Design Stories

Kyle Sparks
Colin Haley’s Clothing System for Alpine Climbing in the Chaltén Massif
Colin Haley’s Clothing System for Alpine Climbing in the Chaltén Massif
Colin Haley’s Clothing System for Alpine Climbing in the Chaltén Massif
Colin Haley

6,000 words about dressing for alpine climbing you didn’t know you needed to know.

23 min Read
Polyester
Polyester
Polyester
Meaghen Brown

85% of Patagonia’s polyester this season is recycled. Using recycled polyester, rather than virgin petroleum polyester, reduced our seasonal carbon emissions by over 5,600 metric tons of CO₂e.

2 min Read
Down
Down
Down
Molly Baker

Eighty percent of the down we're using this season is recycled. The new down is Advanced GTDS Certified.

3 min Read
The Story of Fleece
The Story of Fleece
The Story of Fleece
Rachel G. Clark

A tale of tinkering.

6 min Read
All the Hemp That Fits
All the Hemp That Fits
All the Hemp That Fits
Jeff McElroy

Patagonia has 73 styles using hemp this season. Cultivation of hemp replenishes vital soil nutrients, prevents erosion and requires no synthetic fertilizer.

4 min Read
Heating With a Match
Heating With a Match
Heating With a Match
Sue Halpern

Building a house to withstand winter.

3 min Read
Fire Up the Test Tank
Fire Up the Test Tank
Fire Up the Test Tank
Malcolm Johnson

There’s nothing more important than having waves a few minutes away.

3 min Read
Crash-Test Dummy
Crash-Test Dummy
Crash-Test Dummy
Kelly Cordes

Who gets hypothermia on purpose? This guy.

4 min Read
How We Turn Scraps into New Gear
How We Turn Scraps into New Gear
How We Turn Scraps into New Gear
Patagonia

What if we could wear our garbage? That’s the idea behind ReCrafted, our line of clothing made from the scraps of used garments collected at our Worn Wear facility in Reno. It’s premium, Patagonia, upcycled. A second life for products that might not otherwise get one. ReCrafted was created by Kourtney Morgan—the designer behind some…

3 min Read
Drawing from the Landscape
Drawing from the Landscape
Drawing from the Landscape
Malcolm Johnson

Patagonia Designers on the ‘Celebrating Public Lands’ Collection

6 min Read
A Conversation with Surfboard Designer Fletcher Chouinard
A Conversation with Surfboard Designer Fletcher Chouinard
A Conversation with Surfboard Designer Fletcher Chouinard
Sean Doherty

At Fletcher Chouinard Designs, the focus is on durable, high-performing equipment that lets you have fun no matter what the ocean is doing. There are never enough hours in a day for Fletcher Chouinard. As a surfer, shaper, kiteboarder and new father, he was really doing the dance. Then along came foilboarding, which has made…

5 min Read
Getting the Snow Industry Excited About Recycled Fabrics
Getting the Snow Industry Excited About Recycled Fabrics
Getting the Snow Industry Excited About Recycled Fabrics
Patagonia

Before we could challenge the snow industry to move to recycled materials, we had to change our thinking, too. There are a number of ways to reduce a garment’s impact, but none more significant than making it out of recycled fabric. Doing so keeps material out of landfills and cuts demand for the petroleum used…

2 min Read
Introducing Woolyester
Introducing Woolyester
Introducing Woolyester
Kristina Johnson Avery

Three years ago, we set out to make a new fleece fabric using natural fibers that were light on the land. Our inspiration came from an old sweater, a weather-beaten merino pullover worn by founder Yvon Chouinard in Patagonia’s early days. It had all the properties that have made wool a staple for centuries of…

5 min Read
Baggies Shorts throughout the Years
Baggies™ Shorts throughout the Years
Baggies Shorts throughout the Years
Patagonia

To celebrate over three decades of Baggies™ Shorts, we dug through our archives so we could share the stories behind a few iconic photos.

