In early July of 2008 we announced the release of our factory list, available from the Leading the Examined Life portion of our site. As the post states, this was a big step for us. The Footprint Chronicles is our opportunity to maintain a higher level of transparency in our corporate practice. They were launched in the belief that within today’s corporate sustainability revolution lie some compelling stories, and that corporations themselves cannot be relied upon to always know which stories need to be told. The Footprint Chronicles provide an opening for more direct communication with customers. They are our chance both to tell what we are doing and to learn—from you—what it is we must do next.
The publication of our factory list provides a perfect example of this process. Making our factory list public directly addressed customer concerns about Patagonia’s adherence to socially responsible manufacturing. But it opened the door for the next big question, "If Patagonia is looking for full transparency, why not publish the country of origin for each product in the printed and on-line catalogs?"
We’re happy to announce that we’re doing exactly that. Hit the jump to find out more.
In the past, we responded to a different customer demand about the origin of our products. The message then was clear: Just tell us which products are made in the U.S.A. Our online country-of-origin information evolved to do this, stating which articles were "Made in U.S.A.," while leaving the rest to be identified simply as "Imported."
With the passage of time and evolution of consumer awareness, this earlier accommodation of customer requests has come to appear neglectful at best, and at worst, a purposeful attempt to hide an ugly truth. But global manufacturing concerns have changed drastically in a very short time, and customer concerns have shifted from simply wanting to know what’s made in the U.S.A., to wanting to know the country of origin for all products.
The Footprint Chronicles encourage informed choices, but in order for customers to make such choices, we need to provide as much information as possible. We’re happy to announce that the older "Imported" and "Made in U.S.A." designations have been updated for all products on Patagonia.com to reflect each item’s country of origin. Look for this information as one of the bullet items mentioned under the "Details" section on any product page.