The Cleanest Line

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    « April 2007 | Main | June 2007 »

    Product Testing - MLC and Overhead Shed

    We test our gear on a variety of levels. Our athletes and ambassadors are responsible for putting the latest designs and fabrics through the paces before we'll add a new product to our lineup. But just because something reaches our shelves doesn't mean testing is over. Once a new item shows up in our catalogs, our Customer Service staff gets busy ground-truthing the latest offerings. They know the questions our customers will be asking, and turn that attention to our gear.
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    Product Report  - MLC and Overhead Shed
    4/13/07
    Airline Travel – Weekend Trip
    Tested by: Skye, Patagonia Online Customer Service
    Overhead_shed_3
    I recently tested a couple pieces of Patagonia luggage on Friday, April 13th, an excellent day for air travel.  I commenced packing the night before since my flight was due to leave at the crack of dawn the following morning.  I was only going for an extended 3-day weekend and the weather in Park City was supposedly "lovely" so I didn't need to bring much.  I decided on the MLC bag and the Overhead Shed.   

    Continue reading "Product Testing - MLC and Overhead Shed" »

    California Residents: Ask Governor Schwarzenegger to Reject the Cabrillo Port LNG Project

    Dolphin_arm2 For the past several years, our friends at the Environmental Defense Center have represented the California Coastal Protection Network and worked with a coalition of environmental and community groups in opposition to BHP Billiton's proposal to build a massive Liquefied Natural Gas project off the coast of the Ventura/Los Angeles County border. On April 9, the California State Lands Commission voted 2-1 to not approve the project or certify the Environmental Impact Report (EIR). On April 12, the California Coastal Commission voted 12-0 to reject the proposal.

    Now that the state agencies have acted, the Governor of California, under the federal Deepwater Port Act, can approve or disapprove the project at any time from now to May 21. If the Governor votes against the project, the federal government cannot approve the license for the terminal. Therefore, we ask that you contact the Governor's office immediately and ask him to REJECT the BHP Billiton Cabrillo Port LNG Project immediately.

    Write to the Governor at http://www.govmail.ca.gov today!

    See a list of reasons you can give the Governor to reject the project after the jump.

    [The project will cause Class I (significant and unavoidable) impacts to, among other things, marine mammals. Photo: Jason Armstrong]

    Continue reading "California Residents: Ask Governor Schwarzenegger to Reject the Cabrillo Port LNG Project" »

    A Hand Up

    01_habitat_siteJim from the edit department recounts a day of volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity.

    Employees from Patagonia headquarters in Ventura, swapped their flip flops for work boots on Friday, April 27, to swing hammers and fling paint at a Habitat for Humanity project in nearby Port Hueneme. The busy work site consisted of six homes in various stages of development built by countless other Habitat volunteers over the last year. By the time our crew descended, one home had already been finished and occupied and the others were nearing completion.

    Word had it the land had been “donated” by a serial slumlord who’d been taken to court for repeatedly failing to do anything about the clogged toilets and lack of running water in his farm worker rentals. Now, six farm worker families who’d put up with the squalid conditions and put in 500 hours of sweat equity each, were about to get brand new homes.

    The 70 or so Patagonia employees who volunteered were given time away from their desks on the company dime. We nailed siding, caulked windows, wheel-barrowed dirt and painted interior walls. It was tiring work, but a welcome alternative to staring into a computer screen all day. It was also good to work with folks from other walks of the company on a project that, as the Habitat for Humanity folks like to say, gives people a hand up, not a hand out.

    Check out Habitat for Humanity at: http://www.habitat.org/

    02_habitat_duties 03_habitat_siding 04_habitat_measuring_2 05_habitat_fun
    06_habitat_yard 07_habitat_painting 08_habitat_group

    [Photos by Jim, Sus and Terri. Thanks to Kevin and Megan for organizing.]

    What Do You Want in a Wader?

    Watermaster2_2 Attention fly fishers: Steve Stracqualursi, fly fishing product line director for Patagonia, is looking for feedback to help make our already-awesome waders even better. Visit his weblog WayUpStream and let him know what you're looking for.

    [With thanks to The Trout Underground]   

    NPR Segment on Patagonia

    Peacock1 Have a look/listen at a segment from today's Morning Edition on how businesses are trying to reduce their impact on global warming:

    California Company Works to Cut, Adapt to Warming

    And for what it's worth, I've never been fortunate enough to see a mouse scurry across the floor during a line presentation (listen to the NPR piece). But I did see a peacock outside the window by my desk this afternoon. No idea where it came from.

