Patagonia comes from the word “patagón”, which was used by explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1520 to describe the native people of southern America as giants. Fast-forward 453 years and we have the birth of sustainable apparel giants, the self-styled “activist company”, Patagonia.
The rock climbing entrepreneur, Yvon Chouinard, who started the company is a founding member of the “One Percent for the Planet” organization. Their mission is to encourage businesses to commit 1% of their total sales, or 10% of their profit, whichever is greater, to environmental groups. And yes, Patagonia have kept to this promise since 1985.
On Black Friday 2016 they earnt an eye-watering $10million from their 80-global brick and mortar stores and online presence combined; smashing their estimates of $2million by 500%. They donated 100% of this days huge earning towards “grassroots environmental groups fighting to protect vital natural resources like water, air and soil”.
Such passion and caring for the environment that they borrow from is inspiring and noble, especially within a capitalist driven society.
The latest Patagonia T shirt is pulling no punches with its commitment towards the environment, unashamedly naming it the “Responsibili-Tee”; and you can see why! It is made from 100% recycled materials; 50% post-industrial recycled cotton and 50% postconsumer recycled polyester. This process reduces landfill waste and the need for petroleum that is needed to make raw materials. The artwork is screen printed without the use of PVC or phthalate.
Patagonia has once again demonstrated that creating comfortable and fashionable graphic tees doesn’t have to be harmful to workers or the environment. And for between £25-30 it doesn't cause damage to the wallet either!
So congratulations to Patagonia, for standing tall for over three decades in an industry which needs more ideological giants to lead the way.