The Cleanest Line

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

RSS Feed




    « March 2009 | Main | May 2009 »

    From the Trenches - Where'd my jacket come from and what's replaced it?

    Trenches Our Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) are our front line of communication with Patagonia fanatics far and wide. The crew here at our Call Center in Reno, NV are at it seven days a week, taking orders, helping with returns, and most importantly, answering the astonishing range of questions our customers fire at us. Like flocks of swirling swallows or shimmering schools of tropical fish, our customers swoop in with mysteriously synchronized concerns and questions on a regular basis, prompting the need for ready answers. Times like these, nothing would be more handy than magically beaming knowledge out into the ether. Our very own Old School is here to do just that. He's stepped back from the front lines to answer some of these popular questions, straight from the trenches.


    You've had your Patagonia jacket for years, so long, in fact, that you can't remember when you picked it up. Had to have been at least 10 years ago. Come to think of it, wasn't it a a present? No matter, the problem you're facing right now is that last god-awful trip you took, the one that left your beloved jacket looking like wearable swiss cheese.

    Continue reading "From the Trenches - Where'd my jacket come from and what's replaced it?" »

    Tin Shed Nominated for the 2009 People's Voice Webby Award

    Webby_voteforus_black_high Often dubbed "the Oscars of the Internet," the Webby Awards just announced their nominees for the 2009 People's Voice awards and Patagonia's Tin Shed has been given the nod in two categories: "Best Visual Design Aesthetic" and "Corporate Communications." Considering all the fantastic Web sites out there, we're really stoked to receive this recognition. But we need your help to bring home the Webbys.

    People's Voice Webby winners are determined solely by votes cast on the Webby Awards site. Would you consider taking a moment and voting? Again, you can find us under these two categories so please vote for each one:

    "Best Visual Design Aesthetic" (listed under Features)
    "Corporate Communications" (listed under Marketplace)

    A lot of people in the company worked really hard on Tin Shed and we're grateful to them all, including our friends at the Royal Order of Experience Design. And we're not done yet. New stories from Gerry Lopez, Liz Clark, Crystal Thornburg and Freedom to Roam are in the works. Look for them to go live in the Shed at the end of the month. Thanks for your support!

    KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN - Industry reps fear organic garden

    The industry in question is the agroindustrial genetically manipulated monocrop chemicalification comglomerate. It's a mouthful, which is why folks in this business like to refer to themselves as representatives of "conventional agriculture," companies like Monsanto, Dow AgroSciences and DuPont Crop Protection. Let's leave aside for a moment the fact that our friends in the agroindustrial complex have been hard at work redefining "conventional agriculture" to mean "requiring the extensive use of synthetically engineered petroleum-based fertilizers to biologically barren soils with the aim of promoting growth of genetically manipulated, non-replicating seed-like products, upon which vast quantities of industrially designed petroleum-derived biocides must be applied." Instead, let's focus for the time being on the news item at hand.

    Not long ago, Michelle Obama announced that an organic garden would be planted on the White House property. The first of it's kind in approx. 60 years, the garden was planted to feed the presidential family, but also serves a more symbolic purpose. It's this purpose that has some folks "shuddering" in fear.

    Continue reading "KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN - Industry reps fear organic garden" »

    It Takes a Village to Raise a Child

    By Lynn Hill

    Owen and Ruby 2 During spring break last week, my son, Owen, and I joined up with five different families and friends in Hueco Tanks, Texas to enjoy a week of bouldering, camping and a refreshing dose of community-style living. I am a big believer in the saying, "It takes a village to raise a child." I grew up in a large family (seven kids) and we lived in a neighborhood full of kids of all ages. Since our street formed the last cul-de-sac in a suburban neighborhood of Southern California, it was relatively safe to play games, ride bikes, skateboards and scooters in the middle of the street, or explore the open fields and hills behind our house. On occasion we also went on a weekend camping trip with other families, as well as numerous other road trips to various beautiful places across the western states. Since Owen is an only child, trips like this last one to Hueco Tanks are a unique opportunity to be part of an extended family.