    [With thanks to National Public Radio. Photo: Free]

    Inspiring Solutions Across the Pond

    Img_4594 Several years ago I ran across the howies site. I felt they had a similar vibe, a focus on the environment and sports but with a stronger focus on cycling than we did, so I got hooked. I wrote to see if I could place an overseas order and a nice guy named Ade helped me out. Turned out Ade does marketing and is a bike racer like me, so we hit it off.

    We've kept in touch, most recently after their Little Big Voices lectures. I was intrigued since LBV's purpose was to inspire activists to be heard, much like our own TOOLS conference. Since then, Ade and David, the co-founder of Howies, have been generous enough to share their learnings with us. And David was even gracious enough to write this letter:

    In 1995 myself and Clare started a company to see if there was another way to run a business, to see if a company could be set up to make people think as well as buy, and selfishly, if I could base it around my love of mountain biking, then I could ride more and pretend I was busy working. It was a naïve plan, like the all-best plans are.

    About 5 years of doing howies and still having the day job to contend with, a friend (Andy McLeod) said to me that I should check out a company called Patagonia because they did things in a similar way to us. I did. I went on the website and read it all. But they didn’t do things like us at all. They did things so much better than us. They had come up with some of the answers to the questions that we were struggling with. It was, as they say, a moment.

    Continue reading "Inspiring Solutions Across the Pond" »

    Freestylin' with Bro

    Chipbellbackroll You've heard of the dude. But unless you've visited Patagonia HQ, taken a Surfclass in Ventura or happen to be a freestyle Frisbee player, chances are you haven't heard of the bro. I'm talking about Chipper "Bro" Bell, the voice of Patagonia and 11-time World Freestyle Frisbee Champion. Check out Chipper Bro in action 0:42 into this video from the Aloha Beach Festival which he organizes every year in Ventura. Thanks for all you do brother.

    [Photo: Jamie Chantiles]

    A Thousand Words

    Epi4title1 We just got word from Fitz Cahall that the newest episode of The Dirtbag Diaries is now live. In this special episode Fitz adds photographs to his podcast to help tell the story of adventure photographer Corey Rich and his unique profession. Watch and listen on your computer or download it to your photo-ready iPod if you're on the go. From Fitz:

    There is no textbook on adventure journalism, but if there were one, it would contain one single, steadfast rule -- you can't photograph adventure from a safe distance. There are no sidelines in wilderness. El Capitan doesn't have a press booth. Even for the most safety-conscious, danger can come in many forms -- falling rock, toxic jellyfish, even a bad case of the Itch. This week, adventure photographer Corey Rich gives us photos and the untold stories behind them. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Which words? Find out.

    Episode Four (with photos) - A Thousand Words (click to listen; right-click to download)

    Episode Four (audio only) - A Thousand Words (click to listen; right-click to download)

    Subscribe to The Dirtbag Diaries in iTunes

    [With thanks to Fitz Cahall]

    The Big Open

    Thebigopen If you live in the Reno area or happen to be there on May 17, please join Rick Ridgeway for this special event at the Patagonia Service Center. Those not in the area can read about Rick's journey in his book The Big Open: On Foot Across Tibet's Chang Tang.

    THE BIG OPEN
    On Foot Across Tibet'€™s Chang Tang: A Multi-Media Presentation and Book Signing with Rick Ridgeway

    Thursday, May 17, 7 P.M., Patagonia Service Center

    Central Asia's illicit trade in rare and endangered species - a black market second only to drugs in its scope - inspires a daring expedition that takes a team of America's top mountaineers to the Chang Tang, Tibet'€™s largely uninhabited "€œnorthern plain."€ It is here that adventurer Rick Ridgeway, along with Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, and the late Galen Rowell, embark on a month-long, 250-mile, self-supported trek through one of Earth'€™s least-known, most inhospitable regions. Their goal: to reach the unknown calving grounds of the endangered Tibetan antelope. Their mission: to use this discovery to persuade Chinese authorities to protect the region before poachers get there first.

    Join Rick for tales and images of his fascinating adventure. He'll be signing copies of his book, The Big Open, which we'€™ll silent auction along with select prints by Galen Rowell. All proceeds from this special evening will benefit the Rowell Fund for Tibet and National Geographic'€™s Tibet Conservation Fund.

    A $10 donation is requested. Light refreshments will be served. For more information phone 775-843-6089.

    [With thanks to Nate from Customer Service]

    Inventory's Done

    Reno_closed3 Our coworkers in Reno have completed their inventory count. Orders are once again shipping. Thanks for your patience.

    [Via Famous Don of the Month; with thanks to Timo]

    One Percent for the Planet
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