If there’s one brand that is popularly known among outdoorsy individuals, techies, financiers, and suburban moms, it’s Patagonia. It’s a brand that almost everyone has heard of and has become a customer of in the last 30 years.
While its association with the great outdoors has been well-established throughout the decades, not everyone is aware of the inspirational story behind the Patagonia company. It is deeply rooted in sustainability, and it’s strict adherence to ethical practices truly makes it more than just simply Patagonia outdoor clothing. Learn more about the Patagonia brand story in this feature and marvel at just how big a difference a reputable company like has made – and continues to make for generations to come.
The Patagonia Story
Patagonia’s founder, Yvon Chouinard, created the brand out of his own need for outdoor climbing equipment, which he had to design and build himself. From its beginnings in 1957, the small business that he operated from his family home’s backyard quickly took off. In the 1970s, Yvon’s Chouinard Equipment business was already the biggest supplier of climbing equipment in the United States. From there he went global, with his line of rugby jerseys quickly taking off. The jerseys he created and wore were noticed by his fellow athletes and climbers internationally. His business sense to create more colorful and attractively-designed climbers’ clothing created a new demand for the sports. For these humble beginnings, Patagonia now has 70 stores all over the world.
Patagonia’s Mission Statement
The Patagonia mission statement reads: Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis. The company’s brand values clearly show that the Patagonia culture prioritizes people and the environment over their own need to make profits. This mission is what resonates with their customers and brand ambassadors.
Patagonia Core Values
Patagonia’s core values are minimalist and driven by environmental advocacy, and these values in turn have been the North Star in which the Patagonia core competencies are built upon to ensure business success. Their core value of building the best product while causing no unnecessary harm to the environment and the community is truly inspiring and impressive to achieve in a world where capitalism wins. In addition, the Patagonia code of ethics recognizes the need to use their business to protect nature. The Patagonia work/office environment also stresses being unbound by convention, allowing them to pioneer revolutionary ways of building a brand and creating products that are a testament to the Patagonia success story.
Patagonia Customers Experience: The Hallmark of a Favorite Outdoor Brand
You may be familiar with the Patagonia Cleanest Line blog, which amplifies the customer experience by sharing its best practices in business ethics and sustainability. This honest desire to become a company that does good is also effective in the Patagonia marketing mix; it has allowed the Patagonia vision statement to capture and make loyalists out of its customers through the following:
· Great materials
Patagonia’s products are not only made from recycled materials since 1996, the fabrics also feel fantastic and have proven to be extremely durable. The Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket and other clothing products are made of sustainably sourced cotton, nylon, wool and polyester, which are then engineered to create a final fabric that can keep up with the outdoor/climbing lifestyle.
· Brand presence in sports and outdoor activities
The Patagonia brand spotlight is full-on during major sports and commercial outdoor activities in terms of sponsorships. It is highly visible in events that its target audience frequents not only as a marketing strategy, but also to show support in the lifestyle that it promotes.
· Authenticity and thoughtful design
The Patagonia brand spotlight came into focus simply because the products like the Patagonia Silent Down Jacket, Patagonia sandals, Patagonia Better Sweater Jacket and others were born out of the desire to make products that looked fashionable and function awesomely. Because the company founder was a climber himself, he knew which details would matter most to adventurers like him and he sought to include those across his product lines.
By using recycled materials and promoting sustainability across creating climbing apparel and equipment, the eco-friendly stance of the Patagonia core competencies has set a new standard for the clothing and climbing equipment industry, which is now practically unparalleled.
Customized to Perfection
Apart from a reliable Patagonia clothing warranty with every item purchased, the clothing brand is a go-to for many companies looking for personalization options on high quality apparel. Gemnote clients, for one, have been able to lean on the company’s customization and branding expertise to create bespoke, one-of-a-kind products for their employees and clients.
Patagonia is a Gemnote favorite because their apparel, backpacks and accessories are a hit among companies across many industries. When working with Gemnote, clients are able to brainstorm and curate the best products for their recipients and audience. They keep in demographics, location/region and seasonality. What’s not to love about products that are comfortably made to withstand the most extreme of weather conditions? In addition, Gemnote’s customization options are varied to create products that go beyond a logo on a jacket. Their team of designers and buyers are constantly looking for new ways to customize Patagonia products that make them tasteful, unique and most of the time, subtle to an unknowing observer. Whether you want a fully printed brand logo or trendy and modern embroidered tags or labels, every jacket, sweatshirt, vest and backpack will allow you a multitude of ways for brand placement.
Patagonia backpacks and bags are a crowd favorite among companies that like their brand or logo on items that are sustainable, as a way of sending a message about their own mindfulness towards their environmental footprint. Patagonia bags and backpacks can be customized with personalized patches and tags, printed or stitched/embroidered logos, your classic screen-printed artwork or custom lined fabric for higher quantities.
