Our catalogs are printed on FSC®-certified paper and we’re sourcing FSC-certified raw materials for some of our gear.
The importance of forests can’t be overstated. Covering almost a third of the global land base, forests store carbon, filter water and give millions of species the habitat they need to survive. From a human-centric perspective, healthy forests ensure food security and cultural continuity while supporting local economies. There’s also the priceless value of the peace, renewal and recreation they offer in our increasingly tumultuous world.
Despite being essential to our planet’s life support systems, however, forests are still being rapidly destroyed by poorly managed logging, agri-business and other resource-extraction activities. It’s one of the world’s most pressing environmental problems, so for decades we’ve been supporting forest protection and restoration projects ranging from Alaska to Tasmania. But we’re also a company that uses numerous wood-derived materials, so we need to ensure we’re not making a bad situation worse.
That’s where the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC) comes in. By sourcing FSC-certified paper, natural rubber and other raw materials, we can be sure that forest health is protected and that the materials going into our products are grown and harvested in accordance with the FSC’s strict criteria for biodiversity, worker safety and the rights of local and Indigenous communities.
When we started assessing our own impact on forests, our catalogs were the most obvious place to start—since Patagonia began, we’ve relied heavily on paper catalogs to tell our stories and educate our customers about our products.
In 2006, we made a switch to FSC-certified paper, with the paper stock containing 40% postconsumer waste to reduce our consumption of wood pulp. We continued working with suppliers to increase the amount of recycled content, and since 2014, our catalogs have been printed only on FSC-certified, 100% postconsumer recycled paper.
We’re also sourcing FSC-certified raw materials for some of our clothing and gear—the TENCEL™ lyocell in many of our warm-weather garments, for example, is made from the pulp of trees that are grown on FSC- or Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC)-certified farms. Since 2016, when we started using natural rubber in our Yulex® wetsuits, we’ve made sure all the rubber comes from plantations that are FSC-certified by the Rainforest Alliance—ensuring the rubber does not come from clear-cut rainforests, like some of the world’s supply. In 2017, we won an FSC Leadership Award for our work with natural rubber, and we continue our efforts to educate the industry about the need to preserve forest health and biodiversity—even when it costs a bit more to do so.
We are committed to continuing our use of cellulosic fibers and natural rubber from responsibly managed forests and we place preference on sourcing materials that are FSC certified.