New in at SVD: Patagonia

patagonia logo

This season SVD is proud to welcome a new brand to our exclusive catalogue: Patagonia.

Patagonia was born thanks to Yvon Chouinard, an American climber who, in 1957, began manufacturing reusable chrome-molybdenum steel pitons (up until that point, only durable pieces were used which remained fixed on the mountain after one use). His idea was to sell tools to be able to live in the mountains doing what he liked the most, being surrounded by nature. To create his equipment he worked from the mountain with other climbers, in a camp created by them, which they called Lazy-Ass Ranch. This was meant to describe the lax working conditions in which their expenses were reduced to beer and material to create their tools.

Around 1965, the demand for Chouinard's products became too much, so he went into partnership with Tom Frost; a well-known and respected climber, who also happened to be an aeronautical engineer. Together, they redesigned tools and created a more efficient fabrication system for a brand that started to become known as, Chouinard Equipment, and which rapidly converted itself into one of the largest companies of this type in the United States.

lazy ass ranch patagonia

In 1970, during a route of the El Capitán range in Yosemite National Park, Chouinard and Frost discoverd how the tools they had been manufacturing were degrading mountainside. A requirement of steel pitons was they had to be hammered directly into the rock, therefore leaving permanent marks from the stress and force used to continuously inter and remove them. Consequently, in 1972, they abandoned the use of steel pitons and began to design new aluminum chocks that could be wedged by hand rather than hammered in and out of cracks. It was a significantly risky move, as the same company who created and introduced reusable steel pitons to the climbing community, was now the first to abandon the use of them. However, it worked and soon after the climbing community began to leave behind steel pitons. Without even knowing it, they were creating the philosophy of Patagonia 

Also in 1970, but this time in Scotland, Chouinard bought a rugby polo for a climb. At this time, there was not a market nor even clothes made specifically for the mountains. It was typical to climb with cotton clothing, preferably used. After his purchase, Chouinard discovered that the polo's collar was designed to prevent chafing around the neck, and soon began to use it more habitually on his climbs. Back in the States, where rugby was relatively unknown, Chouinard brought along his polo for climbs, and quickly his friends began asking where they could find a similar product. As a result, Chouinard started to import the polos from the UK, Argentina, and New Zealand; later fabricating his own branded product. Instead of keeping the name Chouinard, for their clothing line, they decided to use Patagonia, as it was the name of remote region, highly associated with adventure. The logo of the new brand? The Fitz Roy mountain, on the border of Chile and Argentina. 

photo jeff johnson

Patagonia developed technical fabrics and created the layering system, which other brands soon adapted into their products. To present his innovations, he moved away from the usual colors on the mountain lines and began using bright colors, which have since distinguished the brand. 

The Spring-Summer collection from Patagonia presents a large selection of products that go from t-shirts with sober tones to short-sleeve shirts with patterns and graphics. The collection even includes a selection of bathing suits that are perfect to be worn inside, but just as well outside the water. Multi-functional garments of the best quality that you can use both for your getaways to nature and for your day to day.

patagonia

Patagonia, however, is not just all product. They also collaborate with environmental groups, which work to rebuild natural habitats, as well as utilizing recycled materials, and organic cotton since 1996. As founder, Chouinard, installed a sustainable system practice, which was made public, so other companies could utilize it. Patagonia even has a section, on its website, of publications, where they have edited books like The Responsable Company and Let My People Go Surfing.

A brand that goes above and beyond its collections and now has its own proper place at SVD.