PATAG­O­NIA

Do­ing it right all the way!

Business of Fashion - - The Right Way - -By Bharti Sood

Founded by Yvon Chouinard in 1973, Patag­o­nia is an out­door com­pany based in Ven­tura, Cal­i­for­nia. A cer­ti­fied B Corp, Patag­o­nia’s mis­sion is `to build the best prod­uct, cause no un­nec­es­sary harm and use busi­ness to in­spire and im­ple­ment so­lu­tions to the en­vi­ron­men­tal cri­sis’. The com­pany is rec­og­nized in­ter­na­tion­ally for its com­mit­ment to au­then­tic prod­uct qual­ity and en­vi­ron­men­tal ac­tivism.

Patag­o­nia gives 1 per­cent of its sales to sup­port en­vi­ron­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tions around the world, fund­ing at the grass­roots level, to com­mu­nity-based groups work­ing to cre­ate pos­i­tive change for the planet.

Patag­o­nia is out to change the denim busi­ness. An in­no­va­tive dye­ing process en­ables the brand to re­duce dra­mat­i­cally the use of water, en­ergy and chem­i­cals and pro­duce less car­bon diox­ide com­pared to con­ven­tional denim dye­ing pro­cesses. Not only so, their denim jeans are made from 100 per cent organic cot­ton and are also Fair Trade Cer­ti­fied™ for sew­ing.

Mark Lit­tle, Patag­o­nia’s Prod­uct Line Man­ager for Sports­wear, shares, “Denim it­self has al­ways been a pro­gres­sive prod­uct. Denim was al­ways a form of an­ar­chy; James Dean was a dis­rup­tion in cre­ative cul­ture, then there was the punk rock era. They were ma­jor dis­rup­tors and denim was on the curve of it. Now we are try­ing to dis­rupt the way we think about denim.”

Col­lec­tion: Ad­vanced Denim

When it comes to giv­ing denim its sig­na­ture blue, most dye houses use syn­thetic in­digo dye ap­plied on huge pro­duc­tion lines that use a lot of water and en­ergy. In­digo doesn’t ad­here read­ily to denim, which makes the dye­ing, rins­ing and gar­ment­wash­ing process re­source in­ten­sive. Patag­o­nia has in­tro­duced a new range called ‘Ad­vanced Denim’, which re­places in­digo with an in­no­va­tive dye­ing process. The brand em­ploys Archroma Ad­vanced Denim Tech­nol­ogy, that colours it with sul­phur dyestuffs that bond more eas­ily to denim. This re­sults in much

Cre­at­ing best of prod­ucts, caus­ing no un­nec­es­sary harm and re­duc­ing im­pact on en­vi­ron­ment – is what Patag­o­nia strives for. Their line of jeans are made of 100 per­cent organic cot­ton and adopt­ing in­no­va­tive meth­ods and ad­vanced dye­ing pro­ce­sess re­duces the use of water, en­ergy and chem­i­cals and pro­duces less car­bon diox­ide com­pared to con­ven­tional denim dye­ing pro­cesses.

shorter pro­duc­tion lines that uses 84 per cent less water, 30 per cent less en­ergy, and emits 25 per cent less CO2 as com­pared to con­ven­tional in­digo pro­cesses.

“The pro­duc­tion of con­ven­tional denim de­mands enor­mous vol­umes of water and en­ergy since syn­thetic in­digo, used for dye by most pro­duc­ers, doesn’t ad­here well to denim. There­fore the pro­cesses of dy­ing, rins­ing and the wash­ing of gar­ments are ex­tremely re­source in­ten­sive. Every­body has dif­fer­ent pro­duc­tion cy­cles but we found that in the con­ven­tional dy­ing process you’re us­ing mul­ti­ple baths to dye the fab­ric; any­where be­tween 10- 14 dye baths. With the new process, we use two. Water is a pre­cious re­source, so if there’s an op­por­tu­nity to re­duce us­age for any prod­uct or ap­parel, then that’s a crit­i­cal thing to ex­plore,” shares Mark.

Patag­o­nia’s `Ad­vanced Denim’ tech­nol­ogy has been hon­oured with the pres­ti­gious 2012 ICIS In­no­va­tion Award and In­no­va­tion with Best En­vi­ron­men­tal Ben­e­fit Award. Archroma was one of the first com­pa­nies to be awarded a Euro­pean EU Eco­la­bel* for its il­lus­tra­tion col­lec­tion of jeans in recog­ni­tion of the sus­tain­abil­ity ben­e­fits of `Ad­vanced Denim’.

Ma­te­ri­als & Tech­nol­ogy: Organic cot­ton

The R&D de­part­ment at Patag­o­nia is con­stantly im­prov­ing and in­no­vat­ing on ma­te­ri­als be­ing used, to cre­ate most durable, long-last­ing and best-in-class prod­ucts.

Con­ven­tional cot­ton is thought of as one of the dirt­i­est fi­bres in the fab­ric in­dus­try, and Patag­o­nia has there­fore been care­ful to use only organic cot­ton since 1996, farmed with­out the usual mix of syn­thetic pes­ti­cides, her­bi­cides, de­fo­liants and fer­til­iz­ers that can pol­lute water and air. Patag­o­nia® Denim uses only 100% organic cot­ton grown with­out GMO seeds em­ploy­ing na­ture­based so­lu­tions to man­age pests and build healthy soil. Says Mark, “Patag­o­nia is aim­ing to have a pos­i­tive in­flu­ence and lead the in­dus­try in a bet­ter di­rec­tion. Our goal is not to take over the denim busi­ness, it’s about show­ing peo­ple a dif­fer­ent way of do­ing things; a cleaner way of do­ing things.”

Brand En­gage­ments: Fair Trade Cer­ti­fied™ Sew­ing

Patag­o­nia denim jeans are Fair Trade Cer­ti­fied® for sew­ing. By part­ner­ing with Fair Trade USA the brand helps gar­ment work­ers to get closer to a liv­ing wage. In­forms Mark, “In an in­dus­try where work­ers are among the poor­est paid in the world, it’s good to know that your cloth­ing is Fair

Trade cer­ti­fied for sew­ing. We pay our work­ers “a pre­mium” for each piece of Fair Trade cloth­ing, which can be used to im­prove their com­mu­ni­ties and stan­dard of liv­ing.”

Re­tail Pres­ence

Patag­o­nia cur­rently op­er­ates stores across the globe and have a dis­tinct phi­los­o­phy when open­ing new ones. They be­lieve in us­ing and im­prov­ing ex­ist­ing build­ings, rather than con­struct­ing new ones. When they can’t stick to this prin­ci­ple, they de­sign their build­ings with aes­thetic ap­peal, try to make use of en­vi­ron­men­tally con­scious con­struc­tion ma­te­ri­als and fix­tures, and build them to last. Em­pha­sis is on mak­ing the stores unique by re­flect­ing the his­tory and nat­u­ral fea­tures of their lo­ca­tions.

Patag­o­nia Den­ims have wide­spread pres­ence in Ar­gentina, Aus­tralia, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Repub­lic, France, Ger­many, Hong Kong, Ire­land, Italy, Ja­pan, South Korea, Tai­wan, U.S.A and Vir­gin Is­lands (U.S.).

Online Pres­ence

Patag­o­nia den­ims are avail­able at back­coun­try.com, evo.com, moose­jaw. com, moun­taingear.com, eir.com. The brand is also re­tail­ing through their own por­tal Patag­o­nia.com.

Mark Lit­tle Prod­uct Line Man­ager for

Sports­wear, Patag­o­nia

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