Sunday, February 8, 2015


Dreaming of some high-performance base layers to keep your body warm?  Want to know what a base layer is?  Walk briskly to the Patagonia store in Georgetown. 

I finally made my way into their canal-side store.  There I was greeted by their Assistant Manager Mark Stevens who responded knowledgeably to my questions and helped me to understand  how thoroughly Patagonia has infused their entire profitable existence with care for people and the environment.  More on this below.  First pictures of clothes.  My son and I happily picked up a few things we needed:
Capilene® lightweight Men's Slim Fit Bottoms $49
For this item, the label (which was printed on 100% post-consumer-waste recycled paper) assures me that the fabric meets bluesign® standards for consumer protection against harmful substances and for sustainable production.  Such bluesign® labels at Patagonia also include the assurance that the garment is made with either organically grown cotton, chlorine-free wool, hemp, recycled nylon, recycled polyester or Tencel® lyocell.  We got a few Capilene undergarments.  We also picked up a beanie hat.

(Caption) Merino wool Beanie Hat $39
The wool part of the hat is chlorine-free and sourced from flocks managed with sustainable grazing practices in the grasslands of Patagonia, don'tcha know.

Here are a few more items that really rock sustainability:

Reclaimed Wool Parka with Reclaimed Cotton Canvas and Recycled Polyester $299
Reclaimed Cotton Hoodie  $149
Undyed Cashmere Cardigan $299

The prices are higher than people are used to paying for fast fashion, but you can wear their garments with the warm assurance that they have put every care into thoughtful production and good labor practices.  Plus their garments are durable enough to justify the investment.  Other signs of Patagonia's broad commitment to sustainability:
  • Every cotton item has been organic since the mid 90's. 
  • Every store has an Environmental Grants Coordinator who manages the local component of Patagonia's 1% For the Planet program.  (They give back 1% of TOTAL SALES, not profits.)
  • Patagonia's making progress towards its goal of having all their clothing fair trade AND bluesign® certified (All base layer garments already are.)
  • Patagonia is a founding member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, which is working to develop a sustainability ranking system that is broader than bluesign's.

I admit that I am not a big outdoorswoman, nor do I find Patagonia's styles terribly exciting (What, no latex jabots?!), but I made a point of taking my son there and getting him a few basic warm layers because Patagonia operates as I hope all manufacturers someday will.  If you DO happen to be engaged in a lot of outdoor activities, you'll love their durable, well-engineered performance garments.  So many reasons to support Patagonia!