The Cleanest Line

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    New National Monuments Inspire Visitors and Bolster Communities

    By Rose Marcario, Patagonia CEO

    Amboy Crater_2

    When I first moved to Los Angeles, my friends took me on a camping trip to Joshua Tree National Park. I had never been in a desert landscape and had no idea what to expect. I thought I’d find it boring. But I can only describe that first trip as a spiritual experience. I’d been meditating for years in some of the most beautiful places in the world, but nothing compared to going deep into the desert, surrounded by prehistoric rock formations, Joshua trees, abundant wildlife and stripped down, elemental landscapes. I thought then how glad I was that Joshua Tree was a national park and I hoped the surrounding landscape would be found worthy of protection and preservation for all generations to come. 

    Now, President Obama has officially recognized new California desert national monuments—known as Mojave Trails, Sand to Snow and Castle Mountains—totaling 1.8 million acres. These lands signify and solidify this region’s place as one of America’s truly remarkable—and now truly valued—landscapes. That’s good news for all of us; the people who look to these lands for recreation and relaxation; the desert towns that will develop into gateway communities for these national landmarks; and the wildlife that migrate through and live in the desert.

    Above: Amboy Crater, part of the Mojave Trails National Monument in California. Photo: Bob Wick, BLM

    Continue reading "New National Monuments Inspire Visitors and Bolster Communities" »

    Repair is a Radical Act

    By Rose Marcario, Patagonia CEO

    800x500_Black-Friday_F15

    This holiday season, I have an early New Year’s resolution for the sake of Planet Earth: let’s all become radical environmentalists.

    This sounds like a big leap—but it’s not. All you need is a sewing kit and a set of repair instructions.

    As individual consumers, the single best thing we can do for the planet is to keep our stuff in use longer. This simple act of extending the life of our garments through proper care and repair reduces the need to buy more over time—thereby avoiding the CO2 emissions, waste output and water usage required to build it.

    Continue reading "Repair is a Radical Act" »

    Patagonia Opposes TPP

    By Rose Marcario, Patagonia CEO

    Map

    Now that full text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has finally been made public, we can say unequivocally that we oppose it, as it advances the interests of big business at the expense of the environment, workers, consumers, communities and small businesses. This confirms our previous fears (here and here) about the agreement’s serious social and environmental costs.

    The proposed trade agreement between the U.S. and 11 other Pacific Rim nations, crafted behind closed doors over a five-year period, may indeed cut tariffs, increase trade and build closer economic and regulatory relationships among its signatories, as its proponents say. But it will also weaken worldwide labor standards, harm the global environment, diminish regulatory safeguards and enable corporations and individuals that already have far too much influence gain even more at the expense of everyone else.

    Map: The Footprint Chronicles®

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    TPP? One global business still says, “No thanks.”

    By Rose Marcario, Patagonia CEO

    Map

    It is good to hear that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement has now toned down protections for high pharmaceutical prices and eliminated legal sanctions that help tobacco companies defeat local anti-smoking laws. Better protections for labor, long trumpeted but never delivered in a succession of trade pacts, may well be part of the new language, as well as stronger protections for wildlife from financial exploitation.

    Nevertheless, as TPP enters its next phase—ministerial rewrites, a White House push for support from business and the public, an eventual vote in Congress—we remain opposed to TPP, even though we stand to gain financially from potential duty relief within the 12-nation region.

    The biggest problem remains the secrecy attendant to the TPP. Its Fast Track authority enables the pact to be negotiated privately, without public comment, until voted by Congress, up or down without amendments, and signed into law. So everything any of us knows about this pact, good news and bad, is second-hand and speculative. That’s the opposite of transparency—and it is weak democracy. We can imagine 20 years from now our children shaking their heads that this practice was once considered acceptable.

    Map: The Footprint Chronicles®

    Continue reading "TPP? One global business still says, “No thanks.”" »

    Patagonia to Cease Purchasing Wool from Ovis 21

    Dear Friends, 

    We’ve spent the past several days looking deep into our wool supply chain, shocked by the disturbing footage of animal cruelty that came to light last week. Patagonia’s partnership with Ovis 21 has been a source of pride because of the program’s genuine commitment to regenerating the grassland ecosystem, but this work must come equally with respectful and humane treatment of the animals that contribute to this endeavor.

    The most shocking portion of PETA’s video shows the killing of animals for human consumption. Like those in the Ovis 21 network, most commercial-scale ranches that produce wool from sheep also produce meat. What’s most important is that we apply strong and consistent measures to ensure animals on ranches that supply wool for products bearing the Patagonia name are treated humanely, whether during shearing or slaughter. We took some important steps to protect animals in partnering with Ovis 21, but we failed to implement a comprehensive process to assure animal welfare, and we are dismayed to witness such horrifying mistreatment.

