Once a small company originally in the business of making tools for climbers, Patagonia has expanded into a behemoth of a brand that makes products for skiing, snowboarding, surfing, fly fishing, paddling, trail running and more. The common thread through all of these sports is their silence; none of them require a motor or evoke cheers from a crowd. Within each, the reward comes in the form of a connection between people and nature.
Born from necessity, Patagonia found its start by creating products that adventurers needed but didn’t exist yet. From their Ventura, California headquarters, Patagonia has continued to not only progress technical, functional products, they have done so in an authentic way, always considerate of environmental and social impacts.
It’d be easy to focus solely on Patagonia’s far-reaching, progressive outdoor gear and apparel that’s been pushing boundaries on function and setting fashion trends since 1973. And while certainly not the only company to push new technologies and fabrications, Patagonia has done so in a way others often try to emulate but rarely succeed in. From its Worn Wear program, which encourages repair rather than replacement, to the founding of One Percent for the Planet, Patagonia has continued to be an innovator and a leader in conservation and environmental issues.
While it may seem like Patagonia is one of many in terms of brands with eco-conscious efforts, the reality of the fact is that Patagonia has been leading the charge for decades, others just now catching up. With new manufacturing concerns arising every day, Patagonia continues to be a beacon to chase. While some might say that copy-cat efforts purely benefit up-and-coming brands, the values and direction that Patagonia has laid out will end up benefiting us all in the end.
Patagonia’s mission is straightforward. They aim to build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis. With this clear set of guiding principles, Patagonia has set a standard for others to follow. From outerwear and apparel to bags, luggage and more, Patagonia creates responsible and cherished products for the adventure at hand and the adventure ahead.
Cover photo by Cameron Maier