This is another post about why Patagonia is awesome. This company has sued the president and fought for preserved land and resources. They have aggressively worked towards reducing the impact of their products and have even abandoned their shoe business because they couldn’t do it sustainably enough.
Add to that today they are shutting down their stores and encouraging everyone to get out and vote.
Yes, my employer has made an effort to inform us of upcoming issues and to provide for us to go vote, but shutting down your retail completely to make a point is just another reason Patagonia is a leader in ethical company management.
On Thursday, September 21, 2017, the Palo Alto Patagonia played host to the first SHRED-X, a sustanable surfing inspired event to show the community some of the possabilites to enjoy surfing while still caring for the planet. This is a breif summary of my experience attending the event.
Full disclosure, I’m not a super huge surfer. I’ve surfed, and I enjoy it. I would like to do more of it, but it’s really my brother who is very invested in the sport. I am, however, interested in reducing my carbon footprint, hence my interest in sustainability. This event was also happening right next to my office on a night where I was free.
The event started at 7pm and I stayed until they did the lottery at around 9 pm. It started off with some food and beverages. I was very excited to finally try Long Root Ale.
I’ve been hunting for this beer since I found about its existance. It’s a product produced by Patagonia Provisions and it uses a peranual crop instead of crops that need to be replanted every year like wheat and barely. If you are a fan of IPAs you will probably enjoy this beer. Being not as big fan, it’s going to need to be a really hot day for me reach for one of these.
The partner organizations were set up around the store. Many people showed up to browse all the products.
SUGA mats makes yoga mats out of recycled wetsuits. They take old wetsuits, grind them up and then bond them together into yoga mats and surf changing mats. They often a program where you can buy a lifetime gaurnetee on the mat and if your mat wears out, you send it back and they will recycle it and send you a replacement. I got t meet the founder, Brian. He was great. Very excited to order a couple of mats and to see what they come out with next.
Waste To Waves is a company that takes waste products and and turns them into products you can use in your active life. As you can see in the picture above, they take used corks and turn them into products like yoga cork blocks and surfing traction pads. They help a company called Mafia take used sail frabic and turn it into bags and pouches. They also help take used plastic and turn it into board fins. It is awesome to see some great products that are made from recycled materials.
Connora Materials is a company that is making resins made without petroleum. This means that you can coat your surfboard without using a harmful petroleum products. They did a live demo of the their process during the event. There were also a couple of their boards floating around that were really gorgeous. I will definitely look into having my next board finished this way.
The main event was a talk about how sustainability is moving into the world of surfing and how we as environmentally conscious surfers can do a better job of protecting the oceans we love. It was a really compelling talk and I would definitely go to another one of these events if they put it on. SustainableSurf.org is the company that put together the event and is an investor in many of the different sustainable products discussed.
Anyway, here are a bunch more photos from the event. Check out the captions for quick notes about each photo.
Here are a bunch of people looking at products from Waste To Waves.
This is a 3D printed surf board made from recycled plastic bottles.
Here’s a closer look at my favorite product from the event, a back pack made out of really previously used sail fabric.
You can find a bunch of different stores on it. When I tell people that I’m on my way to visit all the Patagonia stores in the US, they are often shocked to find out that there are only 30 (technically 31 if you count the work wear pop up in Washington) Patagonia owned and operated stores in the US. That owned and operated part is the kicker. There are several other types of stores out there.
There are corporate partnership stores. The store in Newport, RI is an example of this. This store is actually owned and operated by Team One (a wonderful gear shop where I have bought a lot of sailing gear over the years). They opened the store to carry more Patagonia clothing. Patagonia provides the gear for them, but doesn’t manage the store. It is a partnership.
There are also “Patagonia at” stores at many different ski resorts. The resorts own and operate the stores that sell Patagonia clothes. This is again a partnership, but Patagonia, the company, does not directly own these stores.
The number of retail stores that Patagonia owns and operates the US is 30 (or 31). If you go back to the map page above and turn off check boxes for “Dealers” and “Environmental Grantees” you can see all the stores that Patagonia actually owns and operates.
These are the stores I’m heading to, and I only have seven (or eight, or technically nine) left.
Aside: this post was published because I felt like people had interest in this knowledge. I often times don’t know what of my Patagonia knowledge is worth sharing. If you have a question about Patagonia that you want answered send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
It started while we were shooting(with cameras) waterfalls outside of Portland. I was very proud to be wearing entirely Patagonia for the first time that I could remember. From the head down to the boots, everything was made by Patagonia. “You are such a Patagonia Fan Boy” one of my friends said. I had to agree.
