Pro Community Coordinator
STARTED AT PATAGONIA
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
What was your path to working for Patagonia?
To protect something, you have to know what has to be protected.
In March 2016, Patagonia was a region I crossed during a one-year walking trip. From October 2016 on, it became the company I work for. I have a Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering, and I have always travelled the world for work and studies.
Spending that year walking through Latin America, my expectations changed. I knew that I wanted to mix an adventurous lifestyle and a love for mountains and cold weather, with a commitment to working for the benefit of the planet. It is not enough to only understand why we need to protect the environment, but it is also necessary to have it so deep in your instincts that whatever obstacle is in front of you, you will never choose convenience over truth and action. Patagonia is the answer to all my expectations.
What is your favourite Patagonia product ever?
It has to be my Fitz Roy Down Parka. It is so light, packable and warm that it can endure some of the toughest weather conditions I have ever experienced, including an alpinism trip to Bolivia back in May 2018. At 3:00 am, climbing a 6,450 m peak in minus 30-degree weather with winds up to 50 km/h, you definitely understand why Patagonia needs and tries to build the best product.
What is your favourite Patagonia environmental initiative?
The Regenerative Organic Certification (ROC). More than an environmental initiative, it is a business model that actively fights climate change. ROC bridges the gap, or let's say blurs the line, between business and environmental activism. At Patagonia, we call ourselves an “Activist Company” but in the future, I would love it if we didn't need to use the word "Activist" anymore, and that the definition of a company has changed drastically.
What has been your biggest adventure so far?
In 2015-2016, I walked 7,500 km with my friend Elliot, through jungles, salt flats, deserts, high mountains and wild Cordilleras, between Mexico City and Ushuaia, Argentina. One year, two fellows, 10 kg each on our backs plus food and water, going into regions that ranged in temperature from minus 30 degrees to 50 degrees Celsius, and altitudes from 0m to 6400m.
I am currently writing a book about the experience. Elliot and I continue to redefine our limits by creating new adventures in the wild. We want to share our explorations through books, a website and films. All our profits go to environmental NGOs.
What are you passionate about?
I have one motto: "Adventure as a school of life, protecting the environment as a civic duty." I have one solution to make that motto happen: daily willingness for action.
What is your biggest achievement at work?
Creating a digital platform to gather environmental changemakers. These are people who neither represent the NGOs we work with or athletes from our core sports but still have a strong record in environmental activism. These people give their love, work, time and passion to protecting our planet.