We strive to establish traceability of our materials by mapping out all the entities in our supply chain.
The supply chain is what textile and other manufacturers use to describe everything from the crops grown to make yarn and the sewing of the fabric into garments, to the shipping of finished clothes to warehouses, stores and our customers’ front porches. Supply chains are long and complex, involving many entities between the origin of a fiber and the finished product. Patagonia relies on the work of hundreds of factories, mills, spinners, processors, recyclers and farms to make our products.
The majority of our products are made with the most environmentally sustainable materials available, including organic cotton, Traceable Down, wool that meets the Responsible Wool Standard, natural rubber and various recycled materials. We strive to establish traceability of our materials by mapping out all the entities in these supply chains, and also by implementing strong chain-of-custody guidelines for our suppliers, to reduce the possibility that less sustainable alternatives are swapped or mixed with more sustainable materials.
Over the years, we have worked with our suppliers to obtain strong and credible third-party certification that provides the best proof that the sustainable fiber we advertise is actually found in our products. This certification not only gives us assurance that the material is the one we chose, but also that there was no mixing or swapping of substances in any of the many steps that take place when transforming the materials into the finished products we sell. When reputable third-party certification is not available, we often employ subject-matter expert auditors to conduct on-site visits of our suppliers.
We continue to explore new developments in the fields of material traceability and supply chain transparency, including adopting best practices used in textile and other commodity supply chains. We are researching the latest generation of traceability service providers with the goal of ensuring the chain of custody of our sustainable materials and of improving the overall transparency of these sectors.