Patagonia, Inc. was awarded "EcoBrand of the Year" at the Volvo EcoDesign forum in Munich, Germany, during the ISPO trade show. The award represents the recognition of the outdoor industry for Patagonia's efforts and initiatives to lower its impact on the environment.
Patagonia, with sales last year of over $275M, is noted internationally for its commitment to product innovation, quality and environmental activism. Its Environmental Grants Program has contributed over $30M in cash and in-kind donations to grassroots environmental activists since the program began in 1985, and its Environmental Internship Program allows employees to work for environmental groups while receiving their full paycheck.
Incorporating environmental responsibility into product development, the company supports the ambitious mission statement: "To make the best product, cause no unnecessary harm and use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis."
Since 1996, Patagonia has used only organically grown cotton in its clothing line, has used recycled materials in many of its polyester fleece garments beginning in 1993, and in 2005 launched the Common Threads Recycling Program, one of the world's first garment recycling programs.
In Fall 2008, 74% of Patagonia's products contain an e-fiber (organic cotton, hemp, chlorine-free wool and recycled polyester) and 53% are recyclable, among which is the 1st recyclable waterproof nylon hard shell.
The Volvo design award was created in 2005 by the trade show ISPO and the car company Volvo in order to stimulate design and technical innovations in the outdoor industry. This year's theme EcoDesign "form follows sustainability" attracted more than 300 applications, among which 35 products were nominated.