The Cleanest Line

Weblog for the employees, friends and customers of the outdoor clothing company Patagonia. Visit Patagonia.com to see what we do.

RSS Feed

Twitter

    Archives

    Search


    « November 2008 | Main | January 2009 »

    Happy New Year, See You in 2009

    Happy_new_year Before the toasts, the countdowns and the midnight kisses, we’d like to say thanks once again for all of your support in 2008. It’s been a heck of a year and you’ve been there with us through it all.

    It’s time to take a break and hit the snow for a few days but we’ll be back at it on Monday. Rest assured, the folks here are already hard at work on some great features for 2009. You can look forward to a new version of the Tin Shed, a major Footprint Chronicles update, a renewed focus on Freedom to Roam, and, of course, a bunch of sweet new gear for your ’09 adventures.

    As the Internet continues to evolve we’ll do our best to keep in touch on the sites you use most. At the moment you can find us on Twitter, Facebook, Del.icio.us, YouTube and Blip.tv. Our surfboard-building brothers at Fletcher Chouinard Designs recently added blog coverage to their homepage, and they continue to provide exceptional feedback through the comments on their new and used board pages. You can also find some amazing surf photography from FCD and their friends around the world on Flickr. If there are any other online destinations you’d like to see us inhabit, please let us know in the comments.

    From everyone at Patagonia, we wish you and yours a happy, healthy and fun-filled New Year. Cheers!

    My Footprint series - Mindin' the Toilet

    Series intro:

    A new citizen is emerging. That citizen is engaged, concerned, and most of all, confident; confident in his or her choice as a consumer, confident in his or her power as an employee, confident that change is possible.

    The Footprint Chronicles were developed to document the changes we’re making as a company to lighten our environmental impact and do less harm. These chronicles are as much an inspiration to Patagonia employees as they are an outgrowth of our personal values. The “My Footprint” series shares the stories of Patagonia employees who have been inspired by the Chronicles, and whose inspiring lives help fuel the vision of what we can do as a company.

    Their stories are offered here, glimpses of individual footprints spotted along the path toward positive change.  We invite you to enjoy these personal accounts, and share your own in the Comments included with these posts.
    __________________________________________________________
    Becca2
    [Ed note: The following contribution to the "My Footprint" series comes from regular Cleanest Line contributor, Fitz Cahall, of Dirtbag Diaries fame. While not a Patagonia employee, Fitz was too excited not to share. Enjoy reading his footprint, and remember to click the "About" section if interested in submitting your own.]

    Our hot water heater takes a while to get going. The first time we took a shower in our current home, we watched cold water pour out of the tap. We watched some more, testing the stream with outstretched fingers. Still cold. It took at least two or three minutes to reach lukewarm.

    My wife, Becca, came up with the strategy, and then, because I am a well-trained husband, I religiously followed suit.

    Continue reading "My Footprint series - Mindin' the Toilet" »

    The Bicycling Life: 14 Months of Product Testing

    Lkehmeier_cottonwood_pass_colorad_2 As we gear up for the New Year and some backyard adventure stories (there's still time to submit yours) we present a bicycle-loving couple whose adventure took them as far from their own backyard as possible. In the fall of 2007, Leslie Kehmeier and her husband Chris began a 14-month journey of a lifetime. Their goal was three-fold: travel around the world, share geographic knowledge and promote the bicycle as a sustainable form of transportation. They called their project Bicycle Geography. Leslie writes:

    I can’t put it off any longer – I have to do laundry. The luggage has been emptied and the mail sorted - it’s been three days since my husband and I returned home from our ‘round the world bicycling adventure. I don’t know why I’ve been avoiding it. Maybe I don’t want the reflection of a special journey to start too soon; maybe it’s just the smell.

    [Leslie with her husband Chris (right) and good friend Scott at the top of Cottonwood Pass. Colorado. Photo: Leslie Kehmeier Collection]

    As I heap the pile of clothes on the floor, I am reminded of so many things. Each item has a connection with a certain landscape or an interaction with a local character. We didn’t just wear our clothes, we lived in them. The colors may be faded, but the memory of life between two wheels is now woven in the fabric.

    Continue reading "The Bicycling Life: 14 Months of Product Testing" »

    Bedtime Stories for Wanderers

    Passport_logoAre you resolved to travel more in 2009? Today's Dirtbag Diaries podcast is all the inspiration you'll need to keep your promise for the New Year. Show host Fitz Cahall sets the stage:

    If stories are the currency of travel, then writer Ryan Nickum is a very wealthy man. By the time he turned 30, Nickum's passport was chock full of the brightly colored patchwork of entry and exit stamps from dozens of distant countries. He was consumed by a desire to travel and haunted by the inability to sit still. The gaps in his resume developed into oceans between jobs. Cynicism grew. The overwhelming urge to quit the job and pack a bag sprang up every six months like a song that would not leave his ears. With his career stalling and idealism flat lining, Nickum looked into his past to search for the seed of the travel affliction. There was only one person to blame -- his father.

    What makes the traveler's feet restless? Is it nature or nurture? Writer Ryan Nickum presents Bedtime Stories for Wanderers.

    Audio_graphic_20px Listen to Bedtime Stories for Wanderers (mp3 - 28:56 - right-click to download)

    Fitz is always looking for great stories to feature on the podcast. If you're a climber, skier, surfer, activist or anybody who can't get enough of being outside, consider sharing your story at www.dirtbagdiaries.com.

    [Extra groovy passport graphic by Walker Cahall.]

    My Footprint - When the Light Went Out

    A new citizen is emerging. That citizen is engaged, concerned, and most of all, confident; confident in his or her choice as a consumer, confident in his or her power as an employee, confident that change is possible.

