Doing it right all the way!
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.”
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.).
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