Fabrics, trims, and raw materials are the foundation of our mission to build the best product and cause no unnecessary harm. For that reason, Patagonia travels the globe building relationships with the right suppliers – companies that make high-quality materials while reducing their environmental and social impact. Together, we then work to create the technical, environmental and aesthetic innovations that define Patagonia products.
Our search for the best materials starts with our material development team. It is their job to research, develop and approve materials and suppliers by evaluating performance in four key areas: quality, traceability, environmental health and safety, and social responsibility.
Developers send potential material options to the Patagonia quality testing lab. The lab analyzes and evaluates the material against a set of minimum requirements relevant for its intended use. To ensure the highest quality, lab analysts rely on industry standards, as well as equipment and test methods that we spent years developing. Our fabric laboratory may test as many as 70 material options in order to approve one fabric that meets or exceeds our minimum performance requirements.
It is for this reason that we require our suppliers to complete a sourcing questionnaire and map their own supply chains. For every one of our fabrics or trims, we require a profile sheet, a supply chain tracking sheet and all relevant third-party certificates. See our certification requirements for organic cotton.
Environmental Health and Safety
Patagonia partners with bluesign technologies ag to implement the BSSL and a compliance program within Patagonia’s supply chain. A comprehensive testing matrix and bluesign certification helps suppliers to evaluate their compliance with chemical restrictions, limits and bans that are enforced in the BSSL. These steps protect consumers, and improve wastewater, air emissions and workplaces. Check out the Implementation Milestones for the Patagonia EHS program.
The Raw Materials Social Responsibility Program requires that all of our fabric and trims suppliers audit their factories for key social responsibility indicators, such as hiring practices, employee grievance mechanisms, recycling policies and other social and environmental efforts.
The steps for mills to comply with the program are similar to those for the factories that make our finished products.