Filed under:News, Product News, 1% For The Planet, Action Works, Ascencionist, Bluesign approved, Capilene Cool, Dirt Craft shorts, Fair Trade Satisfied, H2NO, mountain bike clothing, Patagonia, ReCrafted, Regenerative Organic Cotton, Torrentshell, Torrentshell 3L, Worn Wear, Yvonne Chouinard
We popped into sunny – ha, just kidding – Manchester last week to catch up with Patagonia’s latest kit and initiatives, notably the new Action Works campaign and drink coffee from a re-useable coffee mug.
The big picture, as you’ll likely know, is that Patagonia has a well-earned reputation as the most sustainable and ecologically sound major outdoors brand out there. Founder Yvonne Chouinard was the moving force behind the longstanding 1% For The Planet project – www.onepercentfortheplanet.org – whose members contribute 1% of their annual sales to environmental non-profits.
The brand itself has been at the forefront of using recycled and recyclable materials for years now and has taken massive steps to make its supply chain both sustainable, fair and transparent. Check out the Footprint Chronicles on the brand’s website for more details.
Right now though, Patagonia is focussed on a campaign called Action Works which is a brilliant initiative aiming to connect motivated individuals with organisations within their communities working on environmental issues. The idea is to make it as straightforward as possible to connect with the groups at the sharp-end of the battle against the unprecedented threats to our world.
Signing up could mean something like connecting with a local Strike for Climate Action event. Or supporting a group working to fight against destructive river dams or campaign to save virgin forests. All you have to do is head over to the Action Works website and tell it where you are to bring up details of groups local to you. You can then find out more about them, opt to donate via the website or contact the group direct to get involved.
It’s a simple but potentially very effective initiative that takes individuals right into the environmental campaigning heartland.
To mark Black Friday 2019, Patagonia has pledged to match donations to grassroots environmental NGOs made through Action Works, pound for pound. So if you make a donation between 29 November (Black Friday) and 31 December, it’ll effectively be doubled. Why? In Patagonia’s words:
‘Black Friday is known around the world as a festival of conspicuous consumption. And this frenzy of shopping makes it one of the most environmentally damaging days of the year’
New for spring 2020
We also copped a sneak early look at some of Patagonia’s new kit due out next spring 2020 with, as you’d expect, an emphasis on sustainability. Here’s what you can expect:
Torrentshell jacket goes 3-layer
Patagonia’s classic lightweight – think around 350 grammes – Torrentshell waterproof has been around for years now, but has always been made from a 2.5-layer fabric to reduce weight and bulk. That changes next spring with the introduction of the Torrentshell 3L using a full three-layer H2NO fabric. The new material should be more comfortable against the skin in particular, but also more durable, which means it should last longer and therefore be more sustainable. Like the current design it has adjustable hood, cuffs and hem, pit-zips and hand-warmer pockets. Oh and a recycled Nylon face fabric.
Ascencionist jacket carries over
Not strictly new as it actually launched this winter, the Ascencionist Jacket is Patagonia’s flagship lightweight alpine mountaineering shell. It weighs in at a competitive 371 grammes and is made from Gore-Tex 3-layer fabric with a C-KNIT backer, but what really stands out is the use of a 100% recycled nylon face fabric which is also bluesign approved and Fair Trade Satisfied sewn. Pit-zips, helmet hood and neat cohaesive cord-grips too. Soft feel and high breathability sounds good to us.
Capilene cool romps on
One of my personal favourite new things of this year was Patagonia’s lightweight Capilene Cool baselayer. Unlike other hot-conditions base-layer stuff I’ve tested, it actually works and for 2020 the range expands again with the same three versions: lightweight for fast and active ultimate cooling. Daily for everyday use with SPF50 sun protection. And Trail which is super soft and ideal for proper outdoor use. All the fabrics are between 50% and 100% recycled depending on the version and the garment. Brilliant stuff.
New Regenerative Organic Cotton range
The new Regenerative Organic Cotton isn’t technical outdoor clothing – think tees, shorts and more – but it’s part of a project to grow cotton on over 150 small-scale farms working toward Regenerative Organic Certification. The range includes some certified organic cotton but also cotton from farms where it is grown organically, but not yet certified as part of a three-year transition from chemical to certified organic farming. The big picture, says Patagonia, is that healthy soil traps more carbon which could help stop climate change. Moreover an organic cotton tee-shirt uses 84% less water and 16% less CO2 than a conventional cotton equivalent. The clothes look cool too.
Patagonia does mountain bike clothing
You may know this already, but Patagonia has a small but perfectly formed range of mountain biking kit and this carries over into spring using top-end technical fabrics and design. We particularly liked the look of the Dirt Craft shorts complete with removable padded liner. The outer short itself looks spot on with a stretch nylon/elastane fabric, a cut that looks like a neat middle way between baggy and tight and a curved waistband to allow easy movement. They’re also cut to cover the top of ‘most kneepads’ it says here. We tend to use soft shell shorts from outdoor brands in preference to specialist bike shorts, but these might just change our mid. Outer fabric is 65% recycled and the shorts are Fair Trade Certified sewn.
One last thing we love…
Patagonia has opened its first Worn Wear store in Boulder, Colorado. The shop sells not just used Patagonia kit from trade-ins and donations, but also a new ReCrafted range, which is also available online. The ReCrafted kit is made from parts from up to six different garments and looks brilliant in a sort of thrown-together harlequin-esque way. It’s an ingenious mechanism that allows Patagonia too utilise scraps and panels from otherwise unusable garments.