That’s when I bought the website.
I also started taking pictures in front of all the Patagonia stores.
This week, I’ve visited five new stores across the US. Three in the LA area, Dillion MT and St. Paul, MN. Each Patagonia store has a unique personality, but the staff is consistently friendly. When I walk in and ask for the sticker and say that I’m collecting, they are often shocked about how many stores I’ve visited. I’m going to start writing more about the individual stores, but I think it is at about 18 at this point. I’m more than half way there, with five more in my sights this month.
On the last part of the drive, I started listening to Let My Poeple Go Surfing and I feel more excited about my goal of visiting all the stores. The company is inspirational and they talk about how they try to keep a unique identity for each store.
Hope this helps explain the photos on my Instagram.
I was in the Seattle trip with my brother during our road trip last year when I saw Patagonia’s sleeping bag / down parka combo for the first time. Patagonia was solving the problem of the extreme alpinist by creating a kit that would pack to minimal but still be warm. The kit required the use of the parka in order for the sleeping bag to work. Well, they’ve removed that requirement and are now shipping a Patagonia Branded Sleeping bag:
At about $400 it’s a little more expensive than my existing bag, but you get a full down bag, and you get the Patagonia Tracable Down promise which will make you feel better about your purchase. There are some interesting features of the bag like: a footbox for more comfort, minimalist stitching to keep the weight down. It comes in three sizes, I’d be a regular if anyone wants to send me one!
Today I’m wearing my hooded better swearer. I love this two tone masterpiece. It is comfortable as well as fashionable.
The Better Sweater line is designed to be a semi-warm fleece that performs better than standard fleece. For men, it comes in a bunch of different cuts. There is the hoodie version, the quarter zip, the full zip, a vest, and the performance version. Having tried all, the only one that is a little hard to wear is the quarter zip as it requires you to pull it over your head to put it on and take it off. The fabric is great but does develop some pilling. You can use a Sweater stone to remove unwanted pills.
The Better Sweater was one of the first pieces I bought from Patagonia and probably the only line I’ve fully tried out. I’m a huge fan and I continue to wear them weekly.
I was reading the Wikipedia page for Patagonia the other day. This page seems a little small for the amount of business the company does, but still was an interesteing read. What really caught my eye was the part about Chouinard Equipment going out of business because of a liability case, but that what was left of the business became Black Diamond.
As a fan of Patagonia I had been wondering what had happened to Chouinards gear business. Yes, the clothing line is successful, but they started out making climbing gear. This page, in conjunction with Black Diamond’s Wikipedia page explain what happened to the company.
The products that they made were not the problem and the product lines have continued. Black Diamond is a very popular brand of gear and I have a bunch of their pieces. I feel somewhat cheated that I didn’t realize that they were part of the Patagaonia brand history.
I did this once and then forgot about it. I just went through a bunch of old mail and found my two random patagonia stickers. It reminded me that I should request a couple more. If you are a patagonia fan too, maybe you would like some free stickers.
I’m not sure I remember my first piece of patagonia clothing. I do remember going home for Thanksgiving in 2014 and it being really cold. I needed to borrow a hat. I went through the drawer where my mother keeps her extra warm hats and gloves for people to use in the winter. I pulled out the blue and green patagonia hat and asked if I could wear it. I used it the whole trip and asked if I could take it with me. My mom was okay with it, but my little brother, Alex, was not. He said the hat was special and it belonged to the family and the house and I couldn’t just take it. He made up some story about its significance, which I’m pretty sure was fake.
Still, it got me to think about how certain pieces of clothing have a story. The really good pieces of clothing have many stories, over many years. Most of my clothes didn’t. Much of my clothes served there purpose and were recycled or thrown out. I was tired of that. I wanted my clothes to be better. I did a bit of research and found out about Patagonia’s gaurentee on their products. More research uncovered more interesting details about the company.
I was particularly struck by an add they took out in a newspaper where they told people not to buy their new jacket. The subtext was don’t buy it if you already have one that works, but still. What kind of company out there tells you to be careful when buying their products?
So it started with a blue green hat. Now a large portion of my clothes shopping is done at Patagonia. I wear my patagonia gear with pride.