Posts tagged ‘Patagonia’

Patagonia Bares All with The Footprint Chronicles

Patagonia started The Footprint Chronicles in 2007 back when “corporate transparency” was not a buzz word.  Not entirely sure where The Chronicles would lead them they began with the notion that if the information they were receiving had them squirming in their seats they were probably on the right track.  Taking a close and personal look at their suppliers and manufacturers Patagonia has invested time, money and their employees into creating the most sustainable and eco-conscientious products for their consumers.  Something the industry now likes to call corporate responsibility.

They have since added to and expanded their transparency.  A global supply map displays the location of Patagonia’s material sourcing.  They even have a reference library which holds all information on the textiles they use, the treatments they go through and the processes as well.  With everything from paper use to compostability, Patagonia dedicates itself to leaving nature as uninterrupted as possible and rather themselves exposes the deepest roots of their corporation.  As stated in The Footprint Chronicles mission statement we couldn’t agree more that when one company can reduce or eliminate a harm, other businesses will be eager to follow suit.

16/05/2012 at 5:35 pm Leave a comment

OSU to host Sustainable Textiles Symposium

On May 14th, Oregon State University will be hosting the Sustainable Textiles Symposium.  Steve Richardson of Patagonia will discuss the environmental footprint of apparel.  Becky Hurd of NIKE  will speak about new production techniques.  Jay Nalbach of NAT will be shedding some light on  sustainable fiber development.

The Symposium will feature seven presentations from West Coast based textile and apparel companies and businesses involved in the manufacturing, dyeing, recycling, certification, labeling, and design of sustainable textiles. Two roundtable discussions will offer students and the community a chance to ask in depth questions of the speakers on sustainability issues.

The Symposium is made possible through a 2012 grant from the Student Sustainability Initiative of OSU and the Department of Design and the Human Environment (DHE).

All presentations will take place in the Austin Auditorium at the Lasells Stewart Center, OSU, Corvallis Campus. All Roundtables will be in a designated Ag room also at the Lasells Stewart Center.  To see the full breakdown of speakers and details for the event please click here.

You can visit the OSU Student Sustainability Initiative (SSI) here.

07/05/2012 at 10:25 am Leave a comment

Los Angeles Times Covers the Benefits of CRAiLAR

This past weekend, the Los Angeles Times did a three-part feature on cotton and alternative fibres.  We were included in one of the three stories.  Have a read to find out what they have to say about CRAiLAR and other various fibres such as tencel, hemp and bamboo.

Much as they’re trumpeted by so-called eco-designers, plant-based alternatives to cotton are a minuscule piece of the fashion puzzle. Dwarfed by cotton and synthetics such as polyester, spandex and rayon, textiles made from flax, wood pulp, hemp and bamboo make up less than 2% of the market. But that percentage is growing due to consumer and corporate demand, as well as technological advancements that make natural fibers easier to transform into wearable fabrics.

To get the full story, click on the link below.

Beyond Cotton:  Which Alternative Fabrics are Eco Friendly?

Fabrics at a Glance

Cotton That’s Kinder to the Planet

21/06/2011 at 6:48 am Leave a comment

Buy a Song, Better the Environment

Patagonia, the California-based outdoor clothing company,  announced the launch of a new music initiative, and is partnering with like-minded musicians such as Bonnie Raitt, Jack Johnson and Zac Brown Band.

The new program is called Patagonia Music and will offer exclusive tracks through iTunes that will help support various environmental groups.

In a press release, Patagonia states their program will be “perpetually evolving” and the company hopes it will bring about a greater dialogue between environmentally-conscious fans and artists.

In the first volume, called Patagonia Music Collective, Vol. 1, Patagonia has put together a compilation including live versions of Bonnie Raitt and Jon Cleary’s “So Damn Good,” Zac Brown Band’s “Cold Hearted,” Jack Johnson’s “To The Sea,” as well new recordings by Ben Sollee, Abigail Washburn, and Blitzen Trapper.  Each of the 11 tracks on the compilation are being sold through iTunes for 99 cents.

Each artist chooses a different environmental group to benefit.  Zac Brown Band will benefit Urban Farming, while Johnson’s track will support the Kōkua Hawai’i Foundation.

With Volume 2 boasting tracks from Pearl Jam, Ziggy Marley, and Ra Ra Riot among others, Patagonia’s music initiative succeeds in bringing together a broad range of talented artists under one common cause.

17/03/2011 at 6:30 am Leave a comment

Apparel Costs Rising and It’s Not Just Cotton

The Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, a major American trade show, wrapped up on Sunday, January 23rd.  Participants included prestigious retailers from the outdoor sports sector and manufacturers including RadiciGroup, who presented a seminar titled “Apparel Costs Rising: And It’s Not Just Cotton”. 

“What is happening now to cotton has inevitable repercussions on all the other natural and synthetic fibres.  But what is going on with this product?  A reduction in cotton cultivated areas and poor harvests due to adverse climate conditions have decreased supply, while market demand for the product, particularly in Asia, is experiencing strong growth.  The result has been a huge price surge (a 136% increase over 12 months was recorded).  To this, we must add that cotton-producing countries have shifted their focus to value-added products and are trying to export semi-finished (yarn) or finished goods (fabrics), thus penalizing cotton processing countries”, organizers said.

