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Patagonia to track social & ecological impact of specific garments
25
Mar '08
Patagonia is the first major apparel manufacturer to track and expose the social and environmental impact of specific garments through The Footprint Chronicles, an interactive website that reveals to consumers the good and the bad involved in manufacturing outdoor clothing such as Synchilla fleece vests and rain shells.

In a bold move that might make most companies nervous, Patagonia is determined to be candid and forthright about its impact on the environment and created the site to encourage dialog with its customers who are concerned about the environment.

"We believe that to avoid complacency, we must constantly examine our internal processes to improve upon the positive and mitigate the negative," said Casey Sheahan, president and CEO of Patagonia.

"The Footprint Chronicles allows us to do this publicly sort of learning out loud." He points out that the idea behind the website is to encourage thought and discussion.

Each season the site will examine new products, so that the more that is exposed, the more harmful practices the company can change. Five new products will be added on Earth Day, 2008.

"Our customers are scientists, activists, professors, doctors and more they have the collective experience and knowledge we're looking for," said Sheahan.

"We're highlighting exactly what happens in the manufacturing process and asking customers for their suggestions and help in efforts to find solutions to our less sustainable practices. It's a unique dialogue to engage in but one that will ultimately allow us to cause less harm to the planet."

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