As part of ongoing initiatives to improve production processes and reduce environmental impact, Patagonia is committed to minimizing its negative impact on nature. The company’s technologists are diligently calculating how much water they will need at one stage or another of production and are very happy when they manage to reach a minimum. Chemists control everything to be as clean and harmless as possible. And a whole team of athletes confirms their success by example.
We bring to your attention a small overview of Patagonia recycling technologies, which prove that you can be both environmentally friendly and technological. As part of ongoing initiatives to improve production processes and reduce environmental impact, Patagonia is committed to minimizing its negative impact on nature. The company’s technologists are diligently calculating how much water they will need at one stage or another of production and are very happy when they manage to reach a minimum. Chemists control everything to be as clean and harmless as possible. And a whole team of athletes confirms their success by example.
We bring to your attention a small overview of Patagonia recycling technologies, which prove that you can be both environmentally friendly and technological.
100% recycled down
Recycled down is a mixture of goose and ducks down with Fill Power 600/700, made from recycled pillows and other obsolete bedding. The final product is hypoallergenic and in quality no worse than new down.
The market for recycled goose down and feathers has long existed in Europe. It took Patagonia some time to find the ideal partners in the USA who could meet high-quality standards. Over time, this work really paid off. Suppliers with whom Patagonia collaborates share the company’s values, guarantee high quality and uncompromising performance.
As a result, as it turned out, demand creates supply. Now other textile companies are following the example of Patagonia. We hope that their experience will stimulate the use of processing in even more countries. Receiving the product practically from the garbage (items could be in the trash if they didn’t get to the recycling point), the company reduces CO2 emissions, thereby helping to expand the recycling stream and increase its value. Recycling of raw materials perfectly contributes to the implementation of the original mission of Patagonia: “To produce the best product without causing unnecessary harm to nature, use the business to stimulate and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”
Like polyester, nylon fibre is made from oil. Patagonia has been recycling polyester for the past 20 years. And only 5 years ago, the company began to utilize nylon. For some reason, known only to chemists, it is more difficult to reuse nylon than polyester. After several years of research, development and testing, the company managed to get the necessary nylon fibres that would meet the declared qualities.
Some types of recycled nylon are obtained from industrial waste, for example, from yarn collected in a spinning mill or from waste from textile mills. But some of the nylon fibre that Patagonia is experimenting with is being recreated from discarded industrial fishing nets.
In 1993, Patagonia became the first outdoor clothing manufacturer to receive fleece from recycled plastic bottles. However, 20 years later, they are still looking for a similar path to success with recycled nylon.
In any case, using as much recycled nylon as possible reduces our dependence on oil as a source of raw materials. This process reduces waste and reduces toxic emissions from incinerators.
As mentioned above, Patagonia began recycling polyester in 1993. This was a positive step towards a more stable production process that uses fewer resources and produces fewer emissions.
Today, the company processes recycled plastic bottles, unsuitable industrial waste and worn clothing (including its own brand) into polyester fibres.
Again, recycling polyester reduces our dependence on oil!
Patagonia offers a wide range of recycled polyester clothing: base coat, jackets, membrane clothing, shorts, fleece, etc.
Patagonia uses many different materials in its production, including wool. All of them have some environmental costs. For example, wool production requires a huge amount of land for grazing sheep. In addition, high energy costs, water and chemicals are needed in order to convert the wool cut from the sheep into a pure fibre of uniform quality.
One way to reduce the negative impact of wool production is to recycle old woollen items. The practice of wool processing is hundreds of years old. Previously, after woollen sweaters became worn, they were collected and crushed into separate fibres, and then turned into blankets. Recycled wool at Patagonia is produced in the same way. Based on modern methods of quality control, the wool is carefully sorted, divided into colour categories before grinding. Bypassing the dyeing itself, with this method, the process of dyeing the coat is virtually eliminated, and the use of water is minimized.
Often, ordinary cotton or organic clothing ends in a landfill. The use of organic farming in the production process, of course, is preferable to the involvement of industrial agriculture. However, any agriculture uses a lot of water and leaves a carbon footprint from soil preparation, cultivation and harvesting.
By partnering with TAL Group, one of the largest clothing manufacturers in the world, Patagonia was able to reduce cotton consumption and bring it closer to the elusive closed cycle.
Recycled cotton does not bleach or stain. At the end of the process, the restored fibre is mixed with virgin organic cotton, and a new high-quality product is obtained, which can also be sent for processing at the end of its useful life.
But the fascinating life of recycled cotton does not end there …
REFIBRA ™ lyocell
Patagonia also uses fabrics made from wood pulp and recycled cotton waste.
REFIBRA ™ lyocell fibres (lyocell) are the result of two innovations related to wood and cotton. The wood pulp used in lyocell is a renewable raw material obtained from sustainably managed forests (ed.: “Sustainably managed forests” – a clever organization for the sustainable use of forests). This method of wood production reduces the negative impact on nature by reducing the need for wood production from new forests. The addition of recycled cotton waste replaces part of the wood pulp, reducing the amount of primary raw materials used.
The production process of REFIBRA ™ lyocell also reduces water consumption by 95% compared to the production of cotton fabrics and does not pollute air, soil or water.
In the US, Patagonia accepts all products of its brand for processing, while making a discount on the purchase of new ones. Clothing repair services are also provided in American offices, because “it’s better old than new!”