    The Footprint Chronicles were developed to document the changes we’re making as a company to lighten our environmental impact and do less harm. These chronicles are as much an inspiration to Patagonia employees as they are an outgrowth of our personal values. The “My Footprint” series shares the stories of Patagonia employees who have been inspired by the Chronicles, and whose inspiring lives help fuel the vision of what we can do as a company.

    Their stories are offered here, glimpses of individual footprints spotted along the path toward positive change.  We invite you to enjoy these personal accounts, and share your own in the Comments included with these posts.
    __________________________________________________________

    Img_2243_2 The first of my compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFL) went dark the other night. No warning, no light. I unscrewed it, shook it and screwed it back in.

    Nothing.

    It was disappointing. I was an early adopter of CFLs (back in the dark days before WalMart decided to sell ‘em cheap to popularize their use) and that bulb was kinda pricey. But at the time I figured it was worth it given it would last up to 15,000 hours. This one lasted maybe 15.   

    I was using it in a bathroom fixture above the mirror. It took three of these pigtailed double helixes to adequately light the area, and their harsh light made looking in the mirror even more horrific than usual. But in the name of energy efficiency, I chose “the right thing” over my cosmetic insecurities and my wife’s entreaties to return to the soft, soothing glow of incandescence.

    [The black hole in my bathroom. Photo: Jim]

    Continue reading "My Footprint - When the Light Went Out" »

    Wood is Good (Pt. 4) - Tom Wegener’s Alaia Surfboards

    YouTube version: Wood is Good Pt. 4

    Here it is, the final installment of Tom Wegener's "Wood is Good" talk at Patagonia Cardiff and what a treat this series has been (see parts 1, 2 & 3). The footage of Dave Rastovich in today's chapter is mind blowing.

    Though far from mainstream, Alaias are here to stay. A co-worker of mine in Ventura is super stoked on his, and Dan Malloy rides his as well as anyone I've seen. The boards can be found at Patagonia Cardiff and Tom Wegener Surfboards. Budding shapers can order Paulownia wood blanks from Tom's brother's site and make their own Alaias, like this high school shop class in Queensland.

    Our thanks go out to Tom Wegener, Devon Howard, the staff at Patagonia Cardiff and the video crew: Ian O'Roarty, Roy Coffman, Dan Dixon and Dylan Cooper. This video, and many more, can be found on our Blip.tv and YouTube channels, including the "Wood is Good" playlist. Please tell your friends and share with your favorite surf blogs. Also, stay tuned for more Alaia footage in Thomas Campbell's upcoming film, The Present. Happy holiday surfing everybody.

    Wood is Good (Pt. 3) - Tom Wegener’s Alaia Surfboards

    YouTube version: Wood is Good Pt. 3

    Previously: Part 1 and Part 2. We'll conclude the series tomorrow. Visit Patagonia Cardiff or Tom Wegener Surfboards to see the boards. With thanks to Devon Howard. 

    Wood is Good (Pt. 2) - Tom Wegener’s Alaia Surfboards

    YouTube version: Wood is Good Pt. 2

    See Part One of the series for an introduction to Tom by Devon Howard and to watch the first chapter of the video. Visit Patagonia Cardiff or Tom Wegener Surfboards to see the boards.

    Wood is Good (Pt. 1) - Tom Wegener’s Alaia Surfboards Video Series

    Img_1186 Devon Howard, manager of Patagonia's Cardiff Surf Shop, has put together another stellar event for his customers – and recorded it for all of us who couldn't be there in person. Tune in each day, from now until Monday, as we bring you Tom Wegener's talk at Patagonia Cardiff. The first video of the four-part "Wood is Good" series is embedded after the jump. Here's Devon with some background on Tom:

    We often hear surfers professing how we've pretty much seen and done it all when it comes to board design. But don't tell that to my friend, ex-pat surfer/shaper Tom Wegener. Over the past four years he's been putting nearly all of his efforts on a now-much-talked about design with roots that span back a thousand years – the alaia.

    According to Wegener, this historical Hawaiian surfcraft – which appears to be little more than a flat piece of wood in the shape of an ironing board – may not only be the most enviro friendly surfboard available today, it might be part of one of surfing's next big leaps in modern board design.

    Continue reading "Wood is Good (Pt. 1) - Tom Wegener’s Alaia Surfboards Video Series" »

    The Circus Tour

    Turns Well, it happened. It finally snowed. Last week, we pled: "Dear Winter, Please Show Up." We snow-loving mountain dwellers had simply had our fill of gloriously sunny and unseasonably warm days. We couldn't take it any longer. Cries issued forth. Widespread wailing was heard. Bargains were struck with deities. And of course, the gnashing of teeth; always the gnashing of teeth. Hindsight is 20/20, and reveals the snow gods to be fans of folk, blues, and outlaw country. Like Pan's flute, the dulcet tones of the Risky Biscuit Hayseed Hoot‚ Winter Welcome Show‚ saved us.

    The light breeze felt atop local mountain ridges Tuesday morning was no doubt the local ski resorts breathing a collective sigh of relief. As the season's first real snow storm took leave of the region it left behind a generous helping of deep, dry snow and frigid temps. Instant winter. The snow gods gaveth. Praise be the snow gods.

    The first big snow brings the first tour of the season; the first tour that doesn't involve unpleasantries such as hiking uphill through mud or skiing into buried stumps and rocks. It's the first 'real' tour, the first chance to strap on backcountry skis, skin up to the top of a favorite backcountry stash, and ski alllllllll.... the way back to the car.

    For me, it's this tour that creates an opportunity unlike any other for the rest of the ski season. It's the one best time to find out which crucial piece of gear will be left behind.

    [Photo: localcrew]

    Continue reading "The Circus Tour" »

    One Percent for the Planet
    © 2014 Patagonia, Inc.