Image: Olivia KelavaThe Patagonia store on the corner of West 4th Avenue and Maple Street is fast approaching its one-year anniversary, so we thought it was about time to introduce you guys to this fabulous flagship.

While Patagonia has been a leader in outdoor clothing around the world for decades, it is still new to Vancouver, so we want to give you the lowdown on what it’s all about, and why you should make this shop a destination in the very near future.

Here are five things you didn’t know about Patagonia:

1) Beautiful, trendy outdoor clothes

Patagonia is all about clothes for outdoor adventures. It started out as a company focused on climbing, and has expanded to include everything from skiing to fly fishing to trail running. The trend? All of these outdoor activities are what Patagonia calls “silent sports.” No noise from a motor, not even a sound from a crowd. It’s all about nature. The clothes help to shield you from the elements without inhibiting your performance. And they look darn good too. Vibrant colours, flattering shapes, fun patterns, and all the accessories you could need mean that you don’t have to sacrifice your style to get a little dirty.

2) Environmentally and socially responsible

This is a company built on strong ethics, and working tirelessly to live these ethics every day. They have used exclusively organic cotton for almost twenty years now in order to avoid the pesticides that are effectively destroying the world’s agriculture. They monitor and reduce their carbon footprint rigidly, paying attention to everything from the amount of paper they use to the electricity expended in their stores. They donate not only 1% of their sales to grassroots charities, but also the time and labour of their employees. They reject the planned obsolescence that underlies consumerist society by producing product that is high quality, thus resisting the need to buy more, thereby reducing waste. This list could go on.

3) Fun, informative events

The West 4th shop holds events in partnership with various charitable groups about once a month. These movie screenings, book launches, and the like tend to be centered around environmental issues, and are not only overflowing with information about pertinent current events, but are also great networking spaces for likeminded folk in our community. Open to the public and stocked with refreshments from local businesses (Persephone beer, Juice Truck juice, and more), these evenings make for great mid-week, stimulating get-togethers. You can stay in the loop about upcoming events by following the store on Instagram (@patagoniavancouver) or signing up for the West 4th location’s newsletter next time you’re in the shop. Next up? A public networking event on September 22 to talk about water governance, followed by a Vote the Environment party on October 1.

4) Innovative materials and technology

Recycled nylon, reclaimed wool, organic cotton, undyed cashmere, hemp… All of these e-fibers make for comfortable, warm, breathable clothing while also reducing the negative impact on our planet. The down used is 100% traceable – every single cluster can be traced back to a bird that was never force-fed and never live-plucked. In addition to being a leader in innovative materials, Patagonia is also ahead of the game when it comes to clothing technology. They’ve got you covered when it comes to insulation, odour control, UV-protection, waterproofness, and the rest.

5) Spectacular backpacks

We couldn’t resist featuring the backpacks (it’s back-to-school season, after all). Even if you’re not an adrenaline junkie, or not one for camping and hiking, everybody can find a use for a good backpack. Patagonia’s are the best. In tons of great shapes and sizes, with loads of fun colours to choose from, you’re sure to find one that you just can’t live without. The material is tough and durable, and the compartments are adjustable, expandable, and easy to access. They make daytrips, or even just long days, so much easier.

Patagonia, 1994 West 4th Ave., 604-732-8670, www.patagonia.com

Last modified: February 10, 2017

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