No outdoor brand has been as progressive as Patagonia in its efforts to clean up and preserve the planet while owning up to the built-in hypocrisy that comes from selling stuff at the same time. On one hand, it wants you to buy its products, on the other it knows that consuming more doesn’t really help.
But maybe it can. At least, that’s the idea behind Patagonia’s new Truth to Materials initiative, which offers a small collection of products from Patagonia’s incubator projects. The Men’s Undyed Cashmere Snap-T Pullover, for example, comes from Mongolian goat wool. It’s naturally collected as shepherds move their flocks seasonally — rather than shearing the goats, they groom them on the fly to collect the wool, which is then spun into Patagonia’s Snap-T without dyeing.
This poses a challenge. Goats eat the roots of grass, which is contributing to overgrazing of the Mongolian Plateau. But by engaging with NOYA Fibers and herder collectives and bringing in experts from the Nature Conservancy, Patagonia hopes to spread the word on overgrazing while developing and sharing methods to reduce it. Can a pullover do that? The company hopes so.
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Read more from Steve Casimiro at his blog, Adventure Journal.
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