the birds that supply it are protected by these standards.

International Labour Organization (ILO)
A United Nations agency dealing with labor problems, particularly international labor standards, social protection and work opportunities for all.

Land stewardship
An ethic that embodies the responsible planning and management of resources.

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
An independent nonprofit organization that sets a standard for sustainable fishing.

Non-GMO
Non-GMO is a third-party verification by the Non-GMO Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building and protecting a food supply that is not genetically modified. Products that receive a Non-GMO Project Verified seal meet a set of standards for avoiding genetically modified organisms.

Organic agriculture
A production system that integrates cultural, biological and mechanical practices and fosters cycling of resources, promoting ecological balance and conserving biodiversity.

Patagonia Code of Conduct
Defines standards for fair, safe and healthy working conditions and environmental responsibility throughout our supply chain.

Patagonia Wool Standard (PWS)
An industry standard for farm-level land management and sheep animal welfare developed by Patagonia and other experts in 2015.

Preconsumer recycling
Sometimes referred to as “post-industrial,” preconsumer waste is created during the manufacturing process: for example, fabric scraps or yarn waste from weaving mills and spinning factories. The recycled yarn is sometimes mixed with other materials, like polyester, to ensure there is no loss in performance.

Postconsumer recycling
The extraction of reusable materials from household, commercial or industrial waste streams.

Recycled materials
New materials and objects created from waste materials.

Regenerative agriculture
A system of farming principles and practices that increases biodiversity, enriches soils, improves watersheds and enhances ecosystems.

Regenerative Organic Alliance
A new nonprofit created by Patagonia and Dr. Bronner’s to own and manage the Regenerative Organic Certification process. The alliance oversees the certification framework and guidelines.

Regenerative Organic Certification
A holistic agriculture certification encompassing pasture-based animal welfare, fairness for farmers and workers, and robust requirements for soil health and land management.

Renewable energy
Any naturally occurring, theoretically inexhaustible source of energy—such as biomass, solar, wind, tidal, wave and hydroelectric power—not derived from fossil or nuclear fuel.

Responsible land management
Practices and technologies aimed at integrating environmental resources to meet human needs while ensuring the long-term sustainability of ecosystem services and livelihoods.

Responsible Wool Standard (RWS)
A voluntary global standard that addresses the welfare of sheep and their pastureland. Starting in 2014, Patagonia began working with the Textile Exchange and other brands, suppliers, animal-welfare NGOs and farmers to develop the RWS. Ultimately, we adopted it as our baseline requirement for farmers. We also developed our Patagonia Wool Standard (PWS), which goes above and beyond the RWS.

Restricted Substance List (RSL)
Provides apparel and footwear companies with information about regulations and laws that restrict or ban certain chemicals and substances in finished home textile, apparel and footwear products around the world.

Social and Environmental Responsibility

Supply chain
A system of operations that work together to design, produce and deliver a product or service to a market—from the extraction of raw materials to the distribution of the finished product.

Sustainable Apparel Coalition
An organization that brings brands and vendors together in an equal partnership to reduce the environmental and social impacts of apparel, textile and footwear products around the world.

Traceable Down

UN Sustainable Development Goals
A collection of 17 global goals set by the United Nations and designed to achieve a better, more sustainable future by addressing global challenges.

Upcycling
The process of transforming by-products, waste materials or unwanted products into new materials or products of better quality.

Worn Wear
Worn Wear is a set of tools to help our customers extend the life of the products Patagonia makes and customers purchase. The program provides significant resources for responsible care, repair, reuse and resale, and recycling at the end of a garment’s life.

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