How products are made is becoming increasing important to many in this world and Patagonia has always been at the forefront of this movement. From a commitment to sustainability to environmental initiatives to Fair Trade programs, the Ventura, California based outerwear and accessories brand is comprised of watersports, bike and mountain enthusiasts who share a passion for their sports, the environment and the company culture created by founder Yvon Chouinard. Patagonia’s Jason McCaffrey walks us through some of the upcoming changes in the line.
PATAGONIA INTRODUCED THE FIRST NON-NEOPRENE YULEX WETSUITS TO THE MARKET IN 2012. FOR THE 2019 LINE UP, THE COMPANY HAS ANNOUNCED ANOTHER FIRST: ALL FULL SUITS ARE NOW FAIR TRADE CERTIFIED. WHAT EXACTLY DOES THIS MEAN AND WHAT HAVE YOUR DESIGNERS LEARNED ABOUT YULEX OVER THE YEARS, THAT KEEPS THEM FOCUSED ON THIS PARTICULAR MATERIAL?
Fair Trade means we pay a premium to ensure the people that make our suits earn a fair and decent wage for the skills they have and use to build our suits. The material itself is 20% stretchier than previous iterations so we’ve been able to fine-tune fit and performance accordingly. The suits have been out for a few months now and all we hear back is, “best suits ever!” so naturally we’re stoked.
FAIRLY NEW TO THE MEN’S WETSUIT LINEUP ARE THE YULEX® IMPACT WETSUIT VEST AND IMPACT SHORT JOHN. WHAT MAKES THESE PRODUCTS GOOD FOR BIG WAVE SURFING AND DO YOU THINK THEY COULD ALSO BE USEFUL FOR KITEBOARDING AND FOILING?
100%. While they were originally designed to fill a need for static floatation in big waves for surfing they quickly became a favorite amongst our kite crew for the same reasons. Most people modify some of the padding to accommodate a harness, or if they live close sometimes we do the alterations here at our shop for them. The padding is helpful and provides peace of mind but never takes the place of training.
PATAGONIA PROVISIONS’ CHEF WAS BUSY AT THE ANNUAL KITEBOARD4CANCER EVENT IN HOOD RIVER THIS SUMMER SERVING UP SOME TASTY MEALS FOR THE ATHLETES. WERE ALL THE MEALS MADE WITH PROVISIONS FOODS ONLY? WHAT ARE SOME FAVORITES IN THE LINE AND WHY?
She was great! Her name is Tracy and she is a culinary ninja. The food was made with a mix of the provisions line up and locally grown fruit and produce from the Hood River area. I like all the provisions lineup but my favorite would have to be the smoked salmon, bison jerky and the chili.
PATAGONIA DOWN-FILLED JACKETS COME IN MANY DIFFERENT STYLES. HOW SHOULD ONE GO ABOUT CHOOSING THE BEST JACKET FOR HIS OR HER NEEDS IN DIFFERENT CLIMATES?
I would suggest people keep end use in mind. Sometimes finding the balance between a techy aesthetic and a more lifestyle aesthetic rules the decision, other times the technical needs outweigh the everyday wear-ability of the jacket. If you know what you are going to use it for more, everyday life or a specific end use that will usually help guide you to what you should be buying. It’s all made with high-quality materials with a focus on warmth and durability so you can’t really go wrong, you just need to figure out if you want to have a bright Alpine-inspired color or a more muted coat that keeps you warm but looks a little more like social camouflage.
WHAT ELSE IS ON THE HORIZON FOR PATAGONIA?
This year we are stoked to have partnered up with REAL watersports to offer the first equal pay event we know of at the Cape Hatteras Wave Classic. Last year during Hurricane Maria the ladies went out in the very same conditions as the men and right there it clicked for us. The conditions do not change so why would the pay? We spoke with the crew at REAL a little bit after when planning for this year and when we brought I up for discussion—it was a no brainer.