Patagonia selling Fair Trade Certified clothing

The following update comes from Patagonia. Check their site for extra details.

1105X622_Fair-TradeIn an attempt to improve the lives of the workers who make our products, in May 2014 we began selling Fair Trade Certified™ apparel. Though we started small with 10 women’s sportswear styles sewn in three factories in India owned by Pratibha, this is a big move for our company.

Garment workers are paid some of the world’s lowest industrial wages and in many cases have little hope of getting ahead. Fair Trade can make a difference.

You’ve probably seen the Fair Trade label on some of the products you buy, but may be unclear as to what it actually stands for. With clothing, Fair Trade means apparel workers can improve their livelihoods and you get great products sewn with care.

Fair Trade USA, a nonprofit organization, is the leading third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in North America. The organization first started working with coffee growers in Latin America 15 years ago to help them secure a fair price for their harvests. It has since expanded its program to include a variety of food products, body-care items, spirits and apparel.

Fair Trade USA works to improve the lives of farmers and factory workers around the world through trade, not aid. It uses a market-based approach that ensures workers receive fair compensation for their labor, helps create safe working conditions and safeguards against the use of child labor.

For every Fair Trade Certified item Patagonia buys from Pratibha, we pay a Community Development Premium determined by Fair Trade USA. The money goes into an account that is controlled by the workers who decide how best to use it. The funds are specifically designated for social, economic and environmental development projects. Workers may choose to use the money to distribute as a bonus, help build a school or a health clinic, create a scholarship or invest in some other aspect of their community.

All 4,000 workers in the factories that make our Fair Trade Certified clothing benefit from the funds, whether they work on Patagonia orders or not. The clothes are certified by Fair Trade USA for the sewing factory only – not the cotton growing or manufacture of the fabric. We intend to add 33 more styles in spring 2015, and also begin using Fair Trade Certified cotton. We hope to add more factories and farms in future seasons.

Today we have joined the ranks along with more than 800 brands that have returned some $155 million in premiums to producers through Fair Trade Certified products.

This initiative is one of several we’re taking to improve the lives of all people who make Patagonia products. As a first step, in early 2013, we also strengthened our code of conduct – which outlines responsible practices for our supply chain – to include a living-wage component and have implemented policies to consider the living-wage rate in our costing formulas. These efforts are part of short-, medium- and long-term strategies to address fair wages in our supply chain.

All of these programs begin to turn our commitment to workers into tangible action, enabling them to choose how they want to improve their lives. We have a long way to go and much to learn. Patagonia is proud to partner with Fair Trade USA and Pratibha in a program we hope we can build on.

The Little Things snowboarding film

the-little-thingsThe Little Things  is a snowboard film featuring the “stories of riders who are inspiring for their environmentally sustainable initiatives and lifestyles”.

They have carried out a successful crowd funding project and have two trailers available. The following update comes from the producers.

The film is an initiative taken on by professional snowboarder Marie-France Roy and directed by Filmmaker Darcy Turenne in which all the riders are bringing to life the importance of protecting and living in balance with our environment.

Riders include: Jeremy Jones, Gretchen Bleiler, Tamo Campos, Meghann O’Brien,  Marie-France Roy, Jonaven Moore, Mike Basich and many friends in the snowboard community.

Chasing powder around the globe as professional athletes, we get to see the effects of climate change first hand. Inevitably, we are aware that we all have a considerable footprint associated with the way we live in today’s society. Since it is a complex issue that can’t be resolved overnight, people often feel helpless and wonder how they can really make a difference. We believe that instead of preaching or pointing the finger at what people are doing wrong, we should focus on all The Little Things that people are doing right depending on their own assets and situations. Those simple and positive actions eventually influence our family, our friends, our children and essentially our political leaders to make the major changes that we need on a bigger scale.

