or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

New Patagonia catolog

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

I just sent this to Patagonia:

 

Hello, Patagonia --

 
I bought my first Patagonia garment in 1973 -- a fleece pullover I used for many years, for winter camping trips and deep-water sailing. At the time, most of my climbing gear came from Great Pacific Iron Works. Over the decades I've been very happy with my Patagonia purchases. 
 
I've had the good fortune to work in the ski industry since 1970, as a shop rat, ski instructor, magazine editor, website producer, marketing executive and product manager. I'm not a pro-growth crank. As I traveled the world on ski business, I saw glaciers melting everywhere. So I left the ski industry to be a clean-energy activist, eventually becoming executive director of the American Solar Energy Society. 
 
Now in "retirement," I'm a full time ski bum again, teaching at Vail. This year I need to replace an ancient and leaky down sweater, and was looking forward to taking advantage of your Snow Pro Program to buy myself a Christmas gift.
 
Today your "Jumbo Wild" catalog arrived in the mail and I was astonished to see that you've devoted a dozen expensive four-color pages to a campaign to halt construction of a major ski resort. I have no position on the cultural and economic impacts of of the proposed resort. I do know some of the people involved on the development side and respect their sense of responsibility and dedication to outdoor sport. On the environmental side I'd simply point out that at 6,000 hectares, the Jumbo resort would occupy about 6 one-thousandths of one percent of British Columbia -- hardly enough terrain to affect the health of, for instance, the grizzly bear population, which ranges over the entire province, half of Alberta, all of Alaska, Yukon and the Northwest Territories.
 
Ski resorts, on the other hand, are an endangered species. Their population is consolidating into a few dozen specimens, mostly very large resorts owned by very large corporations. Smaller and medium-sized resorts face near-term extinction due to global warming. To those of us who love the sport and work in the ski resort world (and to your customers who ski), it would be helpful to have some responsibly-developed lift networks at higher elevations and at reasonably northern latitudes. Like Jumbo.
 
I understand that Patagonia is a B-Corporation, and admire what Patagonia Works does on behalf of trout, the Alaska Wildlife Refuge and so on. But pitching an anti-skiing message to your ski-pro clientele is tone-deaf marketing at best. I don't know what proportion of your sales occur in specialty ski shops and lift-served mountain towns, but I'll be surprised if this is the last letter of this nature you receive.
 
I'd like to recommend a bit of reading, for background on the long sorry history of the confrontations between local environmental groups and ski resort developers. See Ken Castle's article "Mountains of Controversy" in the Sept-Oct issue of Skiing History magazine. One take-away from this article may be that resort managers and activists can reach satisfactory agreements, once everyone calms down -- and that shouldn't take 25 years. 
 
My personal take, after fighting the clean energy war for a decade, is that in going after enterprises that are based on a love of the outdoor environment, effective groups are distracted from the real issues -- fossil fuel extraction, ocean acidification, wholesale extinctions. 
 
Onward.
 
Seth Masia
Longmont, Colorado
 

Edited by Seth Masia - 10/14/15 at 2:47am
post #2 of 18
Haven't seen the catalog, but I'll probably respond when I do. Pre-informed opinion follows: there are enough ski areas.
post #3 of 18

I like the new catalog, the clothing line, not so much, maybe one or two pieces that's it. I've sent more of their stuff back because if nuisance fit issues. I don't know enough about Jumbo, my first thought is to keep it the way it is, we have enough ski resorts.

post #4 of 18

Patagonia is a four-letter word to those of us who depend on the fossil fuel extraction industry for employment, to warm and cool our houses, to power our vehicles and our electronic devices, to provide a decent standard of living and, oh yea, to provide the petroleum-based materials that comprise much of our outerwear, outdoor toys like kayaks and others, etc., etc.  FU Patagonia for your hypocrisy.  Same goes for New Belgium Brewery and all of their wind-powered beer delivery trucks. End of rant.

post #5 of 18

^^ Dude, you're anti- canola oil?? lol

 

Here's the trailer to their new video on Jumbo Wild.

 

 

post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by DOCEVG View Post
 

Patagonia is a four-letter word to those of us who depend on the fossil fuel extraction industry for employment, to warm and cool our houses, to power our vehicles and our electronic devices, to provide a decent standard of living and, oh yea, to provide the petroleum-based materials that comprise much of our outerwear, outdoor toys like kayaks and others, etc., etc.  FU Patagonia for your hypocrisy.  Same goes for New Belgium Brewery and all of their wind-powered beer delivery trucks. End of rant.

