Is Patagonia Ethical and Sustainable?

Everything you need to know.

Last Updated on June 1, 2023

Patagonia has earned a reputation for its premium outdoor clothing and gear.

According to a 2022 survey conducted among outdoor fashion users in the UK, 51% of respondents reported being familiar with the Patagonia brand, with 18% expressing a positive liking towards it. Among those who were aware of the brand, 35% indicated a likelihood of using it again in the future.

Red patagonia top with blurred background

According to the brand’s website, they are striving to build robust environmental and animal welfare responsibility programs to guide how we make our materials and products. Let’s see how true they are to their words.

If you find this interesting, next look at our sustainability guides to brands like ZaraBurberryH&M and Mango.

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Is Patagonia sustainable?

Patagonia is impressively known for its ethical and sustainable practices, emphasizing environmental activism. 

The brand incorporates sustainable materials like recycled polyester, organic cotton, and wool into its product range. As part of its commitment to sustainability, the company has set a target to exclusively use 100% recycled materials in its products by the year 2025.

In 2011, Patagonia launched the ‘Don’t Buy This Jacket’ campaign to raise awareness of overconsumption’s environmental impact and promote conscious purchasing. The campaign received mixed reactions, with both praise for its boldness and criticism for perceived hypocrisy. 

Nevertheless, it successfully increased awareness and encouraged more thoughtful consumption. 

READ MORE: Is Nike Ethical and Sustainable?

Is Patagonia ethical?

As a founding member of the Fair Labour Association, Patagonia holds accreditation in promoting fair labor practices.

Beyond being an online store, the Patagonia website serves as an educational platform, offering valuable information on environmental and social responsibility. It covers various topics, including the preservation of land in Chile, the labeling of GMO products, and responsible sourcing.

Patagonia’s performance in the 2022 Fashion Transparency Index was within the range of 41% to 50%. The brand has obtained certifications from FLA Workplace Code of Conduct and Fair Trade USA for specific segments of its supply chain during the final production stage. It’s also B-corp certified.

Patagonia also exhibits transparency by offering a detailed list of suppliers engaged in the final stage of production and disclosing findings from supplier audits.

In 2022, Patagonia’s founder Yvon Chouinard, his spouse and two children gave away their ownership of the brand worth $3billion, donating all the company’s ongoing profits to projects and organizations that will protect wild land and biodiversity and fight the climate crisis.

Patagonia’s Animal Welfare Policy

Patagonia places a strong emphasis on animal welfare in its supply chain, particularly concerning the use of animal fibers in its products as seen on their website. 

The company prioritizes sourcing animal fibres from renewable sources, such as wool or organic cotton, over synthetic alternatives. Patagonia ensures that most animal fibres used are by-products of animals raised for meat and takes responsibility for maintaining a quality and ethical supply chain.

Wear Next Opinion

Wear Next believes it’s important to highlight the negative and unjust practises taking place in the fashion industry. We believe ethics and sustainability are important talking points to bring about change and we encourage you to contact fashion brands to demand this.

However, we understand that sustainable fashion isn’t accessible to everybody due to various factors, such as budget and the ability to find confidence-boosting clothes that fit. We will continue to offer you fashion inspiration and guidance to suit everybody and their budget, while also highlighting the unjust systems at play in the fashion industry.

We encourage our readers to shop mindfully and purposefully, ditching impulse purchases as a way to start shopping sustainably. If you want to learn more about fast fashion, we recommend books from this reading list.