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Patagonia's Jimmy Hopper and Glen Morden Discuss Company Culture, Spurring Activism & Trends Seen at SIA

March 7, 2016 | 0 Comments

Patagonia emerges as a clear leader when it comes to creating quality technical product with an eye to sustainability. From its advocacy of environmental protection from our oceans to our mountains, to its efforts to arrest unnecessary consumerism with its Worn Wear movement, the privately held brand is clearly making strides in proving that we can make a difference by lending our voice to the discussion. And the group of advocates its amassed over the years have been so successful, Patagonia was recently able to release a “how-to” book on the subject to help grassroots activists everywhere make a difference.

The latest film from Patagonia that’s been grabbing attention, Jumbo Wild,” is a feature-length documentary exploring the 24 year-old fight to save British Columbia’s legendary Jumbo Valley from resort development. The discussion opened by the piece has given Patagonia even more momentum in its crusade to highlight environmental protection issues.


“What it’s done for us is elevate a bigger sense of obligation from the sport community to protect the places that are super important to us,” says Patagonia Global Marketing Manager for Technical Outdoor Jimmy Hopper. “We’ve seen, since Jumbo released, people coming to us and saying, ‘hey I’ve got this thing happening in my backyard and it’s making me really mad—how do I fix it?’”

That same DIY, grassroots mentality also carries over into the way the brand is constructing it’s product. Patagonia aims to not only refine the process and materials used in the design and development phases, but to also make durable pieces that will essentially last a lifetime, as part of a larger brand mission “to change people’s relationship to stuff.”

“For us, it’s a build-it, break-it model,” says Patagonia Director of Technical Design Glen Morden. “We have a facility set up in our offices in Ventura [California] that allows all our designers to be able to solve those design problems. They build the samples and get out on the weekend to test and work with our core field program and our athletes to really put proof into that product design process.”

Powder Magazine Executive Editor John Clary Davies sits down with the brand to discuss how they approach company culture, promoting social activism, and trends seen at this year’s SIA Snow Show.

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