Design Stories

Kyle Sparks
On The Brink

Best job in the world?

6:35
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The Story of Fleece

A tale of tinkering.

Rachel G. Horn
6 min Read
All the Hemp That Fits

Patagonia has 73 styles using hemp this season. Cultivation of hemp replenishes vital soil nutrients, prevents erosion and requires no synthetic fertilizer.

Jeff McElroy
4 min Read
Heating With a Match

Building a house to withstand winter.

Sue Halpern
3 min Read
Fire Up the Test Tank

There’s nothing more important than having waves a few minutes away.

Malcolm Johnson
3 min Read
Crash-Test Dummy

Who gets hypothermia on purpose? This guy.

Kelly Cordes
4 min Read
How We Turn Scraps into New Gear

What if we could wear our garbage? That’s the idea behind ReCrafted, our line of clothing made from the scraps of used garments collected at our Worn Wear facility in Reno. It’s premium, Patagonia, upcycled. A second life for products that might not otherwise get one. ReCrafted was created by Kourtney Morgan—the designer behind some…

Patagonia
3 min Read
Drawing from the Landscape

Patagonia Designers on the ‘Celebrating Public Lands’ Collection

Malcolm Johnson
6 min Read
A Conversation with Surfboard Designer Fletcher Chouinard

At Fletcher Chouinard Designs, the focus is on durable, high-performing equipment that lets you have fun no matter what the ocean is doing. There are never enough hours in a day for Fletcher Chouinard. As a surfer, shaper, kiteboarder and new father, he was really doing the dance. Then along came foilboarding, which has made…

Sean Doherty
5 min Read
Done in R1

There’s almost nothing that hasn’t been done in an R1 fleece.

3:53
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Getting the Snow Industry Excited About Recycled Fabrics

Before we could challenge the snow industry to move to recycled materials, we had to change our thinking, too. There are a number of ways to reduce a garment’s impact, but none more significant than making it out of recycled fabric. Doing so keeps material out of landfills and cuts demand for the petroleum used…

Patagonia
2 min Read
Introducing Woolyester

Three years ago, we set out to make a new fleece fabric using natural fibers that were light on the land. Our inspiration came from an old sweater, a weather-beaten merino pullover worn by founder Yvon Chouinard in Patagonia’s early days. It had all the properties that have made wool a staple for centuries of…

Kristina Johnson Avery
5 min Read
Baggies Shorts Throughout the Years: Photos

In the book Unexpected: 30 Years of Patagonia Catalog Photography, long-time contributor and friend to many of us at Patagonia, John Russell, said in an interview, “For me, photography is all about two things, light and relationships.” Beautiful lighting is something you’ll find in any good photo. But it’s not as important to us as…

Patagonia
7 min Read
It All Adds Up to Nothing: Forging the Micro Puff

At Patagonia, our best ideas come from being in the field. But sometimes simple problems inspire complex solutions. That’s been the case with the development of insulation. Down gets wet and loses its heat-trapping loft, and synthetics never quite achieve the same warmth, lightness or compressibility as down plumes. We’ve tried everything from treated down…

Patagonia
4 min Read
From Shirt to Dirt: Thoughts on the Patagonia Design Philosophy

Miles Johnson, our senior creative director, oversees the work of all our designers in both technical and sportswear categories, as well as the product development and textile, graphics and color teams. We caught up with Miles recently at the picnic tables outside our child care center to ask him about his life and work and…

Patagonia
7 min Read
About Our Wilder Waters Collection

Patagonia is an unusual workplace in many ways, and the fact that employees are encouraged to incorporate environmental activism into their daily work is just one of the characteristics that sets our company apart. The realities of running a business are important, but we’re always aware that our business has to serve the more pressing…

Patagonia
6 min Read
Experimenting with Naturally Dyed Clothing

Forty-five years ago, the old school North American outdoor uniform was basically colored in khaki, denim blue and olive green. Not only were the colors monotonous, but the dyes used were mostly petroleum based. Imagine no Craft Pink as vivid as the beavertail cactus flower. No Galah Green as bright as the waters off the…

Joyanna Laughlin
6 min Read
Surfing and Making Sustainable Clothing on the Island of Serendip

Almost a decade ago, I’d heard stories of mystical right points peeling forever without another soul in sight. What surfer addicted to logging wouldn’t crave to check it out, even though it meant ignoring travel warnings and venturing into a region suffering from civil unrest? Young, naive and most probably foolish, I set off on…

Belinda Baggs
6 min Read
Living and Designing Sustainably in Southern Chile with Bureo Co-Founder Ben Kneppers

Patagonia’s $20 Million & Change fund [Update: the investment fund is now called Tin Shed Ventures.] was launched in 2013 to help innovative, like-minded startups bring about solutions to the environmental crisis and other positive change through business. Or, in Yvon’s words, to help entrepreneurs and innovators succeed in “working with nature rather than using it up.” Today,…

Brooke Ortel
6 min Read
Touring Seattle’s Bullitt Center: The greenest commercial building in the world

“… after some thinking, I’d say I’d rather be a functioning cog in some great machinery, serving something beyond me.”              –Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes, “Helplessness Blues” On a far from average Wednesday, we arrived to work at Patagonia Seattle for a morning meeting led by brand responsibility analysts, Paul…

Charles Clark & Jacqueline Sussman
6 min Read
How to Make and Use a Wooden Dowel Yoga Prop for Travel

I’ve found my favorite yoga and bodywork prop. Not only is it made of wood, but it’s perfectly portable, fits into the side of any backpack or duffel bag, and takes up next to no space in a van. It works kind of like other massage canes would (but it’s not plastic, is way cheaper, and you…

Lydia Zamorano
5 min Read
The Lost Dory

Joe Curren shares childhood memories of his dad, legendary waterman Pat Curren, and the unique boat that traveled with them to Baja.

