Our notion of mindful living is often shaped by the food we choose, our exercise habits and when we decide to switch off from our working lives. But what about the clothing purchases we make?
Outdoor clothing company Patagonia was created in 1973 by a group of passionate climbers and surfers. Inspired by the minimalist lifestyle of adventurers and deeply entrenched in a love for wild and beautiful places, the company has been championing nature since day one.
Named after the South American landscape that evokes, as once written in a catalogue introduction, “romantic visions of glaciers tumbling into fjords, jagged windswept peaks, gauchos and condors,” Patagonia is built on a philosophy of creating functional and enduring gear that is accountable to the environment, and this belief is reflected in all aspects of the business.
We had a chat with Dane O’Shanassy, Patagonia’s Australia and New Zealand General Manager, about the company’s ethos of buying consciously, and the role it plays in inspiring us to live an examined life.
"A brand created by a band of climbers and surfers, Patagonia was born out of a love of wild and beautiful places."
How does Patagonia champion conscious consumption?
We use our mission statement to guide all our decisions – to build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis. In terms of conscious consumption, we work hard to make high-quality, responsibly sourced clothing that lasts for years and can be repaired – and we guarantee it for life.
How did the focus on creating environmentally accountable gear evolve?
From the beginning Patagonia has been dedicated to exploring how a deep love for nature and business can co-exist. A brand created by a band of climbers and surfers, Patagonia was born out of a love of wild and beautiful places.
What drives Patagonia to inspire people to live simply, travel mindfully and keep active?
Patagonia’s founder Yvon Chouinard often says one of the steps individuals, as well as companies, who want to reduce their harm and make a difference can take is to lead an examined life. An examined life means we are committed to constantly asking questions, examining a problem or issue, striving to learn about and act upon them.
Belinda Baggs – Patagonia surfing ambassador
What does the idea of 'living simply' mean to you?
Living simply is all encompassing of each and every element of your life, and in a way each of those forms are reflective of one another. To live simple begins at the core: slowing down, appreciating your surroundings and in particular the natural environment.
Acknowledge the beauty of a sunny day or a bird sitting on the fence. Really connect with the world in which we exist.
Dan Ross – Patagonia surfing ambassador
How do you travel mindfully?
One thing I am always mindful of when I travel is refusing single use plastic water bottles whenever possible. I do this by carrying my own glass re-useable bottle and filling it with the best quality water I can find along the way.
There are times when I come across limited options to refill with good quality water so I look for 20, 15, or 5 litre containers that I can buy and fill from.
I fly to Hawaii each year and on the way from the airport I buy the 5 gallon size bottles of Menehune Water from a local health food shop in Haleiwa. You can swap these bottles over each time you need more water and it works out to be less expensive than buying small bottles of poor quality water.
For gear to accompany you on your epic adventures, head to patagonia.com.au
A love for the wild, natural beauty of the world drives outdoor clothing company Patagonia to create products that help people explore it responsibly.