6 min Read
It All Adds Up to Nothing: Forging the Micro Puff
It All Adds Up to Nothing: Forging the Micro Puff
It All Adds Up to Nothing: Forging the Micro Puff
Patagonia

At Patagonia, our best ideas come from being in the field. But sometimes simple problems inspire complex solutions. That’s been the case with the development of insulation. Down gets wet and loses its heat-trapping loft, and synthetics never quite achieve the same warmth, lightness or compressibility as down plumes. We’ve tried everything from treated down…

4 min Read
From Shirt to Dirt: Thoughts on the Patagonia Design Philosophy
Photo: Tim Davis
From Shirt to Dirt: Thoughts on the Patagonia Design Philosophy
Patagonia

Miles Johnson, our senior creative director, oversees the work of all our designers in both technical and sportswear categories, as well as the product development and textile, graphics and color teams. We caught up with Miles recently at the picnic tables outside our child care center to ask him about his life and work and…

7 min Read
About Our Wilder Waters Collection
Photo: Mark McInnis
About Our Wilder Waters Collection
Patagonia

Patagonia is an unusual workplace in many ways, and the fact that employees are encouraged to incorporate environmental activism into their daily work is just one of the characteristics that sets our company apart. The realities of running a business are important, but we’re always aware that our business has to serve the more pressing…

6 min Read
Experimenting with Naturally Dyed Clothing
Photo: Colin McCarthy
Experimenting with Naturally Dyed Clothing
Joyanna Laughlin

Forty-five years ago, the old school North American outdoor uniform was basically colored in khaki, denim blue and olive green. Not only were the colors monotonous, but the dyes used were mostly petroleum based. Imagine no Craft Pink as vivid as the beavertail cactus flower. No Galah Green as bright as the waters off the…

6 min Read
Surfing and Making Sustainable Clothing on the Island of Serendip
Photo: Jarrah Lynch
Surfing and Making Sustainable Clothing on the Island of Serendip
Belinda Baggs

Almost a decade ago, I’d heard stories of mystical right points peeling forever without another soul in sight. What surfer addicted to logging wouldn’t crave to check it out, even though it meant ignoring travel warnings and venturing into a region suffering from civil unrest? Young, naive and most probably foolish, I set off on…

6 min Read
A Different Path
Photo: Kevin Ahearn
A Different Path
Brooke Ortel

Living and designing sustainably in Southern Chile with Bureo co-founder Ben Kneppers.

6 min Read
Touring Seattle’s Bullitt Center: The greenest commercial building in the world
Touring Seattle’s Bullitt Center: The greenest commercial building in the world
Touring Seattle’s Bullitt Center: The greenest commercial building in the world
Charles Clark & Jacqueline Sussman

“… after some thinking, I’d say I’d rather be a functioning cog in some great machinery, serving something beyond me.”              –Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes, “Helplessness Blues” On a far from average Wednesday, we arrived to work at Patagonia Seattle for a morning meeting led by brand responsibility analysts, Paul…

6 min Read
How to Make and Use a Wooden Dowel Yoga Prop for Travel
How to Make and Use a Wooden Dowel Yoga Prop for Travel
How to Make and Use a Wooden Dowel Yoga Prop for Travel
Lydia Zamorano

I’ve found my favorite yoga and bodywork prop. Not only is it made of wood, but it’s perfectly portable, fits into the side of any backpack or duffel bag, and takes up next to no space in a van. It works kind of like other massage canes would (but it’s not plastic, is way cheaper, and you…

5 min Read
Re-Imagining Rubber: PLUSfoam’s Flip-Flop Recycling Revolution
Re-Imagining Rubber: PLUSfoam’s Flip-Flop Recycling Revolution
Re-Imagining Rubber: PLUSfoam’s Flip-Flop Recycling Revolution
Ethan Stewart

Even the most tender-footed outdoor enthusiasts amongst us are familiar with the scenario. You are walking back to camp from a quick creek swim, or perhaps making your way home after a day spent chasing the hollow insides of pitching lumps of salt water, and your trusty flip-flops decide to blow out. Maybe the strap…

7 min Read
The Patagonia Encapsil Down Belay Parka: An Origin Story
The Patagonia Encapsil Down Belay Parka: An Origin Story
The Patagonia Encapsil Down Belay Parka: An Origin Story
Ethan Stewart

Editor’s note: The creation of our new Encapsil™ Down Belay Parka is a big deal for all of us at Patagonia. In the midst of getting everything ready for launch, we asked our friend Ethan Stewart to tell the story of how Encapsil down and the parka came to be. Though he handled the writing…

10 min Read
Portillo, Chile: Snow Product Testing with Josh Dirksen
Portillo, Chile: Snow Product Testing with Josh Dirksen
Portillo, Chile: Snow Product Testing with Josh Dirksen

Following up on Monday’s recap of the Dirksen Derby, here’s the latest edition to the Patagonia Video Gallery featuring snowboard ambassador Josh Dirksen and snowsports designer Glen Morden. The guys were testing designs for next fall on this particular trip.

1 min Read
Strawberry Jam: A Fan Letter
Strawberry Jam: A Fan Letter
Strawberry Jam: A Fan Letter
Patagonia

Thanks Colin. The jam was awesome!

