I'm not known to be a fashionable guy. I've been known to wear shirts inside out (accidentally!) and I have been told that shorts are not professional work attire.
But my respect for ethically- and environmentally-made clothing is prevalent. Despite my relaxed attitude about professional attire, I am interested in where my wardrobe comes from, and Patagonia's mandate and activism are worthy of recognition.
Patagonia is a company renowned for their outdoor clothing for climbing, hiking, skiing, snowboarding, surfing, paddling, and trail running. Once a small company that made tools for climbers, it was started in 1965 as Chouinard Equipment by Yvon Chouinard, and has since grown internationally to manufacture clothing.
With strong ethics and reverence for their employees, Patagonia has adopted Corporate Social Responsibility, a business movement that encourages companies to take responsibility for the impact of activities on customers, employees, communities, and the environment. Their challenges include living wage expectations, responsible purchasing practices, and material traceability. They donate at least one per cent of sales to hundreds of grassroots environmental groups all over the world (now over $46 million) who work to reverse the environmental issues our planet is enduring.
In addition, Patagonia has been a strong supporter of the Greenbelt. In collaboration with Environmental Defence, the Toronto Environmental Alliance, and DOT DOT DASH, we launched Love the Ravines, our campaign to get Toronto in love with the city's unique and renowned ravines. Launched at Patagonia's Toronto store, the campaign promotes healthy lifestyle and outdoor activity.
Toronto store manager Andrea Reekes is an enthusiastic and influential champion for environmentalism and local food. Her store has hosted series and events dealing with environmental sustainability. It has also become a Community Supported Agriculture pick-up point for Fresh City Farms, a Toronto farm that brings organically-grown local food from farms to our tables.
It is with this support that the Greenbelt's outreach and mandate are encouraged and enriched, and Patagonia's partnership has been inspiring and enlightening. We thank them for their support of the Greenbelt.