    [Owen and Ruby explore the boulders. Hueco Tanks, Texas. Photo: Lynn Hill]

    Continue reading "It Takes a Village to Raise a Child" »

    Backyard Adventures: Anything But: KC's High Carbon Weekend

    Not long ago, we offered up a Backyard Adventure tale from Patagonia Climbing Ambassador, mountain writer, and senior editor for the American Alpine Journal, Kelly Cordes. Kelly told us all about the great climbing to be had within 15 minutes of his door. Kelly's an honest man, so he didn't shy away from offering up today's wry post about another of his recent climbing trips - one with a decidedly different carbon profile than his true Backyard Adventure. Consider it a reminder of what backyard adventures are NOT. Maybe it's that earlier backyard trip that's got him thinking this way . . .

    On Wednesday, Scotty D called from California. A work delay had him with a few days to kill, and he had a room, a rental car and his company was paying him to sit and be bored.

    Capitalizing on that human ability to rationalize nearly everything and draw simplistic stopgap lines for our problems, I figured a break would help my work. I’d fallen behind and needed rejuvenation, so Thursday night I boarded the plane on a frequent flier ticket. Free trip to Yosemite. Yes, “free.”

    I emailed my friends and AAJ colleagues, John and Dougald.

    Continue reading "Backyard Adventures: Anything But: KC's High Carbon Weekend" »

    Ocean Activism Updates from Save The Waves Coalition

    KC_posterBlog Our good friend Josh Berry, Environmental Director for Save The Waves Coalition, sent word today from Chile for The Cleanest Line masses.

    Aloha Kasey!

    Two news items you might consider publishing on The Cleanest Line:

    Keeping Coast, a new short film by Save The Waves, that documents the new Coastkeeper program we've opened in Chile and the threats of a coastal coal plant to waveriders and residents:

    And the Dept. of the Interior wants to open up our coastlines to oil exploration and drilling. The only West Coast public hearing about the issue is in San Francisco next week, Thursday, April 16. The event promises to be quite a scene: and

    If you can't make this hearing you can submit written comments at the DOI's Minerals Management Service website.


    Hit the jump to see the trailer for Keeping Coast.

    Continue reading "Ocean Activism Updates from Save The Waves Coalition" »

    BlueGreen Surf Film Explores the Connection Between Humans and the Ocean

    As The Present prepares to head east, we'd like to share news about a different kind of surf film. Ben Keller of Dubious Honor Productions, and friend of Patagonia's El Pescador, is about to take his award-winning film BlueGreen on a 14-show west-coast tour starting this Friday, April 10, in Seattle, Washington. A new surfboard will be raffled off at each screening and proceeds will benefit local Surfrider chapters.

    I say "different" because BlueGreen isn't about the gnarliest waves or the latest boat trip to Indo. It's a film that explores the connection between human beings and the ocean through stories from various ambassadors of surfing. In Ben's own words:

    Blue green is a surf film, yes. But it is more than that. It is an exploration of our ties to the ocean – beyond the obvious. The film talks with [Patagonia ambassadors] Keith Malloy and Liz Clark, who have two very unique takes on the subject, as well as 11 others, and looks at the subject from different points of view: from the scientific to the evolutionary, the philosophical to the religious, the technological to the blue-collar. Of course, if you are going to expound upon the human connection to the ocean, you can't really avoid an environmental message. You bump right up against it. So the film explores that as well, from how the surf industry affects it to what we as people need to consider.

    Hit the jump for some pictures and stories from the making of the film, the full tour schedule and information on purchasing the BlueGreen DVD.

