Patagonia is a famous brand renowned for making outdoor gear. The brand was founded in Ventura, California, by Yvon Chouinard in 1973, and since then, this has remained their headquarters. While Patagonia is rooted in rock climbing, the brand has also manufactured different gears for other sports and activities. The brand makes unique outdoor clothing, such as fleece, pants, and jackets. Although the company was founded in California, many people wonder whether they make their products in America. Read on to find out more.
Where Are Patagonia Jackets Made?
Most Patagonia jackets and other products are not made in America. The brand produces its clothing and gear in more than 40 factories from sixteen countries. The brand manufactures a tiny percentage of its products in the US. Most people don’t know this. Although there has been a domestic resurgence recently, the US clothing industry has been setting up factories overseas for some time now to meet their manufacturing demand.
Nearly half of the sales from the brand are global, and they state that doing this helps reduce the transportation carbon footprint as their clients are closer to their facilities. Patagonia is environmentally friendly, but they also participate in various activism efforts.
How Transparent Is The Patagonia Brand?
One thing to appreciate about Patagonia is the transparency on their website about where all their products are made. Like many clothing companies, the brand does not own farms and factories producing their products.
Therefore, they make their products worldwide, even in China, criticized for their shortcomings. China is not the only country under heavy criticism, but Patagonia also works in others with poor and mixed records to protect the environment and employees’ rights.
Out of all the factories Patagonia contracts with to make its products, 13 are China-based while nine are US-based. Most of their products are made by Chinese suppliers than American factories due to their experience and pricing; however, the brand tries to work with American factories as much as they can.
Patagonia’s Unpleasant History
Patagonia contracts with various suppliers in Los Angeles, and they also have long-term factory connections in Texas and North Carolina.
Patagonia makes its jackets and other products from different companies as in the early 2000s; they made a poor choice is expanding their factory base with the hope of gaining lower-cost labor.
The brand had over 100 factories for production at some point, which was more than they could handle. At that time, they didn’t scrutinize the people they were working with or the conditions at the factories. This led to poor quality of their products, later deliveries, costly rework, client dissatisfaction, and long inspection hours at their warehouse. Moreover, they also lost profit after they honored their clients’ returns.
The move led the company to reduce its factory count by a third and cemented the relationships with those they continued doing business with. The brand has made significant reductions in its suppliers from 58% in 2007 to 45% today.
The Current State Of Patagonia Brand
Although these reductions have been difficult for them, they have helped them manage the working conditions in the factories efficiently and produce quality goods much more consistently and effectively. Patagonia manufacturing is now contracted to various factories in 16 countries, including the US.
The factories contracted to manufacture the products produce high-quality clothing that does not need costly rework and has no flaws that would make the clothes returned by the customer to the point of purchase.
Their clothes are praised by clients, which has helped sustain the quality reputation they price highly and find most costly to lose. The factories constantly improve the quality of the products and the quality of life for the employees.
Is Patagonia A Made In America Brand?
Patagonia cannot claim to be a “Made in America” brand because they always source at least half of their manufacturing products overseas. However, the brand’s percentage of US-made products has reduced over time, the same as it happened with the American textile industry.
Moreover, the number of domestic top-quality sewing stores has also declined. A considerable percentage of the American apparel manufacturing landscape does not exist, and most industries are no longer in the business, including Seattle contractors Cascade and J&E.
Therefore, this has made it challenging for clothing companies to get factories in America that meet their standards as the textile industry is growing smaller with the work shifting overseas.
Why Are Patagonia Jackets So Expensive?
If you have bought a Patagonia jacket before, you probably know how expensive their products are compared to other brands. Their products are expensive because of the quality of materials and because they do everything environmentally conscious. These factors significantly impact the price of products, although they are also why consumers buy Patagonia jackets.
A Breakdown Of Where Patagonia Products Are Made
Does Patagonia Use Fishing Nets To Make Its Jackets?
Patagonia has a collection of Fall Netplus Jackets made from discarded fishing nets. The fishing nets are also referred to as ghost gear which is a damaging form is plastic pollution in our oceans. Fishing nets continue to float in seas long after fishers throw them away.
They may injure or kill marine animals such as turtles and dolphins when they entangle. A startup such as Bureo and other popular brands like Patagonia is trying to prevent this problem from getting worse. Therefore, Bureo has been collecting these fishing nets from the coastal area of South America.
They sort, clean, shred and prepare them for shipping to Patagonia’s supply chain partner. After recycling, they are processed into yarns and woven into the fabric for making premium products like jackets.
Most Patagonia products are not made in America because they produce their gear in nearly 40 factories across sixteen countries. Although some products are manufactured in the US, it accounts for a tiny percentage.