Shop Informed

Shopping for food items or clothing is sometimes a confusing endeavor. What does it mean if a product is upcycled? And what is Fair Trade Certified™ chocolate, anyway? This list of terms will help guide you as you navigate your way toward shopping informed.

Advanced Global Traceable Down Standard
We believe this to be the strictest animal-welfare and consumer assurance standard in the down industry. All the virgin down that Patagonia sources is traced from parent farm to final fiber-processing facility, so the birds that supply it are protected by these standards and are not force-fed or live-plucked.

Animal welfare
The well-being of nonhuman animals. When an animal is in a good state of welfare, it is healthy, comfortable, well nourished, safe and able to express innate behavior, and it is not suffering from pain, fear or distress.

Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC)
An international nonprofit organization that manages a global certification and labeling program for responsible aquaculture.

Capable of decay caused by bacteria, fungi or other biological means. Since this process requires the right environmental conditions to work (temperature, ultraviolet light, oxygen, etc.), even natural products won’t biodegrade in certain environments.

Every textile we use is the result of a comprehensive manufacturing process that uses raw materials, dyes and other chemicals. bluesign® technologies works in the textile supply chain to approve chemicals, processes, materials and products that are safe for the environment, workers and customers.

Carbon emissions
The release of carbon into the atmosphere; carbon emissions are the main contributor to climate change and global warming because excessive carbon pollution traps the sun’s energy as heat.

Carbon neutral
Also known as “net-zero.” For Patagonia, it means that we will reduce, capture or otherwise mitigate all the carbon emissions we create, from the farms that grow our natural fibers to the factories that make our textiles and finished clothing.

Chemicals management
A broad range of efforts and practices designed to responsibly manage the production, handling and use of chemicals throughout their life cycle.

Circular economy
According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a circular economy refers to an economic activity that builds and rebuilds overall system health by using closed-loop production methods to keep resources in play as long as possible.

Closed material loop
A system in which materials can be used, recovered and infinitely recycled through natural or industrial processes.

Carbon dioxide, a naturally occurring gas that’s also the most common greenhouse gas emitted as a result of human activities.

Carbon dioxide equivalents, a measurement used to compare emissions from various greenhouse gases based on their global warming potential. It’s also a standard unit for measuring a carbon footprint.

Corporate responsibility
A broad-based movement in business that encourages companies to take responsibility for the impact of their activities on customers, employees, communities and the environment.

The practice of using recycled material that is of lower quality and functionality than the original material.

Fair Labor Association® (FLA)
A nonprofit based in Washington, DC, and composed of socially responsible companies, colleges, universities and civil society organizations. The FLA was established to hold apparel companies accountable to responsible labor practices. Patagonia is a founding and accredited member.

Fair Trade Certified™
We pay a premium for every Fair Trade Certified™ sewn item that carries our label. That extra money goes directly to the workers at the factory, and they decide how to spend it. The program also promotes worker health and safety and social and environmental compliance, and encourages dialog between workers and management.

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Green Guidelines
Enforceable US guidelines designed to protect consumers from unfair or deceptive environmental marketing claims.

Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC)
An international nonprofit organization that promotes responsible management of the world's forests.

International Labour Organization (ILO)
A United Nations agency dealing with labor problems, particularly international labor standards, social protection and work opportunities for all.

Land stewardship
An ethic that embodies the responsible planning and management of resources.

Living wage
According to the Global Living Wage Coalition, a living wage is “the remuneration received for a standard workweek by a worker in a particular place sufficient to afford a decent standard of living for the worker and her or his family. Elements of a decent standard of living include food, water, housing, education, health care, transportation, clothing and other essential needs including provision for unexpected events.”

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
An independent nonprofit organization that sets a standard for sustainable fishing.

Non-GMO is a third-party verification by the Non-GMO Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building and protecting a food supply that is not genetically modified. Products that receive a Non-GMO Project Verified seal meet a set of standards for avoiding genetically modified organisms.

Organic agriculture
A production system that integrates cultural, biological and mechanical practices that promote ecological balance and conserve biodiversity and foster the cycling of resources.

Patagonia Code of Conduct
Defines standards for fair, safe and healthy working conditions and environmental responsibility throughout our supply chain.

Patagonia Wool Standard (PWS)
An industry standard for farm-level land management and sheep animal welfare developed by Patagonia and other experts in 2015.

Postconsumer recycling
When a material or finished product has served its intended use and is diverted from waste destined for disposal and instead recycled into a new material or product.

Preconsumer recycling
Sometimes referred to as “postindustrial,” pre-consumer recycling is the reclamation of waste materials that were created during the process of manufacturing or delivering goods prior to use by a consumer. Pre-consumer recycled materials can be broken down and remade into similar or different materials.

Recycled materials
New materials and objects created from waste materials.

Regenerative agriculture
A system of farming principles and practices that increases biodiversity, enriches soils, improves watersheds and enhances ecosystems.

Regenerative Organic Alliance
A new nonprofit created by Patagonia, Dr. Bronner’s and other partners to own and manage the Regenerative Organic CertifiedTM (ROC) process. The alliance oversees the certification framework and guidelines.

Regenerative Organic CertifiedTM (ROC)
A holistic agriculture certification encompassing pasture-based animal welfare, fairness for farmers and workers, and robust requirements for soil health and land management.

Renewable energy
Any naturally occurring, theoretically inexhaustible source of energy—such as biomass, solar, wind, tidal, wave and hydroelectric power—not derived from fossil or nuclear fuel.

Responsible land management
Practices and technologies aimed at integrating environmental resources to meet human needs while ensuring the long-term sustainability of ecosystem services and livelihoods.

Responsible Wool Standard (RWS)
A voluntary global standard that addresses the welfare of sheep and their pastureland. Starting in 2014, Patagonia began working with the Textile Exchange and other brands, suppliers, animal-welfare NGOs and farmers to develop the RWS. Ultimately, we adopted it as our baseline requirement for farmers. All of the virgin wool Patagonia sources is certified to the RWS to help ensure protection both for the animals that supply it and the land they graze.

Restricted Substance List (RSL)
Provides apparel and footwear companies with information about regulations and laws that restrict or ban certain chemicals and substances in finished home textile, apparel and footwear products around the world.

Social and Environmental Responsibility

Supply chain
A system of operations that work together to design, produce and deliver a product or service to a market—from the extraction of raw materials to the distribution of the finished product.

Sustainable Apparel Coalition
An organization that brings brands and vendors together in an equal partnership to reduce the environmental and social impacts of apparel, textile and footwear products around the world.

UN Sustainable Development Goals
A collection of 17 global goals set by the United Nations and designed to achieve a better, more sustainable future by addressing global challenges.

The process of transforming by-products, waste materials or unwanted products into new materials or products of better quality.

Worn Wear
Worn Wear is a program that helps our customers extend the life of the products Patagonia makes and customers purchase. The program provides significant resources for responsible care, repair, reuse and resale, and recycling at the end of a garment’s life.

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