Design Stories

Kyle Sparks
On The Brink
On The Brink
On The Brink

Best job in the world?

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6:35
Good Jeans
Good Jeans
Good Jeans
Sarah Mirk

What’s the secret to a really good pair of jeans? Comics journalist Sarah Mirk tells us what to look for and how to keep them in play longer.

2 min Read
Unfinished Business
Unfinished Business
Unfinished Business
Rachel G. Horn

When it comes to making more responsible jeans, our work is never done. And, of course, we leave the really dirty work to you.

7 min Read
Colin Haley’s Clothing System for Alpine Climbing in the Chaltén Massif
Colin Haley’s Clothing System for Alpine Climbing in the Chaltén Massif
Colin Haley’s Clothing System for Alpine Climbing in the Chaltén Massif
Colin Haley

6,000 words about dressing for alpine climbing you didn’t know you needed to know.

23 min Read
Polyester
Photo: Tim Davis
Polyester
Meaghen Brown

85% of Patagonia’s polyester this season is recycled. Using recycled polyester, rather than virgin petroleum polyester, reduced our seasonal carbon emissions by over 5,600 metric tons of CO₂e.

2 min Read
Down
Down
Down
Molly Baker

Eighty percent of the down we're using this season is recycled. The new down is Advanced GTDS Certified.

3 min Read
The Story of Fleece
The Story of Fleece
The Story of Fleece
Rachel G. Horn

A tale of tinkering.

6 min Read
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 Read
Heating with a Match
Heating with a Match
Heating with a Match
Sue Halpern

Building a house to withstand winter.

3 min Read
Fire Up the Test Tank
Fire Up the Test Tank
Fire Up the Test Tank
Malcolm Johnson

There’s nothing more important than having waves a few minutes away.

3 min Read
Crash-Test Dummy
Crash-Test Dummy
Crash-Test Dummy
Kelly Cordes

Who gets hypothermia on purpose? This guy.

4 min Read
How We Turn Scraps into New Gear
How We Turn Scraps into New Gear
How We Turn Scraps into New Gear
Patagonia

What if we could wear our garbage? That’s the idea behind ReCrafted, our line of clothing made from the scraps of used garments collected at our Worn Wear facility in Reno. It’s premium, Patagonia, upcycled. A second life for products that might not otherwise get one. ReCrafted was created by Kourtney Morgan—the designer behind some…

3 min Read
Letter from Tuscany (Where We Get Our Used Wool)
Letter from Tuscany (Where We Get Our Used Wool)
Letter from Tuscany (Where We Get Our Used Wool)
Mădălina Preda

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

7 min Read
Drawing from the Landscape
Drawing from the Landscape
Drawing from the Landscape
Malcolm Johnson

Patagonia Designers on the ‘Celebrating Public Lands’ Collection

6 min Read
A Conversation with Surfboard Designer Fletcher Chouinard
A Conversation with Surfboard Designer Fletcher Chouinard
A Conversation with Surfboard Designer Fletcher Chouinard
Sean Doherty

At Fletcher Chouinard Designs, the focus is on durable, high-performing equipment that lets you have fun no matter what the ocean is doing. There are never enough hours in a day for Fletcher Chouinard. As a surfer, shaper, kiteboarder and new father, he was really doing the dance. Then along came foilboarding, which has made…

5 min Read
Hemp Is Back: How Some of Ours Is Produced, in Photos
Hemp Is Back: How Some of Ours Is Produced, in Photos
Hemp Is Back: How Some of Ours Is Produced, in Photos
Diane French

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:…

5 min Read
Getting the Snow Industry Excited About Recycled Fabrics
Getting the Snow Industry Excited About Recycled Fabrics
Getting the Snow Industry Excited About Recycled Fabrics
Patagonia

Before we could challenge the snow industry to move to recycled materials, we had to change our thinking, too. There are a number of ways to reduce a garment’s impact, but none more significant than making it out of recycled fabric. Doing so keeps material out of landfills and cuts demand for the petroleum used…

2 min Read
Introducing Woolyester
Introducing Woolyester
Introducing Woolyester
Kristina Johnson Avery

Three years ago, we set out to make a new fleece fabric using natural fibers that were light on the land. Our inspiration came from an old sweater, a weather-beaten merino pullover worn by founder Yvon Chouinard in Patagonia’s early days. It had all the properties that have made wool a staple for centuries of…

5 min Read
Baggies Shorts Throughout the Years: Photos
Baggies Shorts Throughout the Years: Photos
Baggies Shorts Throughout the Years: Photos
Patagonia

In the book Unexpected: 30 Years of Patagonia Catalog Photography, long-time contributor and friend to many of us at Patagonia, John Russell, said in an interview, “For me, photography is all about two things, light and relationships.” Beautiful lighting is something you’ll find in any good photo. But it’s not as important to us as…

7 min Read
Sometimes More Than a Game: On Climbing Responsibly
After hard crimping right off the glacier, Kate Rutherford sinks her fingers into the climbing above. Pointe Adolphe Rey, Chamonix, France. Photo: Bernd Zeugswetter
Sometimes More Than a Game: On Climbing Responsibly
Kelly Cordes

