Patagonia launched a new collection called Truth to Materials – a capsule collection containing seven styles which explore radical new methods of manufacturing, born from a desire to reimagine the first stage of a product’s life: the source of raw materials. Each piece is made from reclaimed or alternatively sourced fabrics — Men’s Undyed Cashmere Snap-T Pullover, Women’s Undyed Cashmere Cardigan, Men’s Reclaimed Cotton Hoody, Women’s Reclaimed Cotton Crew, Men’s Reclaimed Wool Jacket, Women’s Reclaimed Wool Parka, and the Reclaimed Down Scarf.
Truth to Materials honors the purest form of a material possible, be it minimally processed cashmere and wool, or going beyond organic by reusing cutting room scrap that was otherwise destined for the landfill. It’s about discovering the origin of a material and staying as true to that as possible during every step of design and manufacturing. The clothes in this collection represent a deeper dive into the progress Patagonia has already made—with materials like organic cotton and recycled polyester—but with less dyeing and processing, fewer virgin resources and an even greater focus on craftsmanship.
1. Reclaimed Wool: Calamai / Italy
Figli di Michelangelo Calamai was founded in 1878, roughly 100 years before the birth of the environmental movement. Calamai is dedicated to producing reclaimed wool. The finished product uses garments and manufacturing scrap and blends them into a variety of knits, weaves and weights as well as textures. The reclaimed wool used by Patagonia is made from discarded wool sweaters that are shred into usable fiber – just like the early days – and mixed with polyester and nylon for strength.
2. Reclaimed Cotton: TAL Group / China & Malaysia
The typical life of a cotton garment, whether it’s conventional or organic, is a straight line to the landfill. Growing, spinning and weaving leads to cutting and construction and that leads to consumer use which eventually leads to the dump. Thanks to a partnership with the TAL Group, one of the larger garment manufacturers in the world, Patagonia has been able to take cotton consumption and twist it closer to the elusive closed-loop. Since 2011, the TAL Group has been saving their cotton scraps by sweeping the floors of their factories in China and Malaysia – saving hundreds of tons of cotton from the landfill. This once-useless cutting-room scrap is then spun into fully functional fabrics. Reclaimed cotton is neither bleached nor dyed and is traceable from raw material to retail store.
3. Undyed Cashmere: Mongolian plateau region
Mongolian nomads have long known that the key to keeping their grasslands healthy is moving their herds and maintaining a proper ratio of goats to sheep. 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 as nature intended. 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.
4. Reclaimed Down: Alabama Chanin / Alabama, USA
Patagonia has 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 companies have developed a warm and wearable work of art that masquerades as a scarf. Each scarf is a numbered, limited edition.