The raw materials price rise is said to be having an effect on all finished products worldwide, from cotton to wool and man-made fibres, with an inevitable, strong impact on the entire textile and apparel industry.  These issues were discussed by Mike Todaro – Managing Director of AAPN,   Kurt Cavano – CEO of Tradecard, Randy Harward – Sr. Director of Quality and R&D of Patagonia, Rick Horwitch – VP Solutions Business Development & Marketing of Bureau Veritas, Kim Hall – Marketing Manager of Radici Group and several other leaders in the textile and manufacturing industry.

“After participating last December 7 in the first Virtual Design Center LIVE, a virtual interactive seminar produced by US Outdoor Retailer,” Kim Hall said, “we wanted to bring our experience and present our point of view at the seminar, Apparel Costs Rising:  And It’s Not Just Cotton.  It was a very interesting meeting of ideas.  On our part, we discussed the aspects related to the rising costs of raw materials and the consequent increase in manufacturing costs for man-made fibres, from spandex to polyester and nylon.”

“Other non-apparel markets can pay a higher premium for their component raw materials because their final products command a higher price and, therefore, increased margins.  In our case, since we are not able to recoup the raw material price increases but want to remain a stable and reliable supplier, we must inevitably pass along such price increases.  Retail needs to understand that.”

As many large retail chains continue to report losses and consumers hold their wallets ever so tight, we have to ask ourselves this question….will retail understand?

We need to consider alternatives to the fibre crisis we are facing.  Cotton, wool and man-made fibres will continue to rise and we will need to seek out cost-effective options.  Click here to learn more about economically viable alternatives to what we once considered “The Fabric of Our Lives“.

03/02/2011 at 6:30 am Leave a comment

Uniting for Global Change

A new coalition of some of the world’s biggest clothing brands, which together amount to around 60% of global apparel sales, has agreed to develop a new environmental hang-tag for clothing that will allow shoppers to immediately assess the environmental impact of their purchases.  The news of a brand new ‘Sustainable Apparel Coalition’ was revealed by Yvon Chouinard, founder of outdoor brand Patagonia, in early November.  His company has been working with the likes of Wal-Mart, C&A and Levi Strauss on the new project after a meeting at Wal-Mart where the idea was first raised.  “We have been working with Wal-Mart to ‘green’ its business which has ultimately led to the formation of a new coalition of retailers and brands which make up between 50 – 60% of world clothing sales”, he said.

Non-disclosure agreements have already been signed and it’s expected that the European/US outdoor eco-index and Nike’s Considered Index Tool will be put at the disposal of the other non-outdoor brands involved in this ground-breaking project.  The formation of the new coalition will be officially announced in January 2011.

Chouinard told Ecotextile News that the coalition also includes household names such as JC Penney, Nike, Gap, Coles and “many others” who are working towards “an eco-index for consumers so that they can instantly identify the sustainable credentials of a product”.  He said the new consumer label project is expected to take two years to finalize and complete – a very ambitious time-scale.  “The industry has decided to take this step in advance of government legislation”, Chouinard told us, “the brands wanted to take the initiative before governments did”.

The coalition is sure to have a revolutionary effect on the global textile supply chain and provides an interesting insight into current brand thinking but  it also raises some concerns within the textile sector about how this new eco-textile label can be both policed and certified.  “The opportunity for greenwashing is an obvious concern”, said one textile NGO,  “they will need the involvement of credible, third-party organizations to help develop the new label system”.  The brands will also have to map their entire supply chains – a huge undertaking on its own.

To ensure this project is transparent, Ecotextile News calls for the full engagement and involvement of the relevant NGO’s in the USA, Europe and Asia.  In particular this includes the new Textile Exchange in the USA, the RITE Group in Europe and perhaps the SFBC in Hong Kong.  Regional consumer protection organizations should also be engaged to ensure it actually delivers what it sets out to achieve.

~Reported by John Mowbray of Ecotextile News~


29/12/2010 at 11:43 am Leave a comment

180° South

180° South – Conquerors of the Useless follows Jeff Johnson as he retraces the epic 1968 journey of his heroes Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins to Patagonia.  Chouinard is the founder of outdoor gear Patagonia, a passionate environmentalist and is a leader in the forefront of the sustainable textile movement.  Tompkins, the co-founder of North Face, along with his wife Kris are now committed to extraordinary conservation efforts in South America.

Throughout Johnson’s journey,  he gets shipwrecked off Easter Island, surfs the longest wave of his life – and prepares himself for a rare ascent of Cerro Corcovado.  Jeff’s life turns when he meets up in a rainy hut with Chouinard and Tompkins who, once driven purely by a love of climbing and surfing, now value above all the experience of raw nature – and have come to Patagonia to spend their fortunes to protect it.

Enjoy this inspirational, must-see documentary!

21/10/2010 at 6:45 am Leave a comment

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