1 min Read
Yvon Chouinard: Ode to Tumplines
Yvon Chouinard: Ode to Tumplines
Yvon Chouinard: Ode to Tumplines
Yvon Chouinard

Today’s post – about one of the simplest pieces of gear we’ve ever made – comes from Patagonia’s founder, Yvon Chouinard. It originally appeared in the 1980 Chouinard Equipment Catalog.  When I was at a ski show recently, walking by the booth of one of the largest pack manufacturers, a salesman/designer insisted I come in…

5 min Read
The 48-Hour Dress: From a Wedding to a Climb in Chamonix
The 48-Hour Dress: From a Wedding to a Climb in Chamonix
The 48-Hour Dress: From a Wedding to a Climb in Chamonix
Brittany Griffith

As the sun heated up our little apartment, I drifted out of my dream and awoke to a bizarre scene: people sprawled all over the floor, futon and tiny twin beds…I could hear chatter in half a dozen languages, clinking plates and glasses… the faint smell of tobacco, espresso and butter… a marching band playing…

4 min Read
Meet the Most Well-Documented, Well-Traveled Shorts in the World
Meet the Most Well-Documented, Well-Traveled Shorts in the World
Meet the Most Well-Documented, Well-Traveled Shorts in the World
Vincent Stanley

The proof is on the pocket bags.

2 min Read
Hiking Boots with a Lighter Footprint
Hiking Boots with a Lighter Footprint
Hiking Boots with a Lighter Footprint
greenewsurfer

Building an environmentally conscious hiking boot that’s also a top performer is no easy task. Design and construction are complex; so is the supply chain. As Backpacker magazine put it: “Boots are the most complex gear in our kit, with numerous components – fabrics, leathers, soles, shanks, glues, padding, laces, hardware – plus myriad sewing…

5 min Read
Product Testing: New R1 & R2 at the Top of Colorado
Product Testing: New R1 & R2 at the Top of Colorado
Product Testing: New R1 & R2 at the Top of Colorado
Old School

We test our gear on a variety of levels. Our Athletes & Ambassadors are responsible for putting the latest designs and fabrics through the paces before we'll add a new product to our lineup. But just because something reaches our shelves doesn't mean testing is over. Once a new item shows up in our catalogs,…

5 min Read
The Making of the Hoverboard Surfboard
The Making of the Hoverboard Surfboard
The Making of the Hoverboard Surfboard

We posted some pictures on Flickr a few weeks back of a surfboard that Stru built during some of his off hours. We got such a reaction to the pics that we decided a Q&A with Dr. Strukenstein was in order. This interview was conducted over a three-week period, during which there were some highs…

7 min Read
Product Testing: Backpacking with the New Capilene® 4
Product Testing: Backpacking with the New Capilene® 4
Product Testing: Backpacking with the New Capilene® 4
Old School

We test our gear on a variety of levels. Our Athletes & Ambassadors are responsible for putting the latest designs and fabrics through the paces before we'll add a new product to our lineup. But just because something reaches our shelves doesn't mean testing is over. Once a new item shows up in our catalogs,…

3 min Read
Notes from Banjo on the FCD Twin-Fin Fish
Notes from Banjo on the FCD Twin-Fin Fish
Notes from Banjo on the FCD Twin-Fin Fish

FCD Board Report – The first thing I noticed about the 5’7″ Fish was how lightweight it was, making it a lot easier to throw around in the surf. I usually ride smaller Fish, somewhere around 5’4″, so i didn’t really know what to expect. The extra few inches made it way easier to paddle…

2 min Read
Skunked or Scored? Summer Ski-Gear Testing in Chile
Skunked or Scored? Summer Ski-Gear Testing in Chile
Skunked or Scored? Summer Ski-Gear Testing in Chile

How do you get to work in morning? Are you stuffed into a sweltering New York subway car? Crammed fender-to-fender along LA’s mind-numbing 405? Either way, our morning commute to work was way more stressful than yours. I promise. We chased the sun across the Inca Lake in Portillo… Editor's note: Freelance writer Greg Fitzsimmons…

5 min Read
Product Testing: Getting Soaked on El Cap
Product Testing: Getting Soaked on El Cap
Product Testing: Getting Soaked on El Cap

We test our gear on a variety of levels. Our Field Report: Climbing El Cap, Yosemite Valley, early October 2010Conditions: Kinda like rock climbing, kinda like paddling whitewater.Products Tested: Nano Storm, M10 Jacket, R1 Hoody, Rain Shadow JacketTested By: Dave Campbell, Patagonia Pro Sales There’s a saying in China: If you’re ‘one in a million’,…

3 min Read
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