The Cleanest Line

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    « June 2008 | Main | August 2008 »

    From Chamonix with Love – Jonny Copp and Micah Dash Visit Europe

    Copp_europe08978_2 Writer, photographer and Patagonia ambassador, Jonny Copp -- Jonny is also the founder of the Boulder Adventure Film Festival and Dirt Days -- sent us this story about his recent travels through Europe with Micah Dash.

    [Micah Dash preps the bivy ledge as weather approaches. Photo: Jonny Copp] 

    Had the Tibetans not rioted, Micah Dash and I would have been caught in the epicenter of an earthquake that killed over 10,000 people this May. I’ve been learning more and more that timing is everything. And when I start to disbelieve what I’ve learned, another incident occurs to drive home the lessons.

    Micah and I had planned to attempt a new route this spring in a remote region of Tibet, heading after this soaring unclimbed line that inspired us. We were fired up. But by April the Chinese Government refused to grant Micah and I our permit to climb in the region due to discord on the Tibetan front. The Olympics, essentially, were getting in the way too because of the increased media exposure.

    We had the time and the psyche, so we had to head out. We ended up in the Alps. And from day ONE in Europe we had amazing serendipitous meetings, close calls in the mountains, great food, wine and cheer in towns, and even though it was the worst May for weather in 7 years, we climbed almost everyday – sometimes while it was snowing on alpine routes or while it was raining on overhanging limestone (no worries!).

    Continue reading "From Chamonix with Love – Jonny Copp and Micah Dash Visit Europe" »

    "The Pig" - Listen to a Dirtbag Diaries Short

    Shorts_small I'm really diggin' these short, listener-voiced episodes of The Dirtbag Diaries. All of you school teachers out there, especially those who surf (aloha Roger!), will definitely relate to this episode. Fitz Cahall sets the stage:

    A mythical, semi-secret, surf spot on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast – that’s as descriptive Australian Duncan McNee would get. This secret break, a quick bike ride from McNee’s day job as a high school teacher, requires the perfect synchronicity of swell, tide and windless days. On average, the variables come together once every two years. Sometimes the world shines on us. The wind dies. The tide drops. School lets out early. It’s up to us to catch the wave of a lifetime. At long last, we bring you a surfing story. Amen.

    Listen to The Dirtbag Diaries:

    The Shorts - The Pig (8:25 - mp3 - right-click to download)

    Like what you heard? The RSS feed, subscription link to iTunes, and contact information, should you want to submit a story idea of your own, are all available at www.dirtbagdiaries.com.

    Patagonia's Factory List

    Factory_shotIf you visit the Leading the Examined Life section of Patagonia.com, you'll notice we recently published the list of contract factories that cut and sew Patagonia product. This action got me thinking about our mission statement – "Make the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, and use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis." – for it was the inspiration of other companies that helped Patagonia implement solutions this time.

    While there are a number of brands that have published their factory lists, Patagonia took its inspiration from two companies in particular: Nike and Levi’s. It is probably strange to some that Patagonia is taking cues from such large companies. However, both Nike and Levi’s have long standing CSR programs and have been publishing their factory lists for a number of years now. And, well, if they can do it, shouldn’t we?

    Continue reading "Patagonia's Factory List" »

    Chicago’s Bike to Work Week

    Cimg1617_2 As a company, Patagonia celebrated Bike to Work Week in May, during which we highlighted our efforts in our stores, at our Reno Distribution facility and on campus in Ventura. Patagonia Chicago additionally participated in the City of Chicago’s annual Bike to Work Week, which took place June 8-15. Sure, this news is a little late but in reality every week is Bike to Work Week. Here’s a report from Brooks Scott, Chicago Store Manager on their efforts:

    We’ve traditionally used the company’s bike to work week as a warm-up to a more concentrated effort here for the city’s week. We’ve found that it’s a more compelling story to share with our friends and customers when we mirror the city’s efforts. This year was no different.

