Yesterday, Patagonia launched a new collection called Truth to Materials—featuring seven styles that explore new sources of raw materials and new methods of manufacturing. With this particular collection, Patagonia looks to use up fewer virgin resources, while still focusing on sustainable materials like organic cotton and recycled polyester, but with less dyeing and processing. Think minimally processed cashmere and wool, or even reused cutting room scraps.
Each piece in the Truth to Materials collection is made from reclaimed or alternatively sourced fabrics, including the Men’s Undyed Cashmere Snap-T Pullover ($399), Women’s Undyed Cashmere Cardigan ($299), Men’s Reclaimed Cotton Hoody ($149), Women’s Reclaimed Cotton Crew ($149), Men’s Reclaimed Wool Jacket ($299), Women’s Reclaimed Wool Parka ($299), and the unique Reclaimed Down Scarf ($99).
Patagonia sources reclaimed wool from a company in Calamai, Italy, where garment and manufacturing scrap is blended into a variety of knits, weaves, weights, and textures. The reclaimed wool used by Patagonia is made from discarded wool sweaters that are shred into usable fiber and mixed with polyester and nylon for strength.
In partnership with the TAL Group out of China and Malaysia, Patagonia takes cotton scraps swept off the factory floors and spins it into fully functional fabrics. The reclaimed cotton is neither bleached nor dyed and is traceable from raw material to retail store.
Patagonia’s undyed cashmere is hand-harvested by Mongolian goat herders who brush their flocks as they shift grazing grounds according to the seasons. The colors of the yarns – whites, browns and tans – are all natural. The end result is a material untouched by the process of fiber dyeing, which lessens the environmental impact and gives the material an even softer hand.
While Patagonia has received much flack in the past for their unethical sources of down, the company has now partnered with designer and artisan Natalie Chanin, of Alabama Chanin, for a one-of-a-kind reclaimed down project. Damaged, returned down jackets (that cannot be repaired) have been collected in bales in Patagonia’s shipping warehouse for years through it’s Common Threads Partnership recycling program. Together with the artisan quilters of Alabama Chanin, the two companies have created limited edition down scarves.
The Patagonia Truth to Materials collection is available now from the company website.