Our Footprint Stories

Keri Oberly
Partnering with the People Who Make Our Clothing, with Fair Trade Practices
Photo: Keri Oberly
Partnering with the People Who Make Our Clothing, with Fair Trade Practices
Patagonia

We started developing our social responsibility program in the mid-1990s, working side by side with factory partners. In 2001, we became a founding member of the Fair Labor Association, a nonprofit that works to improve working conditions worldwide. With over a decade of close focus on our cut-and-sew factories, in 2011, we moved one link…

9 min Read
Donating with Dignity
Donating with Dignity
Donating with Dignity
Sarah Mirk

The dos and don’ts of donating your used clothes.

3 min Read
Remothering the Land
Remothering the Land
Remothering the Land

Regenerative practices and knowledge come from Indigenous and Black farmers, and support healthy soil, animals and people.

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10:38
Small Is Still Beautiful
Small Is Still Beautiful
Small Is Still Beautiful
Rachel G. Clark

Tough and uncertain, organic cotton farming accounts for less than 1 percent of US cotton production. For this family, that’s why it’s a calling.

3 min Read
How We Got Here: Organic Cotton
How We Got Here: Organic Cotton
How We Got Here: Organic Cotton
Michele Bianchi

The story of our switch to organic cotton starts with a bout of headaches and a trip to the lunar landscape of the San Joaquin Valley’s conventional cotton fields.

7 min Read
Our Quest for Circularity
Our Quest for Circularity
Our Quest for Circularity
Archana Ram

Patagonia’s journey toward zero waste and reduced carbon emissions, failed experiments included.

8 min Read
Trust The Scientists
Trust The Scientists
Trust The Scientists
Mădălina Preda

Why we rely on lab tests and data more than ever to make decisions about our products.

6 min Read
Can We Stop Greenwashing?
Can We Stop Greenwashing?
Can We Stop Greenwashing?
Elizabeth L. Cline

What was once a nuisance—overselling environmental gains—now conceals the apparel industry’s role in the climate crisis.

9 min Read
Quality Is an Environmental Issue
Quality Is an Environmental Issue
Quality Is an Environmental Issue
Patagonia

Patagonia’s quality rating system is designed with ecological footprint in mind. Here’s why.

8 min Read
Net Positive
Net Positive
Net Positive
Adam Skolnick

How discarded plastic fishing nets found their way into our hat brims.

3 min Read
The “Father of Recycling” Has a Message For You
The “Father of Recycling” Has a Message For You
The “Father of Recycling” Has a Message For You
Erin Grace Scottberg

Donald Sanderson launched the country’s first mandatory curbside recycling program in Woodbury, New Jersey, in 1980. The recycling landscape has since changed. A lot. Is it still worthwhile?

6 min Read
The Great Cotton Experiment
The Great Cotton Experiment
The Great Cotton Experiment
Rachel G. Clark

This is a test to grow our clothes differently.

2 min Read
Changing the Fabric of Our Lives
Changing the Fabric of Our Lives
Changing the Fabric of Our Lives
Lindsay Morris

Can a cotton T-shirt really help stop the climate crisis?

7 min Read
2025 Or Bust: Patagonia’s Carbon Neutrality Goal
2025 Or Bust: Patagonia’s Carbon Neutrality Goal
2025 Or Bust: Patagonia’s Carbon Neutrality Goal
Rodrigo Bustamante

In Japan, it is possible to simultaneously stand both in a cultivated field and under a solar array. A group of engineers and entrepreneurs developed a model whereby solar panels can be installed on top of existing farmland and still allow the required amount of sunlight to reach the crops below. These collaborations between businesses…

7 min Read
How We’re Reducing Our Carbon Footprint
How We’re Reducing Our Carbon Footprint
How We’re Reducing Our Carbon Footprint
Patagonia

Ever since Patagonia had an office (and wasn’t just selling gear out of the back of Yvon’s car), we’ve devoted desk space, our free time and a percentage of our sales to protecting wild nature. From our travels, we knew our land, air and water was in real trouble from short-sighted profiteers. Over the years,…

6 min Read
Why Recycled?
Why Recycled?
Why Recycled?

Why recycled? is a short video that looks at the current global challenges facing the recycling system and why Patagonia is switching to 100% renewable and recycled materials. Through interviews with material designers and industrial ecologists, this film urges us to question our own consumption habits and look at the impact the clothing industry has on people and the planet.