Joe Curren
12 min Read
Re-Imagining Rubber: PLUSfoam’s Flip-Flop Recycling Revolution

Even the most tender-footed outdoor enthusiasts amongst us are familiar with the scenario. You are walking back to camp from a quick creek swim, or perhaps making your way home after a day spent chasing the hollow insides of pitching lumps of salt water, and your trusty flip-flops decide to blow out. Maybe the strap…

Ethan Stewart
7 min Read
The Patagonia Encapsil Down Belay Parka: An Origin Story

Editor’s note: The creation of our new Encapsil™ Down Belay Parka is a big deal for all of us at Patagonia. In the midst of getting everything ready for launch, we asked our friend Ethan Stewart to tell the story of how Encapsil down and the parka came to be. Though he handled the writing…

Ethan Stewart
10 min Read
Portillo, Chile: Snow Product Testing with Josh Dirksen

Following up on Monday’s recap of the Dirksen Derby, here’s the latest edition to the Patagonia Video Gallery featuring snowboard ambassador Josh Dirksen and snowsports designer Glen Morden. The guys were testing designs for next fall on this particular trip.

1 min Read
Strawberry Jam: A Fan Letter

Thanks Colin. The jam was awesome!

Patagonia
1 min Read
Yvon Chouinard: Ode to Tumplines

Today’s post – about one of the simplest pieces of gear we’ve ever made – comes from Patagonia’s founder, Yvon Chouinard. It originally appeared in the 1980 Chouinard Equipment Catalog.  When I was at a ski show recently, walking by the booth of one of the largest pack manufacturers, a salesman/designer insisted I come in…

Yvon Chouinard
5 min Read
The 48-Hour Dress: From a Wedding to a Climb in Chamonix

As the sun heated up our little apartment, I drifted out of my dream and awoke to a bizarre scene: people sprawled all over the floor, futon and tiny twin beds…I could hear chatter in half a dozen languages, clinking plates and glasses… the faint smell of tobacco, espresso and butter… a marching band playing…

Brittany Griffith
4 min Read
Meet the Most Well-Documented, Well-Traveled Shorts in the World

The proof is on the pocket bags.

Vincent Stanley
2 min Read
Hiking Boots with a Lighter Footprint

Building an environmentally conscious hiking boot that’s also a top performer is no easy task. Design and construction are complex; so is the supply chain. As Backpacker magazine put it: “Boots are the most complex gear in our kit, with numerous components – fabrics, leathers, soles, shanks, glues, padding, laces, hardware – plus myriad sewing…

greenewsurfer
5 min Read
Product Testing: New R1 & R2 at the Top of Colorado

We test our gear on a variety of levels. Our Athletes & Ambassadors are responsible for putting the latest designs and fabrics through the paces before we'll add a new product to our lineup. But just because something reaches our shelves doesn't mean testing is over. Once a new item shows up in our catalogs,…

Old School
5 min Read
The Making of the Hoverboard Surfboard

We posted some pictures on Flickr a few weeks back of a surfboard that Stru built during some of his off hours. We got such a reaction to the pics that we decided a Q&A with Dr. Strukenstein was in order. This interview was conducted over a three-week period, during which there were some highs…

7 min Read
Product Testing: Backpacking with the New Capilene® 4

We test our gear on a variety of levels. Our Athletes & Ambassadors are responsible for putting the latest designs and fabrics through the paces before we'll add a new product to our lineup. But just because something reaches our shelves doesn't mean testing is over. Once a new item shows up in our catalogs,…

Old School
3 min Read
Notes from Banjo on the FCD Twin-Fin Fish

FCD Board Report – The first thing I noticed about the 5’7″ Fish was how lightweight it was, making it a lot easier to throw around in the surf. I usually ride smaller Fish, somewhere around 5’4″, so i didn’t really know what to expect. The extra few inches made it way easier to paddle…

2 min Read
Skunked or Scored? Summer Ski-Gear Testing in Chile

How do you get to work in morning? Are you stuffed into a sweltering New York subway car? Crammed fender-to-fender along LA’s mind-numbing 405? Either way, our morning commute to work was way more stressful than yours. I promise. We chased the sun across the Inca Lake in Portillo… Editor's note: Freelance writer Greg Fitzsimmons…

5 min Read
Product Testing: Getting Soaked on El Cap

We test our gear on a variety of levels. Our Field Report: Climbing El Cap, Yosemite Valley, early October 2010Conditions: Kinda like rock climbing, kinda like paddling whitewater.Products Tested: Nano Storm, M10 Jacket, R1 Hoody, Rain Shadow JacketTested By: Dave Campbell, Patagonia Pro Sales There’s a saying in China: If you’re ‘one in a million’,…

3 min Read
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