Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Eco Brand Spotlight: Patagonia

If you're a Portlander or rub elbows with the outdoor industry at all, chances are you've heard of the revered clothing brand Patagonia (also known as #Patagucci for its steep price tags). But even though the company makes high-quality, fashionable, and functional outdoor wear, it's even better known for its eco-friendly approach to clothing.

"Build the best product,
cause no unnecessary harm,
use business to inspire and
implement solutions to the
environmental crisis."

- Patagonia mission statement

Patagonia uses recycled polyester in much of their clothing and sticks to only organic, pesticide-free cotton. The company also devotes many service hours to environmental causes and donates 1% of daily global sales to environmental causes. Most notably, Patagonia dedicated all of their sales from this past Black Friday to grassroots environmental groups dedicated to protecting precious natural resources such as water, air, and soil. The company was anticipating to pull in $2 million in sales on Black Friday alone, but experienced a surge in sales and ended up making a whopping $10 million. The company, of course, donated it all.

Patagonia's Better Sweater
Another way that Patagonia uses its business model to cut down on waste - and ultimately conserve natural resources - is through their Worn Wear Program. Patagonia prides itself on making durable, functional clothing to last a lifetime - and stands by that guarantee. It invites its customers to send in pieces of their clothing that need to be repaired in order to keep the clothes worn again and again, avoiding the landfill. Customers can either have their repaired Patagonia clothing sent back or opt to make some cash by reselling it through the Worn Wear Program, where Patagonia will list the product on its dedicated used clothing page. Users can filter by size to snatch up items that typically sell quickly due to the steep price slash: a popular product, the full-zip Better Sweater, retails for $139 but sells for a cool $40 used.

If you're looking for a quality clothing item with both fashion & function and values eco-friendly materials and production methods, try stopping by Patagonia's store in downtown Portland or picking up your own Worn Wear piece to keep clothing well-loved and well-worn - and out of the landfill.

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