Being first is an arduous endeavour, but someone has to do it. That’s why Patagonia decided to make all their waterproof jackets with recycled materials and obsessively test them to ensure they weren’t compromising their standards for durability or wet-weather performance. And now they partnered and launched Fair Trade programs in every factory that sews these shells, supporting the people behind the product.

Shell, Yeah!

Patagonia Shell Yeah

Shell, Yeah!

Being first is an arduous endeavour, but someone has to do it. That’s why Patagonia decided to make all their waterproof jackets with recycled materials and obsessively test them to ensure they weren’t compromising their standards for durability or wet-weather performance. And now they partnered and launched Fair Trade programs in every factory that sews these shells, supporting the people behind the product.

Why Recycled?

60% of the world’s clothing is made from polyester, which is responsible for a lot of the world’s dependence on fossil fuels. Patagonia are committed to using recycled fabrics to decrease dependence on petroleum and divert used materials from landfill. Extracting and processing virgin materials takes a toll on land, water and air, and using synthetic and natural fibres from pre-consumer and post-consumer waste reduces this dependence on raw materials and carbon emissions. That's why Patagonia are moving towards 100% renewable and recycled raw materials - starting with shell jackets, which are now all 100% recycled.

Why Fairtrade?

Put simply, Patagonia believe that Fair Trade is the first step to wage equity in the supply chain. It works like this: Patagonia pay a premium for every waterproof shell, and that extra money goes directly to the factory workers who made it. But Fair Trade is about more than that. The program also promotes health and safety for workers and social and environmental compliance. As of July 2017, more than 15,700 people working in factories that make Patagonia clothing have benefited from the program, with Patagonia having been the first apparel company to bring Fair Trade to Mexico and the US.

Patagonia explain that to be Fair Trade certified, a factory has to meet the following criteria:

  • Rigorous standards for health and safety
  • Respect for the environment
  • No child or forced labor
  • Maternity and paid leave
  • Community empowerment
  • Additional money back to workers