 

Good points - there's no sense trying to look for alternatives, because oil will last forever and there are no significant environmental drawbacks to the petroleum industry.   

post #7 of 18

:popcorn

post #8 of 18

My intention is neither to give @GerryF a debate during which he can consume his popcorn, nor to dispute that there aren't alternatives to petroleum products or that the supplies of oil and gas will last forever.  Oil and gas is a depleting resource, and there will be end to recoverable supplies during someone's lifetime.  There are alternatives, indeed increasingly viable alternatives, to oil and gas, almost all of which are less damaging to the environment, and I'm all for adding those to the portfolio of energy sources as quickly as possible, and for reducing the contribution of oil and gas to that portfolio as quickly as we can.  What gets my goat, however, is the messaging that comes from the Patagonias, New Belgiums, Jared Polis' and others that demonizes the most critical and least costly energy source we currently have, and one that those critics and the ski industry absolutely depend on, whether or not they want to admit it, at a time when alternative energy sources remain in their relative infancy, with neither the distribution network nor the cost competitiveness to provide all of us with a rationale alternative to petroleum based energy sources.  Take petroleum out of the picture, and imagine where we'd be, all else being equal in 2015, with energy sources limited to wind, solar, nuclear, geothermal, hydro, and whatever else is currently out there.  I can guarantee there would not be a Patagonia, a New Belgium, a ski industry, in each case as we currently know them.  And, Jared Polis would not be able to commute from CO to DC weekly as he currently does, by petroleum-fueled jet.   Instead, he'd be doing it, 250 miles at a time, in his Tesla!

post #9 of 18

Reminds me of a nuggget from an Outside magazine story years ago.  The author was hiking with Chouinard when he started complaining about a group of young adults coming up the slope a distance behind them.  Look at them, they don't need all that gear! etc, etc.  Author, after taking a close look: Uh, pretty much all that gear is from Patagonia....

post #10 of 18

Beautiful letter , Seth ! I appreciate your many contributions to skiing over the years .

post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf View Post

Reminds me of a nuggget from an Outside magazine story years ago.  The author was hiking with Chouinard when he started complaining about a group of young adults coming up the slope a distance behind them.  Look at them, they don't need all that gear! etc, etc.  Author, after taking a close look: Uh, pretty much all that gear is from Patagonia....

Did you see Patagonia's recent ad campaign urging customers not to buy Patagonia gear unless their current stuff was completely worn out? The campaign was pretty passionate about the idea that people buy too much gear from Patagonia that they don't need. Here's an example:


https://www.google.com/#safe=off&q=don%27t+buy+this+jacket+patagonia+ad

IMO they walk their talk.
post #12 of 18

No, I wasn't.  But as always its complicated....

It's easier to be green when you are a successful, growing company, and your core customers are green.

 

It's a paradox.  I'm not sure how I feel about it.

 

I do like that they offer to help repair their products -- that is a real benefit to customers and the environment.

 

 

I noticed the mention of 135 liters of water needed to make the jacket.

There was a big story in a recent Time magazine about the horrible toxic effects of the cloth dyeing industry in India.  The business is set up so the big outsourced manufacturer further outsources dyeing to small shops the American retailer's auditors and government regulators never visit.  (Preventing toxic wastewater is apparently possible but so expensive that almost nobody does it.)  Makes me wonder where and how Patagonia stuff is dyed.  Maybe they are paying the premium to do it cleanly.

post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf View Post
 

I noticed the mention of 135 liters of water needed to make the jacket.

There was a big story in a recent Time magazine about the horrible toxic effects of the cloth dyeing industry in India.  The business is set up so the big outsourced manufacturer further outsources dyeing to small shops the American retailer's auditors and government regulators never visit.  (Preventing toxic wastewater is apparently possible but so expensive that almost nobody does it.)  Makes me wonder where and how Patagonia stuff is dyed.  Maybe they are paying the premium to do it cleanly.

 

http://www.patagonia.com/us/environmentalism

 

http://www.patagonia.com/us/patagonia.go?assetid=2076

 

Specifically:  http://www.patagonia.com/us/patagonia.go?assetid=82636

Quote:
 Patagonia has worked with bluesign® technologies since 2000 to evaluate and reduce resource consumption in our materials supply chain, and to assist us in managing the chemicals, dyes and finishes used in the process. bluesign technologies, based in Switzerland, works at each step in the textile supply chain to approve chemicals, processes, materials and products that are safe for the environment, safe for workers and safe for the end customers.
[...]
In 2007, Patagonia became the first brand to join the network of bluesign system partners. We committed to the highest level of consumer safety and the continuous improvement of environmental performance in our textile supply chains by applying the bluesign system to help conserve resources and minimize impacts on people and the environment. Our progress and encouragement have inspired more suppliers and other brands to join; there are now over 400 brands, manufacturers and chemical suppliers that are bluesign system partners
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldfool91 View Post
 

Beautiful letter , Seth ! I appreciate your many contributions to skiing over the years .