The Patagonia Motto: A Successful Siren Call for Companies
In recent years, we’ve seen a rise in demand for Patagonia’s Worn Wear program – the company’s own “thrift shop” where people can buy and sell (or trade) secondhand Patagonia products as an added step in the Patagonia brand guidelines of being environmentally responsible and recycling of their products. Of course, that doesn’t take away from the hordes of loyalists who continue to buy the company’s latest retail offerings – and here’s why:
Patagonia products last for years and even decades – in fact, longer than you probably expect them to. This is probably a driving force in the Worn Wear initiative – because only minor repairs are needed to make the apparel or equipment useful, functioning and sometimes practically like-new again.
The look and feel of Patagonia apparel and equipment is undeniably stylish but not obnoxiously so. It has been able to keep up with the trends to project a very current and modern sensibility, all the while maintaining a classic aesthetic that makes their products remain fashionable many years down the line.
Patagonia’s ever-growing fanbase of their outdoor clothing and apparel isn’t just the result of a momentary trend. Its commitment to sustainability, which is evident in the Patagonia corporate culture, is echoed by principled climbers and environmental advocates so much that the latter has made an industry-wide decision to support the brand. This support and awareness has now become part of mainstream culture, allowing more people to experience the clothing line along with its highly technical gear and equipment, and thus provides the company with more opportunities to do even more for the environment.
As you may know, Patagonia’s products are all about utility. It’s the little details like cleverly designed pockets, extra thick lining, meticulously made flaps and fold that have proven their apparel’s ability to become part of anyone’s must-have collection of clothing. It’s not easy to find a replacement for Patagonia items simply because the way they help you perform your best. Simply put, it’s an amazing value because your cost per wear is reduced every time you put it on – and trust us, the way it’s designed will make you want to wear it every chance you get.
5. Brand recognition
Patagonia’s rocky mountain logo is easy to spot from a mile away – and that is the hallmark of a successfully established brand. It is well known enough that it doesn’t need explaining; anyone who has been around sport or fashion in the last 40 years will instantly know what the brand is and what it usually stands for.
6. High quality
Run your fingers across any Patagonia apparel and you will definitely feel the luxury and comfort that it delivers. Put it on and use it for your outdoor activities – or even just your walk in the city – and you will instantly understand why the brand has successfully scaled through the decades. The recycled materials used to make their fabric does not compromise on quality, through a combination of innovative choice of materials and new technologies that allow them to engineer recycled materials into something that is of top quality.
Patagonia Customer Experience: A Model for Success
If you aren’t already in love with the Patagonia brand, you’ll find evidence of it on the internet in the form of reviews – and there are a lot. Patagonia items – whether they are on the company website or in big or small retailers – all have their steadily growing collection of reviews from enthusiastic and satisfied clients. These people come from different backgrounds and regions, but are in agreement with the way they view and recommend the Patagonia gear they have invested in – with resounding enthusiasm for its quality.
Patagonia continues to impress its followers and gain new loyalists by recognizing the need to innovate for the good of the environment while consistently coming out with more inclusive silhouettes and new designs that meet the taste of the modern customer.
A Brand That’s Here to Stay
Patagonia has been around for more than fifty years, and you can bet that it will continue to thrive and stay relevant for the next fifty. As consumers continue to buy retail products and businesses drive more demand for customized Patagonia apparel, bags and accessories, the brand is here to stay. The way the products perform, coupled with the company’s responsible way of doing business, is a recipe for success bound by sustainability. It’s got a great company culture as it knows how to take care of its people (Patagonia employee benefits are known to be some of the best in its class, with benefits like yoga classes and on-site childcare among others), who will then in turn take care of the brand push its agenda to greater heights. This means the longevity of their relationships with manufacturing partners and retention of the core team will help with their lasting impact for the future.
Four Patagonia Products to Love
1. Patagonia Arbor Backpack, $99.
Durable and comfortable, the Patagonia Arbor backpack works well for climbing and city slicking. The flap and drawstring combo provides security and extra weather resistance. Its classic style marries really well with the modern materials it is fashioned out of to ensure the durability that you would expect out of the brand. This is a wildly popular backpack for customization among corporate companies, so find out more by Starting a Project with Gemnote.
2. Patagonia Down Sweater Jacket in Navy, $229.
Ultralight yet amazingly cozy, this sweater provides you with the warmth you need sans the bulk. The sweater jacket is designed to fit snugly on your body to give you a streamlined look. The material packs well when the chilly months come to an end, making storage easy and efficient. It’s durable enough to last throughout the years, and chic enough to go with every outfit.
3. Patagonia Torrentshell Jacket in Navy, $129.
A classic must-have in any closet, this jacket will look good year in and year out – and perform just as impressively! Full sleeves and a roomy hood protects you from inclement weather, along with the waterproof material to ensure that you are safe and dry in it. Being lightweight, it dries in a pinch so you don’t have to worry about where to hang it after a ski trip or rainy day.. The hip-length body provides added protection for your pants seat as well.
4. Patagonia Women’s Micro D Jacket in Feather Grey, $89.
Amazingly soft, light and quick drying, the Micro D jacket works really well across a wide variety of activities. Whether you are trying to keep warm on a camping trip or a quick jog around the city before the workday starts, the Micro D jacket is something that you will always think about reaching for! It’s also made out of recycled polyester microfleece material that’s responsibly sourced and processed!