Patagonia is aiming to take the growing movement toward using recycled materials in fashion to the next level.
The outdoor and active sportswear brand is introducing the Re\\\collection, a design experiment using as many recycled materials as possible.
Each of the 10 styles in the Re\\\collection line is made with a variety of recycled materials, including 100 percent recycled down, 100 percent recycled wool and 100 percent recycled polyester, along with 85 percent recycled polyester labels, 80 percent recycled zippers and 50 percent recycled buttons.
Patagonia said the Re\\\collection is built with function and warmth in mind, but the pieces have a simple, clean aesthetic and they’re ready to be recycled again when the time comes.
This fall, in the company’s latest step, Patagonia is using down reclaimed from used items that can’t be resold. The cornerstone of its Re\\\collection, Patagonia Recycled Down is a mix of 600-fill-power goose and duck down reclaimed from used items that might otherwise end up in landfills, and offers identical performance benefits to virgin down. By plucking some of its down and associated fabrics from the trash, Patagonia is reducing discards and helping to grow and add value to a recycling stream.
“Patagonia is distinctive because of all the environmental work that it does and when we think about products, we think about all the environmental work before we start designing,” said Miles Johnson, Patagonia’s creative director of product design. “From the insulation to the outer materials — all the way down to the buttons and draw cords — this collection is an experiment in creativity and responsibility.”
Johnson added, “Designers were tasked to come up with a collection based on recycled materials and to look at the highest levels of recycled content and put it into the collection.”
In the Re\\\collection styles, Patagonia Recycled Wool is made from 60 percent discarded wool sweaters that are shred into usable fiber and mixed with recycled polyester and recycled nylon for durability. By recycling previously dyed fabrics, Patagonia is keeping them from the landfill and saving water, reducing the need for chemicals and reducing wastewater.
The recycled polyester and nylon are made from fiber created from used plastic bottles, unusable manufacturing waste and worn-out garments.
The collection includes men’s and women’s jackets, shirts, coats, vests, pants and a skirt.
Patagonia has 30 stores across the country and sells on patagonia.com, as well.
Over the past 40 years, Patagonia has been an industry leader in reducing the impacts of its products on the natural world, such as when owner and founder Yvon Chouinard began making chocks that didn’t damage the rocks. In 1993, Patagonia began diverting resources from the landfill when it made the first fleece from recycled plastic bottles destined for the dump. Since then, its designers have learned how to use more and more recycled materials to build clothing without sacrificing performance or quality.
Last month, Patagonia stepped up the commitment to its Fair Trade program. Already the largest supplier of apparel made in Fair Trade Certified factories, the company has scaled its Fair Trade program from one factory and 11 styles in fall 2014 to six factories and 218 styles this fall, and by fall 2017, expects to manufacture 300 styles — about one-third of its products — in Fair Trade Certified factories.
In August, Patagonia introduced the world’s first and only Neoprene-free wetsuits made with natural rubber from sources that are Forest Stewardship Council certified by the Rainforest Alliance.
Founded by Chouinard in 1973, Patagonia is based in Ventura, Calif. A certified B-Corporation, Patagonia is recognized for its commitment to authentic product quality and environmental activism, contributing over $78 million in grants and in-kind donations.