a pile of good….


I love Patagonia products.

I love the catalogs that advertise their products.

I love how they’re promoted….how socially and environmentally conscious the company is….how the clothing looks….how long it lasts.

It’s a cool company.

But, dang….it’s so expensive.

That’s some expensive clothing, man.

Check out the surfer in this video who says that his beloved board shorts probably ended up costing him about a penny a day.

A penny a day!!!

For something that he loved wearing!!! For a “treasured friend” of a piece of clothing.

That’s pretty cheap.

I watched this video and a couple of the comments really stuck out….

The first one was the organic farmer who waxed euphoric over his favorite jacket….which happened to be a Patagonia jacket.

He talked about how durable it was….and then, at the end of his comments, mentioned that the jacket looked as good as when he bought it at the yard sale …. years ago.

The other one was the comment where the older fellow talked about the choice between a brand new fleece jacket….or one that was worn by your father …. hitchhiking in Nepal….and then was gifted to you years later.

He asked, “Which is more valuable? I could tell you right now…which is the most for me…”

He also says that the most responsible thing you can do….clothing wise….is to buy used clothing.

“OLDER FELLOW”? Hah….that older fellow is Yvon Chouinard….the owner of Patagonia clothing!!

He’s definitely one of my few “business heroes”….probably because he’s not the typical businessman.

(Great book…written by Yvon Chouinard….called “Let My People Go Surfing”…..)

Remember….this is a company that makes its money selling clothing.

This is a company that says, “buy this…it’s made to last…you might have it forever….and enjoy it while you have it…”

What kind of business model is that? How are you going to sell new stuff when the old stuff lasts and lasts?

We bought the little kids a big plastic pool yesterday at the “Liquidation Center”.

I’m not such a curmudgeon that I’d rail about the negative aspects of a big chunk of plastic that we filled with water so that they could swim around in it….while they were swimming around in the cool, clear water.

I’m not that big a jerk…I’m not that big a buzz kill.

But…..that’s a big chunk of plastic!

A big, cheap hunk of plastic….six feet around…..that, until it cracks and becomes useless….is going to be around here….filled with dirty water….grass clippings and plastic toys floating on the surface, sometimes….and probably, for most of the summer, screaming and laughing little kids.

That’s worth a lot…..laughing little kids.

That’s pretty priceless….but….that is a giant chunk of cheap plastic.

Cheap plastic should be illegal. It should be illegal to profit from something that’s so damaging to the environment.

I said the clothing was “expensive” earlier.

Maybe it is….at the beginning of its “use run”…..but when you have something that you enjoy for a long time, the money you spend is long forgotten….and all you’re left with is the enjoyment the product gives you….the pleasure of using something that just feels right every time you put it on.

I appreciate a company like Patagonia….one that’s willing and able to promote its clothing like this.

I appreciate a “dirtbag” like Yvon Chouinard….a climber caught up in something big (like a wildly successful clothing company) because he made the things that he needed himself….tough clothing that stood the test of time….clothing that could be used for years….and treasured for the memories it holds.

I still have my original tan pile jacket….and the kids have all worn the little blue fleece jacket that Jenny bought used when the older children were babies.

Good for you, Patagonia….and thankyou.


About Peter Rorvig

I'm a non-practicing artist, a mailman, a husband, a father...not listed in order of importance. I believe that things can always get better....and that things are usually better than we think.

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