    [Bike parking for employees and customers inside Patagonia Chicago. Photo: Brooks Scott]

    Continue reading "Chicago’s Bike to Work Week" »

    Celebrating with Family and Friends

    Wedding_198_2With Canada Day already happening on Tuesday (cheers Sonnie!) and Independence Day in full swing today, it's a great time to relax, share some tasty beverages with family and friends, maybe even play a few games of ping pong. Have a great holiday weekend everybody and thanks for visiting The Cleanest Line.

    [Update: Fixed incorrect date for Canada Day. Thanks Bradley!]

    Here's a sweet little story from Patagoniac Jane Lyon to get the good times started:

    Greetings Cleanest Line! I am writing to tell you about a recent experience I had involving Patagonia clothing. My son Brad and his fiance Becky were recently married. It was a small private wedding for the immediate families. There were 14 of us present for 4 days of festivities in the small surf village of Bolinas, CA. (about an hr. north of San Francisco) We all rented little bungalows high on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

    Continue reading "Celebrating with Family and Friends" »

    Head to a Patagonia Store and Voice Your Choice

    Voice_your_choice_renoThe last two Patagonia store grand openings -- Palo Alto and Boulder -- featured Voice Your Choice campaigns to help local non-profits continue the important work of restoring and protecting the local environment, and to raise public awareness about the various environmental projects taking place in the community.

    Now, Voice Your Choice has been expanded to every one of our U.S. stores (except Boulder). Each store has a $4,000 grant to donate but they need your help deciding which of five local groups to give it to. The nominated groups were selected by the store staff based on local focus and range of environmental concerns. Each nominee will spend a day in the store so you can meet them and learn about their work. Check your store Web page to see which groups are nominated in your area and when they'll be at the store.

    Voting is taking place in the stores only. Participants can cast one vote per store per visit. No purchase is necessary. Winners will be announced at a special grants reception at each store in early August.

    Voting ends on July 19 so walk, bike or carpool over to your local store soon.

    [Did you vote? Voice Your Choice display at our Reno Outlet store. Photo: Patagonia]

    Confessions of a Wilderness Volunteer

    Grafton_2 Our friend Meghan Sural is the Assistant Manager of our outlet store here in Reno, NV. She’s also a devoted wilderness steward. Though her roots lie in Appalachian soil, her heart roams free on the open deserts of Nevada’s vast wild (and unprotected) places. She kindly shares some soulful words with us here about her time spent volunteering for Friends of Nevada Wilderness.

    Early June. Two weeks before the season’s solstice -- making days not yet their longest, but long enough. Warmer weather has set in, but the heat has yet to hit its hardest. It’s Friday, and I’ve signed up to go on a wilderness restoration trip with Pat Bruce from Friends and a few other lucky volunteers. We hit the road for Mt. Grafton Wilderness, and a wave of excitement pulses through me -- my first trip across Nevada on Highway 50.

    Continue reading "Confessions of a Wilderness Volunteer" »

    Your Thoughts on the Footprint Chronicles - All Just Eco Fluff?

    Footprint_2 Our Footprint Chronicles have generated a wide range of feedback. We've received a whole raft of incisive questions that have sent us scurrying off to do more homework. We've received some praise, most recently in the form of the "People's Voice" award in the 2008 Webbys. And we've received some criticism.

    We're grateful for all of the comments -- good and bad. The Footprint Chronicles was created to be a dialog, and toward this end, our Vice President of Marketing, Rob Bon Durant offers this response to one of the increasingly common criticisms being sent our way:

    We created the Footprint Chronicles to offer our customers a behind-the-curtain view, to shine a light in the dark belly of the whale. In the Chronicles, we look at both the good and, more importantly, the bad of our current environmental and social manufacturing practices. We hold no secrets, we are transparent in every way that we can conceive. We've had a number of customer responses to the Chronicles.

    Among the responses was this one: "Boy do you guys ever do a good job trying to paint a positive picture of your company. Why don't you just admit that your supreme aim is to make as much money as possible and all this eco stuff is fluff?"

    I oversee Marketing and Communications here at Patagonia and I'd  like to answer that one directly: 

    Continue reading "Your Thoughts on the Footprint Chronicles - All Just Eco Fluff?" »

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