You have the power, it’s your choice and you can use it to create the world you want to live in. That’s the message from pioneering sustainable brand Patagonia. A strong message that should empower you to make wise and conscious purchasing decisions with your well-earned money. There has never been an easier time to make your wallet count, with the information now available about the products to choose between. And we have just made it even easier!
It can all seem somewhat overwhelming the damage and lack of respect for the very environment we live in or fellow societies on our planet. Especially when you hear of ice caps melting due to our addiction to fossil fuels, but fossil fuel companies seeing the ice melting as an opportunity to find more fossil fuel, new world leaders closing Environmental Protection departments, the spiralling marine plastic issue or sweat shop factories collapsing and killing workers.
It all seems a little mad and short sited, and you can be forgiven for burying your head in your hands and trying to lighten the mood with some cat video on social media. It’s a common reaction when it feels out of your control. But in reality, it’s not.
Today you will vote, you will actually vote numerous times…
Every day you choose to support organic or chemical spraying, fair trade or cheap labour, single-use plastic or biodegradable, recycled content or oil drilling … the list goes on. But every penny or cent in the direction, that we all know we should choose, helps steer us on a more sustainable path and a better future.
That’s why we have set up a listing entirely dedicated to products that have a sustainable focus, each product is independently verified by Sustainable Surf – a not for profit dedicated to cleaning up surfing and its industry. Check it our here.
Patagonia are our most frequent brand in the listing, and rightly so. The brands groundbreaking initiative ‘The footprint chronicles’ is an unprecedented attempt at creating a transparent supply chain for us, their customers. A refreshing and honest view of how the brands supply chains perform sustainably. Although not perfect it’s clear that the brand’s founder mantra flows through the lifeblood of the business ‘Doing good is good for business’ – Yvon Chouinard
But as with us all Patagonia still have work to do, and they are setting to it by continuing to expand their fair trade programme. Which has scaled from 11 to 218 styles of products in just 2 years, a move that directly improves the lives of the factory workers that make the products we wear.
Around 40 million people work in the textile industry, most are in the poorest regions of the world. In the age of information at our fingertips, it’s no longer an excuse to not know the often inhumane working conditions and wages of these regions.
Choosing a Patagonia jacket, t-shirt, fleece … whatever, next time not only means you support their environmental work (chances are the materials are environmentally friendly) or that you buy a product that lasts (another environmental bonus Patagonia are pursuing) But you will also be supporting a company that encourages Fair Trade.
The premise is simple: for every product made by a Fair Trade Certified factory, companies such as Patagonia choose to pay an additional premium that workers can use to elevate their standard of living and bridge the gap between a minimum wage and a living wage. A worker-elected committee votes on how to spend their money – either as a cash bonus or to pay for social, economic and environmental community projects.
Which has made Patagonia the largest supplier of apparel made in Fair Trade Certified™factories, with plans to extend the programme to approximately one-third of all Patagonia’s products.
Check out the Patagonia range here.
Browse our sustainably focused gear here.
Watch Patagonia’s short film – Fair Trade: the First Step