-Posted by Brandon Stephenson
The outdoor apparel game is a crowded get-up. The options are endless, from your budget-buy from your local sporting goods store all the way up to the North Face or Columbia jacket you ask for at Christmas. But in such a crowded field, how can you tell what you are getting is a quality product from a quality company? I’ll tell you: Buy Patagonia.
Patagonia has long stood as the gold standard for outdoor enthusiasts and business models alike. The company is still privately-owned by its original founder, Yvon Chouinard.
In a world where companies belong to conglomerate and parent corporations, Patagonia stands out.
Not only do they differentiate themselves in how they run the company, (Please buy and read “Let My People Go Surfing” by Chouinard to see what I mean) The product they crank out is always of the utmost quality.
Firstly, all Patagonia products have an ironclad guarantee, If you are not satisfied with one of our products at the time you receive it, or if one of our products does not perform to your satisfaction, you may return it to us for a repair, replacement or refund. Damage due to wear and tear will be repaired at a reasonable charge. Any company willing to stand by its product until the end of time has my vote. Warranties like that are why some brands (L.L. Bean comes to mind) will never go down.
Patagonia products are also produced to the highest environmental standard possible. All cotton products they make are certified organic, and have been since 1996, way ahead of the curve. They also have active upcycle policies, touting a 4-R philosophy (reduce, repair, reuse, recycle) and are among the most active companies in terms of conservation efforts.
Patagonia co-founded 1% for the environment, and donates 1 percent of total profits each year towards conservation efforts. They also co-founded the Conservation Alliance with perennial outdoor giants REI, Kelty, and the North Face; the efforts of which help fund local conservation efforts throughout the world.
So the next time you stare at the rack, confused about the difference between what looks like the same jacket, know that the Patagonia logo stands for more than a brand – you are helping buy back our wild Earth, one piece of apparel at a time.