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Patagonia: A World Leader in Sustainability

By: Ava Sobel

With apparel ranging from mountain climbing gear to wetsuits, Patagonia has emerged as a top outdoor clothing brand. According to Patagonia’s mission statement, this company aspires to “save our home planet”. But how has Patagonia earned the role as one of the most sustainable apparel brands in the world? 

Patagonia is already operating their storefronts and office centers with 100% renewable energy resources, but they are determined to make adjustments to their manufacturing materials, as this is where 95% of their emissions come from. They have increased their usage of preferred materials – organic cotton, hemp, and nylon – in their product lines by 45% since 2016. However, Patagonia has developed three big milestones that they hope to achieve.

  1. By 2025, Patagonia hopes to completely eliminate their use of virgin petroleum fiber in their products, using only these preferred materials.

Patagonia is replacing their use of oil with recycled polyester, which they have done so with their Better Sweater jackets. In comparison to this petroleum fiber, this recycled polyester alternative has helped keep 14.6 million pounds of CO2 out of the atmosphere. The amount of CO2 kept out of the atmosphere can be stored by up to 109,000 trees! 

  1. By 2025, any packaging will be reusable, renewable, recyclable, and compostable. 

Instead of using plastic, Patagonia has switched to using algae ink for their hang tags and packaging. By using QR technology, they hope to reduce paper within their products by 100,000 pounds a year.

  1. By 2040, Patagonia will have net zero emissions

Patagonia is currently altering their production systems with hopes in reducing their footprint.  For example, they have cut emissions in half by using 100% recycled polyester insulation in their popular products like the Nano Puff jacket. Patagonia is mainly focused on their supply chain emissions, however, and they are helping their suppliers better understand their energy usage by funding energy audits. 

Patagonia has built a variety of sustainable production, animal welfare, and worker protection programs to maintain their position as a global leader in the outdoor apparel industry!