    In light of this, we’ve made a frank and open-eyed assessment of the Ovis program. Our conclusion: it is impossible to ensure immediate changes to objectionable practices on Ovis 21 ranches, and we have therefore made the decision that we will no longer buy wool from them. This is a difficult decision, but it’s the right thing to do.

    Continue reading "Patagonia to Cease Purchasing Wool from Ovis 21" »

    TPP? One global business says, “No thanks.”

    By Rose Marcario, Patagonia CEO

    Map

    Patagonia opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement and Fast Track approval. We stand to gain financially from TPP and the potential duty relief on products made within the region, but the minor potential gains are not worth the social and environmental costs.

    We have listened closely to the Administration’s assurances that TPP affords unprecedented environmental and labor protections in a trade agreement. We are not persuaded, for several reasons.

    The biggest problem is the secrecy attendant to the negotiation of the TPP, which has enabled the pact to be negotiated privately, without public comment, until voted by Congress, up or down without amendments, and signed into law. This is the opposite of transparency—and it is weak democracy.

    Map: The Footprint Chronicles®

    Continue reading "TPP? One global business says, “No thanks.”" »

    If GMOs Are Safe, Why Not Label Them?

    By Rose Marcario, Patagonia, CEO

    Kumler_a_P_0042_2

    When Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, began writing about GMOs in the early 2000s, he started by asking a reasonable question: “What does a clothing company know about genetic engineering?”

    The answer, he said: “Not enough.” And neither does anyone else. In the proliferation of GMOs, Yvon saw a serious threat to wildness and biodiversity.

    More than 10 years later, the prevalence of GMOs in everyday food products has risen sharply—but basic consumer awareness remains low.

    An alarming bill before Congress aims to keep it that way. The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014 (H.R. 4432) will remove any requirements for manufacturers to label foods containing GMOs. Even the misleading name of the bill suggests an intention to leave us in the dark.

    Above: Patagonia Provisions Wild Sockeye Salmon comes only from abundant, sustainable runs—we never use farmed or genetically engineered salmon—and our Tsampa Soup uses only organic, non-GMO ingredients. Photo: Amy Kumler

    Continue reading "If GMOs Are Safe, Why Not Label Them?" »

    Kids: Our Best Product – Participating in the Champions of Change for Working Families event at the White House

    By Rose Marcario, Patagonia, CEO

    Davis_t_1296

    It’s an honor to be recognized by President Obama for our commitments to working families. I share this gratitude with Malinda Chouinard, who has always made Patagonia a great place for families, and with Anita Furtaw, who developed an award-winning on-site child development program for our Ventura headquarters 30 years ago, and has run it ever since.

    We’re happy to serve as a model for other companies who want to do the right thing by their employees. It’s a necessary element of doing business in our time. To support our families, Patagonia provides company-paid health care and sick time for all employees, paid maternity and paternity leave, access to on-site childcare for many employees, and financial support to those who do not have access, among other benefits.

    Above: Kids from Patagonia's Great Pacific Child Development Center (GPCDC) having fun in front of the Tin Shed. Photo: Tim Davis

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    The Cleanest Power – $20 Million & Change invests in Hawaiian rooftop solar project

    Last year, Patagonia Works announced the launch of $20 Million & Change, an investment fund for companies and initiatives that, in the words of our founder Yvon Chouinard, “work with nature rather than use it up.” We promised to update you from time to time on how this project is shaping up.

     

    Patagonia Solar infographic

     

    We’re entering into an agreement with Kina‘ole Capital Partners to create a $27 million fund that will purchase more than 1,000 rooftop solar power systems in Hawai‘i, where most homeowners currently use electricity generated by coal and oil.

    If more businesses followed this investment strategy, we’d have a full-on renewable energy movement on our hands. Conventional wisdom too often assumes business success is incompatible with helping the planet. This investment shows we can do good business by working with nature, rather than using it up—and we’re providing a roadmap for other companies interested in getting their dollars involved too.

    Read how it works—and then help us spread the word on social media!

    Continue reading "The Cleanest Power – $20 Million & Change invests in Hawaiian rooftop solar project" »

    Gone Marching

    By Betsy Pantazelos

    Bp_pcm_2b

    Today did not start like most other days for the employees of Patagonia stores in New York City. We didn’t restock shelves, we didn’t organize products and we didn’t open the doors at normal hours for our customers. Instead, with the blessing of the company—and our CEO, Rose Marcario, at our side—we joined our neighbors for the People’s Climate March.

    After a gathering at the Upper West Side store with Protect Our Winters, Catskill Mountainkeeper, HeadCount, employees and supporters, we all headed for the streets to reinforce the importance of keeping the health of the environment at the forefront of world discussions instead of on the back burner. What followed was the largest rally of its kind to date.

    Above: Employees and customers assembled to march. Photo: Betsy Pantazelos

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