Where Do Our Clothes Come From? Ask Patagonia

“Our reason for being is to make the best product and cause no unnecessary harm”. A powerful statement from a clothing company that’s working toward lightening their footprint on the environment. Patagonia, which started out making tools for climbers, has grown into a leading manufacturer of clothing for outdoor activities. And reversing the decline in environmental health motivates them to create better ways of doing business.

Each year, Patagonia dedicates time, service and at least 1% in annual sales to hundreds of environmental groups to help support the reversal of environmental damage. In what appears to be a very brave move on their part, the company has created a flash site called The Footprint Chronicles that shows both the positives and negatives of items in their clothing line.

The Footprint Chronicles was created to encourage others to look closely at all of life’s processes. The more thought we give to the way we do things, the more our impact on the environment becomes visible. With the flash program, Patagonia wanted to open up their manufacturing process to the public to make themselves (and others) aware of the changes that need to be made in order to lessen their part in our environment’s downfall.

Currently, Patagonia is examining five of their products from concept through to finished product using a map with explanations each step of the way. Patagonia details the good and the bad, the CO2 emissions, including how much waste was generated and how much energy was consumed by the process of making one of the five products listed. Patagonia explains how they feel about the chain of events and encourages site visitors to give their feedback.

Is this a good thing for the well-known company? Or is honesty a risky business in our society?

My thought? If we pause a minute to reflect on the cause and effect of our processes, we’ll be better able to make positive changes to lessen our own footprints.

Maybe that’s the idea.

patagonia 01 Where Do Our Clothes Come From? Ask Patagonia



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