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12:53
Letter from Tuscany (Where We Get Our Used Wool)
Letter from Tuscany (Where We Get Our Used Wool)
Letter from Tuscany (Where We Get Our Used Wool)
Mădălina Preda

She went to Italy to see how recycled wool is made and discovered that everything has an impact, including recycled.

7 min Read
What We’re Doing About Our Plastic Problem
What We’re Doing About Our Plastic Problem
What We’re Doing About Our Plastic Problem
Patagonia

Our home planet has a deeply disturbing and pervasive problem with plastics. In April, a group of researchers studying the deepest part of the ocean—the Mariana Trench—discovered plastic bags and candy wrappers floating nearly seven miles below the surface of the Pacific Ocean. Globally, about 450 million metric tons of plastic are produced every year and 9.5 million tons of…

8 min Read
Misunderstood
Misunderstood
Misunderstood

Natural. Misunderstood. Legal.

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15:23
Hemp Is Back: How Some of Ours Is Produced, in Photos
Hemp Is Back: How Some of Ours Is Produced, in Photos
Hemp Is Back: How Some of Ours Is Produced, in Photos
Diane French

It’s hard not to notice the hype around hemp today. Pick up any lifestyle magazine, enter a pharmacy, talk to a health-food store employee or just the person next to you in yoga class—at some point you’ll learn about its miraculous powers. In particular, near-unbelievable claims swirl around cannabidiol, or CBD, oil derived from hemp:…

5 min Read
What’s at Stake Is the Future of Humankind: An Interview with Yvon Chouinard
What’s at Stake Is the Future of Humankind: An Interview with Yvon Chouinard
What’s at Stake Is the Future of Humankind: An Interview with Yvon Chouinard
Patagonia

“Forget Mars,” Yvon Chouinard said recently—although, come to think of it, he might have used a stronger f-word. Our founder was responding to a glib idea that comes up from time to time in conversations about the climate crisis—that if we exhaust the Earth as a habitat for humans, we’ll all just up and move to the…

6 min Read
Teaming Up to Get to the Bottom of Microfiber Pollution
Teaming Up to Get to the Bottom of Microfiber Pollution
Teaming Up to Get to the Bottom of Microfiber Pollution
Stephen Chastain

Together with industry partners, Patagonia commissioned Ocean Wise’s Plastic Lab to investigate microfibers, the tiny textile particles that shed from garments over their lifetime. The scientists at the Plastic Lab have just completed the first phase of this research project, so we asked them for an update. While plastic debris in the ocean has rightfully…

4 min Read
Giving Workers More of a Voice
Giving Workers More of a Voice
Giving Workers More of a Voice
Rachel G. Clark

Behind everything we make is the hard work of a human being—from growing raw materials and weaving fabric to cutting and sewing the finished product. Yet those who work in garment factories—and, globally, more than 60 million people do—have historically been subject to substandard working conditions and unable to report those issues. That’s why, in…

7 min Read
All Our Wool Is Now Certified to the Responsible Wool Standard
All Our Wool Is Now Certified to the Responsible Wool Standard
All Our Wool Is Now Certified to the Responsible Wool Standard
Patagonia

This article was first published in 2018. For the most recent information about our participation in the Responsible Wool Standard, visit Our Footprint. In 2015, we made the conscious decision to put a pause on our wool sourcing “until we can assure our customers of a verifiable process that ensures the humane treatment of animals.”…

3 min Read
Regenerative Organic Certification Unveiled
Apricot Lane Farms is a certified organic and biodynamic farm that grows and nourishes a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and animals. Moorpark, California. Photo: Keri Oberly
Regenerative Organic Certification Unveiled
Rose Marcario

On Saturday, at Natural Products Expo West, the Regenerative Organic Alliance unveiled our new certification. Here is an excerpt from my speech and make sure to watch our video. In 2012, we started Patagonia Provisions, a food company focused on products sourced in innovative ways that benefit and regenerate the planet. And the more we learn about food,…

3 min Read
The Night They Drove Organic Down
The Night They Drove Organic Down
The Night They Drove Organic Down
Dave Chapman

Looking back on the USDA meeting in Jacksonville, I am left with anger, grief and a sense of urgency that we keep moving forward. The meeting of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) was an historical turning point for the National Organic Program (NOP). It was a watershed moment. “All of the organic philosophy is…