    Continue reading "BlueGreen Surf Film Explores the Connection Between Humans and the Ocean" »

    Battling Weeds, Nurturing Bats

    Today’s post is from Sarah Sweeny, a project coordinator in the creative services department at Patagonia headquarters in Ventura. In January and February, Sarah volunteered for two months with the nonprofit environmental organization, Moreton Bay Coastcare in Brisbane, Australia. What follows is an account of her internship, sponsored by the Patagonia Environmental Internship Program, which gives employees up to two months salary and benefits to work on behalf of environmental causes worldwide.

    Pic_1 I wanted to do a marine-based internship that would take me somewhere distant. I had traveled in Australia 20 years ago and had a desire to go back and spend more time on the coast. A bit of Web research led me to Moreton Bay Coastcare (MBCC), a grassroots volunteer organization that works on wetlands, creeks and estuaries around the small coastal community of Shorncliffe, Australia.

    Shorncliffe is a suburb of Brisbane, on Australia’s northeastern coast. It has a wetland system that serves as important habitat for native plants and migratory animals. Wetlands help to control flooding and improve water quality by filtering and purifying pollutants and other foreign materials. MBCC monitors, restores and rehabilitates both land and water affected by development and pollution.

    [Sarah pulling weeds at Dowse Lagoon. Photo: Janet White]

    Continue reading "Battling Weeds, Nurturing Bats" »

    My Footprint series- Setting an Example with Trims and Samples

    Series intro: Today's 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 friends and 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 section included with these posts.

    Chris Two. Hundred. Thousand. Miles. If you’re an astronaut, that translates to a one-way ticket to the moon or about 8 trips around the Earth at the equator. Barring shuttle pilots, mileage like that demands respect. Car owners boast when their odometers coast into 6-digit territory. With the average American annually clocking just over 12,000 miles behind the wheel, 200K means 16+ years of driving. As someone who’s racked up 200,000 miles on his daily bike commute, Chris Carroll knows what each of those miles feel like. It makes him just the person you want to talk to when the subject turns to how small things, steadily accumulated, can add up to impressive results.

    Chris is responsible for managing the warehousing and distribution of the various trims used on Patagonia garments. His Trims Department manages a staggering array of items: buttons, zippers, and snaps in colors to match virtually every Patagonia garment ever made; strips of elastic fabric for every arm, leg, waist, and hem of every sweater, jacket, and piece of Capilene® made over the decades; hook-and-loop closures for sleeves, luggage, messenger bags. And then there’s the easy-to-overlook things, things like size tags, clothing care tags, and of course, every version of the Patagonia label one can recall.

    [Chris Carroll pedals past pallets holding a very small portion of the total number of "trims" needed for just one season's line of products. Photo: Lloyd Stradley]

    Continue reading "My Footprint series- Setting an Example with Trims and Samples" »

    The Dirtbag Diaries: Beginner's Mind

    Light_socket2 Today's Dirtbag Diaries short doesn't contain any April Fool's jokes. What it does contain is a willingness by contributor Becca Cahall to risk looking like a fool in order to help a group of under-served urban youth learn how to snowboard.

    “As beginners, the foreign language of awkward body movements communicates a commonality and leaves an ego naked. In this fragile moment, we are able to lay a foundation, a connection,” writes Becca. It’s hard to forget the first time you wedged fingers into a granite crack or careened wildly out of control down a ski slope. I bet you remember who was alongside of you. In the outdoor world, as we age, we can become picky. We are able to discern choss from splitter granite or hard packed moguls from Utah’s finest snow. Opportunities to return to that beginner’s wonder can be rare. Sometimes it is as simple as trading two planks for one.

    Audio_graphic_20px Listen to The Shortz -- Beginner's Mind (mp3 - 8:57 - right-click to download)

    Chill is a nonprofit learn–to-ride program for underserved youth started by Jake and Donna Burton of Burton Snowboards. Check out the Chill site to learn more and get involved.

    The Shortz are listener-submitted stories from folks just like you. To share yours, visit The Dirtbag Diaries and look for the Story Suggestions? link in the sidebar.

    One Percent for the Planet
    © 2014 Patagonia, Inc.