This film is about riders who have adopted different lifestyles or have gone off the beaten path in order to promote change in their own unique and different ways. Not only is the whole Snow Sport industry at risk but most importantly the quality of life for all living species around the world since we all depend on our precious natural resources and a healthy-living environment.

The goal of this movie is to use snowboarding and the stories of proactive athletes as a vector to inspire positive change. Through their stories, we hope to showcase what each of them are doing personally to help secure the same lifestyle and quality of life that we have for the future generations.

Check out our blog on Tumblr here: http://thelittlethingsmovie.tumblr.com/

Our first Trailer on Snowboardermag.com:

http://www.snowboardermag.com/featured/the-little-things-trailer/

Our second teaser featuring the project Creator Marie-France Roy:

http://www.snowboardermag.com/featured/little-things-marie-france-roy-teaser-two/

Give us a Like and follow us!  Facebook page The Little Things Movie,

Instagram: @thelittlethingsmovie

Twitter: @lilthingsmovie

 

Patagonia Surfing Wet Suits Go Green

1105X622_M-WetsuitsThis video from the NY Times gives a good overview in about 4 minutes of Patagonia’s efforts to shift from using non-sustainable materials in their wetsuits.

Most wetsuits are currently made from neoprene (which is fossil fuel derived and non biodegradable). Patagonia is experimenting with using a new kind of bio-rubber derived from a plant.

You can find more about Patagonia’s wetsuits here.

Check here for earlier posts on Patagonia’s wetsuits.

Worn Wear: the stories we wear

banner-worn-wearPatagonia Torquay is hosting a film night featuring the film Worn Wear. It is:

“an exploration of quality – in the things we own and the lives we live. This short film takes you to an off-the-grid surf camp in Baja, Mexico; a family’s maple syrup harvest in Contoocook, New Hampshire; an organic farm in Ojai, California; and into the lives of a champion skier, a National Geographic photographer, and a legendary alpinist. It also features exclusive interviews with Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard”.

The worn wear program is intended to be a celebration of the gear we already own.

August 2nd, from 6pm.

Bring a friend.

Patagonia. 116 Surfcoast Hwy, Torquay.

Please rsvp: torquay@patagonia.com.au

snowboarding Watsons Crags

the CragsAfter a slow start, the winter of 2014 is shaping up to be a great season.

This trip report comes from John Blankenstein who lives on the Far south Coast of NSW. John has been frequenting the mountains since he was 15, where he fell in love with the sport of snowboarding.

He has just returned from boarding the iconic Watsons Crags on the western face of the main range of the Snowy Mountains.

Watson Crags provide some serious and challenging terrain. John timed his trip to be able to experience perfect conditions.

The trip report is available here.

Worn Wear update

worn wearThis is a nice project: Patagonia’s Worn Wear project which celebrates old gear. Here is a recent update and short film.

Worn Wear Outtake: A Brave New Fleece
Directed by Keith and Lauren Malloy
Music by Terry Coffield

Worn Wear is an exploration of quality — in the things we own and the lives we live.

In this outtake from the full film, Nick Yardley talks about leaving his native Yorkshire, England; arriving wide-eyed in New England; and spending his first paycheck on a purple Patagonia® fleece.

 

Backcountry Ninjas

image_400sqHere’s some details on a newish clothing company based in the USA.

“Designed for hikers and adventurers everywhere.
Inspired through hiking the Appalachian and Pacific Crest Trails”.

In terms of the ethics and sustainability criteria, BC Ninjas say:

“The shirts are printed in Virginia.  They are made by Gildan and made in a few different countries.  We started with Gildan and hope to move to 100% American made in a year”.

There is a fair amount of environmental info on the Gilden website.

In support of outdoor opportunities for all, they donate 6% of proceeds to:
3% to the Pacific Crest Trail Association
3% to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy
1% to FLOC For Love Of Children. Kevin from the Ninjas raised $10,000 for FLOC on his Pacific Crest Trail thru hike last year.

They also have a blog.

You can buy their tshirts and other clothing online.