Yep. Me too. I'll buy a ticket to Jumbo.

But, also, I got Patagonia gear that's older than my high schooler...maybe wear it at Jumbo someday.

post #15 of 18
Ironically Jumbo may be a necessity in the future. If indeed we are in a process of climate change that passes a tipping point in which the warming effects will be widespread and can no longer be prevented, we would require higher elevation resorts in which to continue our shared snow sport pursuits. Jumbo has latitude, location and altitude that make it a reliable place for sufficient snow to ski, whereas a good number of all those current resorts might not.

I'd rather we not get to that point. Also while I applaud Patagonia's efforts and intentions as far as their manufacturing impacts, our habitual transportation and energy usage has a far greater impact on carbon in the atmosphere than the choice of garments.
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by DesiredUsername View Post

Ironically Jumbo may be a necessity in the future. If indeed we are in a process of climate change that passes a tipping point in which the warming effects will be widespread and can no longer be prevented, we would require higher elevation resorts in which to continue our shared snow sport pursuits. Jumbo has latitude, location and altitude that make it a reliable place for sufficient snow to ski, whereas a good number of all those current resorts might not.

I'd rather we not get to that point. Also while I applaud Patagonia's efforts and intentions as far as their manufacturing impacts, our habitual transportation and energy usage has a far greater impact on carbon in the atmosphere than the choice of garments.

Since the earth's been there before without human contribution (http://www.americaspace.com/?p=21726), it's unlikely we'll "prevent" it again.
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 

Got this reply from Patagonia:

 

Quote:
 

Thanks so much for your thoughtful email about Patagonia's campaign to protect the Jumbo Valley and for sharing your experience with and thoughts about ski resorts. Like you, Patagonia has strong relationships with ski resorts and specialty ski shops and the company's position is certainly not anti-resort. We know that resorts are a critical part of the sports of skiing and snowboarding. Certainly a lot of Patagonia employees, athlete ambassadors, and customers ski days at resorts in addition to days in backcountry settings. Most people learn to ski or snowboard on groomed slopes. We look at resorts on a case-by-case basis and in the case of the Jumbo Valley, we feel strongly this is an area that is too special to turn into a large ski resort development. 

 

While the people in this region love to ski – and support many local ski resorts/ recreation areas – local opposition to this development has been high. One of many reasons is that there are currently numerous ski resorts within a four-hour radius of Invermere: Panorama, Kimberley, Fernie, Kicking Horse, Revelstoke, Whitewater, Nakiska, Norquay, Sunshine and Lake Louise. None of these resorts are running at capacity. 

 

You specifically brought up the Grizzly population in the area. The Jumbo Valley is recognized internationally as a vital part of one of North America’s most important wildlife corridors. Grizzlies depend on this connected habitat to maintain healthy populations in the region and beyond – the total hectares impacted by the proposed resort is of concern, but it is actually this connectivity, and if disrupted by development, the risk of fragmentation of various grizzly populations, that makes this area so important. If built, Jumbo Glacier Resort and the road and infrastructure that would be necessary to support it would fragment a critical section of this corridor, leading to reduced grizzly populations, locally, regionally and even continentally.

 

Our goal in making Jumbo Wild is to support local activists, First Nations people and community members who have fought long and hard to protect a threatened place they love. We love this place, too, as skiers and environmentalists and we want to protect Jumbo Valley in a way that preserves the interests of a diverse array of stakeholders, including First Nations people and all those who wish to recreate in the area, without threats of resort development. 

 

I encourage you to watch the full-length film as it dives deeply into each of the opponents and proponents viewpoints. It’s currently on tour throughout North America, will be playing at Patagonia retail stores on November 5 and will be available to download on iTunes and Vimeo on December 11. In the meantime, an 8-minute short version of the film is available atwww.patagonia.com/jumbowild

 

Please let me know if you have any questions,

 

Tessa Byars 

PR & Communications

post #18 of 18

On the other hand, some bears actually enjoy ski areas. Not to mention they are not going to get harassed for not having a ticket.

 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching