- Buyer's Guide
Brand of the Year 2019
Our Brand of the Year engages, educates and inspires. Pushing industry sustainability, encouraging better business practices and supporting environmental initiatives around the world…
In 2019, the effects of generational environmental neglect are coming back to bite us with a vengeance. It’s hard to watch, and even harder to live through.
But 2019 is also the first year that outdoor brands are responding en masse. Every trade show we’ve visited this year has been dominated by environmental sustainability stories and activations. While some feel like a weak patch, many have genuine motivations at their core.
And every one of these new sustainability approaches owes at least a part of their foundations to Patagonia.
The brand have been industry pioneers over the last few decades, solidly pursuing sustainability and paving the way for others to follow. They helped pioneer recycled plastics, selling their first recycled polyester products in 1993. They also helped pioneer organic cotton and in 1996, they began the exclusive use of organically grown cotton in all of their cotton products.
Patagonia have also been at the fore across industry bodies too. They were the first brand to join bluesign® System Partners. And they’ve played a pioneering role in B Corp, including becoming the first company in California to be incorporated as a Benefit Corp, a legally binding commitment. Additionally, since 1985 Patagonia has donated 1% of sales to environmental preservation and restoration. And Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard helped create 1% for the Planet, an organization that helps fund diverse environmental initiatives around the world, to date raising $175 million.
They’re not afraid to embrace radical activism to support drastically needed changes either, even taking on Donald Trump in court over the slashing of Bears Ears National Monument and using his latest “irresponsible tax cuts” to feed 10 million dollars of unexpected profits back into grassroots organizations fighting the causes of climate change.
They’re a brand that lives and breathes finding better ways to do business that reduce environmental impact and in turn help and inspire others to do the same.
Patagonia are also incredibly open and transparent about their supply chain processes, documented through their Footprint Chronicles. They’re committed not just to sourcing sustainable materials, but embracing corporate responsibility and ensuring partner factories provide safe working environments and fair wages.
And they are firm supporters of pioneering regenerative organic agriculture efforts to restore soil health, improve animal welfare and boost fair practices and economic stability for farms, ranches and their workers.
So why are Patagonia our Carry Brand of the Year in 2019? Because the rest of the carry world is finally getting real about climate change, and we all owe Patagonia the biggest high-five we can muster. Bloody legends.