Topic Author's Original Post - Oct 10, 2012 - 10:44pm PT
Received the new Patagonia catalog today and found the subject article a bit hypocritical. Seems like quite a bit of their goods are manufactured in China, one of the least environmentally friendly nations when it comes to manufacturing.
"All decisions of the company are made in the context of the environmental crisis... growth and expansion are not basic to this corporation."
That and every couple of months they put out a glossy catalog that ends up in the recycle bin. If I need something there is the internet.
Overall I found the environmental articles in this catalog to be condescending and two faced. I appreciate Patagonia's efforts to recycle plastic bottles and used products. But if they want to walk the walk, they should bring their manufacturing to California, which has the most environmentally stringant regulations in the world.
I understand they need to make a profit, but it just seems to me they are talking out of both sides of their mouth.
Thanks for bringing this up. They still owe me money for using my dog in four of their ads.
I've bought lots of pataguchi wear. No more! Fuc job outsourcing! I always look at labels now
I never buy tools made in China!
I asked a desk clerk at a/the Portland store about finding made in USA from Patagonia (I actually found shirts and socks), he explained it this way:
Patagonia is in the process of moving a vast amount of its manufacturing back to either the US or Latin America. Due to sourcing of some of it's materials, more fuel/waste would be used/produced by shipping the original material to the US and then shipping the products to stores/customers around the world. He also told me that Patagonia has one of the most attentive oversight programs in the industry to help promote/insure that standards of labor/environment are upheld.
I too just received the winter 2012 catalog and noticed how much is still made abroad. Not sure how much smoke and mirrors is in the above statement, I definitely did NOT take the statement to be gospel or the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I do know this, until we all unplug, grow our own food, walk/bike everywhere, kill our own meat and completely discontinue the use of new plastics, none of us is helping...
Patagonia is not perfect and does not claim that they have no negative impacts on the environment. They do seem dedicated to minimizing that impact and doing well by their employees. They have put their profits where their mouth is and have foregone some millions of dollars to act responsibly.
They also donate Millions to environmental efforts.
All in all I suspect if the rest of the corporations in the world treated the environment and their workers like Patagonia does we would live in a VERY different and better world.
"All in all I suspect if the rest of the corporations in the world treated the environment and their workers like Patagonia does we would live in a VERY different and better world."
You can speculate about that, about what a wonderful human being Chouinard must be, or about how much he cares about his employees, the employees of his subcontractors, the environment etc... Before its owners sold-out to an arms dealer, we all used to speculate about Black Diamond being "employee owned" (turned out it wasn't).
You can pay the same premium price to giant, multi-national Patagonia that you would pay to a local cottage manufacturer and in turn you will get something made in a foreign sweatshop, that comes with lots of glossy marketing, promises about making the world a better place etc.. etc... etc...
As for me: I'm pretty sure that supporting some cottager is a much better plan for improving the world.
The worlds aviation and shipping industry are responsible for 80% of the greenhouse gasses emitted from burning oil. No plane or ship or train or 18 wheeler has any type of catalicconverter. Or any regulation! But yet we are forced to pay premium money to keep our cars smog able. And the hybrid cars out there with their battery packs and electric motors. They're doing 100 times more harm to the environment than combustible engines do. The manufacturers are just hiding behind the "green"flag, green meaning money. Every time a corporation does something in the "green"movement look closely at their practices. It's not about what's good for environment it's about making more money! It should be called the "greed"movement!