Patagonia, Inc. is an American clothing company that
sells outdoor clothing marketed as sustainable. The company
was founded by Yvon Chouinard in 1973, and is based in
Ventura, California. Its logo is the skyline of Cerro Fitz
Roy in Patagonia.
Patagonia grew out of a small company that made tools for climbers.
Alpinism remains at the heart of a worldwide business that still makes
clothes for climbing – as well as for skiing, snowboarding, surfing, fly
fishing, paddling and trail running.
Chouinard, after meeting John Salathé, a Swiss climber and
Swedenborgian mystic who had once made hard-iron pitons out of Model A
axles, decided to make his own reusable hardware. In 1957, he went to a
junkyard and bought a used coal-fired forge, a 138-pound anvil, some tongs
and hammers, and started teaching himself how to blacksmith. By 1970,
Chouinard Equipment had become the largest supplier of climbing hardware
in the U.S.
As they began to make more and more clothes, they needed to find a name
for their clothing line. Why not "Chouinard?" They already had a good
image going, why start from scratch? They had two reasons against
it. First, they didn't want to dilute the image of Chouinard as a tool
company by making clothing under that label. And second, they didn't want
their clothes to be associated only with mountain climbing. To most
people, especially then, Patagonia was a name like Timbuktu or Shangri-La,
far-off, interesting, not quite on the map. Patagonia brings to mind, as
they once wrote in a catalog introduction, "romantic visions of glaciers
tumbling into fjords, jagged windswept peaks, gauchos and condors." It's
been a good name for us, and it can be pronounced in every language.
Learn more about the
patagonia fashion brand.
You will find apparel for trail running, climbing, yoga and beyond.
Every year for 30 years, Patagonia has donated one percent of its sales
to grassroots environmental organizations. They helped initiate the
Sustainable Apparel Coalition, an organization of companies that produces
more than a third of the clothing and footwear on the planet. In a very
short time, the Coalition has launched an index of social and
environmental performance that designers (and eventually consumers) can
use to make better decisions when developing products or choosing
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