When I think about climbing, I don’t think about summits. I see serrated ridgelines rising and falling between earth and sky, and sunlight slipping between spires, casting the shadows of giants onto rubble-strewn rivers of ice below, curving, moving, bending with the passage of time. I remember my partners and I, roped together with no…

2 min Read
It All Adds Up to Nothing: Forging the Micro Puff
It All Adds Up to Nothing: Forging the Micro Puff
It All Adds Up to Nothing: Forging the Micro Puff
Patagonia

At Patagonia, our best ideas come from being in the field. But sometimes simple problems inspire complex solutions. That’s been the case with the development of insulation. Down gets wet and loses its heat-trapping loft, and synthetics never quite achieve the same warmth, lightness or compressibility as down plumes. We’ve tried everything from treated down…

4 min Read
Timber to Tideline: Hama Hama Oysters
Photo: Garrett Grove
Timber to Tideline: Hama Hama Oysters
Malcolm Johnson

“For us, the tide is the boss,” says Adam James of Hama Hama Oysters, a fifth-generation, family-run shellfish farm on Washington’s Puget Sound. “In late August and September, we’ll be out there on the beach harvesting at 3 or 4 a.m., and when the sun finally comes up you can’t help but pause. It reminds…

4 min Read
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 Read
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 Read
About Our Wilder Waters Collection
Photo: Mark McInnis
About Our Wilder Waters Collection
Patagonia

Patagonia is an unusual workplace in many ways, and the fact that employees are encouraged to incorporate environmental activism into their daily work is just one of the characteristics that sets our company apart. The realities of running a business are important, but we’re always aware that our business has to serve the more pressing…

6 min Read
Experimenting with Naturally Dyed Clothing
Photo: Colin McCarthy
Experimenting with Naturally Dyed Clothing
Joyanna Laughlin

Forty-five years ago, the old school North American outdoor uniform was basically colored in khaki, denim blue and olive green. Not only were the colors monotonous, but the dyes used were mostly petroleum based. Imagine no Craft Pink as vivid as the beavertail cactus flower. No Galah Green as bright as the waters off the…

6 min Read
Surfing and Making Sustainable Clothing on the Island of Serendip
Photo: Jarrah Lynch
Surfing and Making Sustainable Clothing on the Island of Serendip
Belinda Baggs

Almost a decade ago, I’d heard stories of mystical right points peeling forever without another soul in sight. What surfer addicted to logging wouldn’t crave to check it out, even though it meant ignoring travel warnings and venturing into a region suffering from civil unrest? Young, naive and most probably foolish, I set off on…

6 min Read
Tin Shed Ventures: Funding the Next Generation of Responsible Businesses
Photo: Tom Frost / Aurora Photos
Tin Shed Ventures: Funding the Next Generation of Responsible Businesses
Patagonia

At Patagonia, we believe making great products, earning a profit and protecting our planet are not mutually exclusive objectives. That’s why, in 2013, we launched an investment fund to help like-minded start-ups on a similar mission. Today, we’re announcing a new name for the fund: Tin Shed Ventures (formally $20 Million & Change). We will…

3 min Read
The Cleanest Line: Read the Story That Inspired the Name of This Blog
Photo: Juan Luis De Heeckeren
The Cleanest Line: Read the Story That Inspired the Name of This Blog
Chris Malloy

We are now third and fourth generation surfers. We have the confidence to leave the stereotypes behind. We have become a tribe that has the ability to be the scroungiest dirtbags one day and then return to the urban environment as activists for change the next. Two time periods epitomize the style and sensibility of…

3 min Read
“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 Read
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 Read
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 Read
Repair is a Radical Act
Repair is a Radical Act
Repair is a Radical Act
Rose Marcario

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…

5 min Read
Rainforest Relief: Why Patagonia SoHo Employees Scaled Coney Island to Save the Amazon
Rainforest Relief: Why Patagonia SoHo Employees Scaled Coney Island to Save the Amazon
Rainforest Relief: Why Patagonia SoHo Employees Scaled Coney Island to Save the Amazon
Yasha Wallin

Editor’s note: Today we’re happy to share an excerpt from Living & Breathing: 20 Years of Patagonia in New York City, a commemorative book about our double-decade relationship with the Big Apple. Grab a printed copy at one of our four NYC stores or check out the digital version at the end of this post.…

4 min Read
An Update on Our DWR Problem
An Update on Our DWR Problem
An Update on Our DWR Problem
Patagonia

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…

5 min Read
Whiskey on the Rocks: Being an Alpine Guinea Pig in Scotland
Whiskey on the Rocks: Being an Alpine Guinea Pig in Scotland
Whiskey on the Rocks: Being an Alpine Guinea Pig in Scotland
Kristo Torgersen

“It starts as rain or snow falling on Scotland’s highest mountain—Ben Nevis. Either as rain or melting snow it percolates the thin layer of peat soil until it reaches the granite rock and unable to penetrate it, runs under the surface until emerging in Coire Leish or Coire na Ciste. The outflows from these two…

6 min Read
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