20 min Read
Organic Standards Stem from the Soil
Organic Standards Stem from the Soil
Organic Standards Stem from the Soil
Rose Marcario

For almost 20 years since the “organic” certification first passed, there has been a debate surrounding growing methods. Some foods are grown in soil, and others are grown hydroponically in large buildings and under lights. There is a reason for both growing methods, but it is important that they be labeled differently. Since the 1920s…

2 min Read
Join Us: The Journey to Regenerative Organic Certification
Photo courtesy of KAMUT
Join Us: The Journey to Regenerative Organic Certification
Rose Marcario

Working closely with Rodale Institute, Dr. Bronner’s and other key allies, we created Regenerative Organic Certification to establish a new, high bar for regenerative organic agriculture. The certification is the result of a lively and cooperative effort among a coalition of change-makers, brands, farmers, ranchers, nonprofits and scientists, all with a clear goal: to pave…

4 min Read
What You Can Do About Microfiber Pollution
Photos: Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at UCSB
What You Can Do About Microfiber Pollution
Patagonia

Addressing the shedding of microfibers from synthetic garments continues to be a top priority for us at Patagonia. We know there are a lot of contributing factors to microplastic pollution, and we have been learning all we can about the release of fibers from our garments. Patagonia has commissioned two research projects on microplastics—one through…

2 min Read
Finding Moral Certainty for Businesses in an Uncertain World
Photo: Kyle Sparks
Finding Moral Certainty for Businesses in an Uncertain World
Rose Marcario

Over the past few months, the business environment has changed dramatically. I’m not talking about trade policy or tax reform, but rather the heightened moral and ethical uncertainty many business leaders now feel at a time when the foundations of our democracy are challenged. New injustices seem to arise almost every day, demanding we speak…

3 min Read
Welcome to the B Corp Community, Stonyfield!
Photo courtesy of Stonyfield
Welcome to the B Corp Community, Stonyfield!
Vincent Stanley

We’re happy to welcome Stonyfield to the B Corp community. When Patagonia was young we felt kinship mostly with companies in the outdoor industry and our friends who worked there. Two companies we admired in the then unfamiliar territory of food included Ben & Jerry’s and Stonyfield, which grew out of an organic farming school…

4 min Read
Making Surf Gear at a Fair Trade Certified Patagonia Facility
Photo: Jarrah Lynch
Making Surf Gear at a Fair Trade Certified Patagonia Facility
Dave Rastovich

As I step into MAS Active-Leisureline, a Fair Trade Certified factory that makes Patagonia products near Colombo, Sri Lanka, the first thing that confronts my senses is the sound. Row after row of clamorous cutting and sewing machinery is being operated by a few hundred workers, all dressed in bright green uniforms and working under…

6 min Read
An Update on Microfiber Pollution
Photos: Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at UCSB
An Update on Microfiber Pollution
Patagonia

In June 2016, we provided a comprehensive update on Patagonia’s work to investigate the emerging issue of ocean pollution from tiny fibers, which often originate from synthetic textiles (such as nylon, acrylic or polyester) that are used in products available to consumers around the world. Research about microplastics pollution is just starting to emerge among…

8 min Read
Regenerative Organics: Drawing a Line in the Soil
Illustration: Lake Buckley
Regenerative Organics: Drawing a Line in the Soil
Rose Marcario

In recent years, we’ve seen a boom in production and sales of organic foods worldwide. The global organic food market is expected to grow by 16 percent between 2015 and 2020, a faster rate than conventionally-grown foods. This seems like good news—but in truth, organic farming makes up just a tiny fraction of the global agriculture…

6 min Read
Rose Marcario: Expanding Our Commitment to Fair Trade
Photo: Tim Davis
Rose Marcario: Expanding Our Commitment to Fair Trade
Rose Marcario

You may be familiar with the “Fair Trade Certified” symbol and its assurance that some of the money spent on a bag of coffee or bar of chocolate goes directly to its producers and stays in their community. Patagonia, in partnership with Fair Trade USA, now makes clothes that provide the same benefit. The program…

4 min Read
Fair Trade: The First Step
Fair Trade: The First Step
Fair Trade: The First Step

How is your clothing made?

Watch
12:53
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