Patagonia’s Glen Morden & Corey Simpson on Product Performance & Sustainability (Ep.86)



TOPICS & TIMES:

  • Future performance innovations (8:00)
  • Sustainability Practices: 5 Years Ago vs. Today (12:20)
  • End-of-life solutions for garments (16:20)
  • Is sustainability a performance characteristic? (22:06)
  • Patagonia’s new Stormstride Kit & Upstride Kit (27:33)
  • “Perceived” Comfort & Breathability (33:11)
  • Simplifying kits (43:44)
  • The death of distinguishing between “hard” and “soft” shells? (46:00)
  • Dressing for the worst-case scenario? (47:50)
  • Patagonia’s prototyping process (52:29)
  • Where will we see the biggest improvements? (57:42)

Patagonia’s Glen Morden (Product Innovation, Materials, & Development) and Corey Simpson (Communications) came to Crested Butte to ski with us and to discuss how Patagonia is thinking about sustainability and product performance; how they continue to evolve on this front; talk about a few of their new pieces; their prototyping process; and more. Listen to the conversation above, or watch the whole thing below:

Patagonia's Glen Morden and Corey Simpson go on Blister's GEAR:30 Podcast to discuss the brand's efforts to increase sustainability and performance in their products.
Glen Morden, Jonathan Ellsworth, & Corey Simpson transitioning below Gothic Peak, Crested Butte, CO.

8 comments on “Patagonia’s Glen Morden & Corey Simpson on Product Performance & Sustainability (Ep.86)”

  1. My problem with Patagonia is none of their sizings are correct. It is a pitiful statement to have to say it against a company that is a leader in innovation and recycling. I am not the only one who feels this way. I go into a Patagonia store and the employees know it. Most of the garments produced are both a poor fit and design. It is hard to believe none of the executives at Patagonia go to the factories and try on goods and send samples back for other employees to try. It is too bad because I have been a loyal customer since its beginning. My first purchase was a pair of shorts with wide legs and made of canvas. I purchased it in Taos, NM in the 1970s. I am surprised the founder Yvon Chouinard has not had some asses in his office wondering what the hell is going on in the company.

  2. Seriously, thank you for this interview!
    As someone who is studying nordic outdoor recreation and nature guiding, we are constantly being met with dilemmas regarding gear, tourists, travel and the like, and nothing seems to happen and you can easily end up losing all hope.
    It is refreshing to hear grown-ups (shots fired) talk real talk and actually do something. Kudos to Glen and Corey for taking it serious and waving the flag!

  3. Great podcast but I felt they were going around in circles with buzzwords around sustainability, even when you tried to get them to talk about performance. Sustainability is important, but it’s not performance. Recycled is great, but durability and versatility are even better, but that means selling less stuff. We would save more resources by not having a quiver of jackets and a quiver of skis and replacing it all as often as we can afford. Gear ten or twenty years ago was heavier and less comfortable and did not perform as well, but I think it lasted longer (but I don’t want to wear it!). Patagonia is great with the worn wear program, so I give them that. I really wish Pata and other companies would push getting people to wash and treat gear with Nikwax style products. I think a Pata branded product would be great, as well as Pata branded repair patches etc.
    Recycling is less effective than simply not purchasing in the first place.
    New touring and trail running jackets are sooo lightweight… but so flimsy.
    Wash and treat your jacket! Patch it! Suck it up and just have less stuff! You might not have the perfect base- mid- outer-layer for the day, but you save $ and mother earth.

  4. Any ideas on how the stormstride pants fit? I have the opportunity to get a sample pair in a medium for a good price. I’m 6foot, 155lbs, 29 inch waist. Are they likely to be massive?

    • It’s a pretty moderate fit (not super baggy, nor very tight). For reference, Jonathan (5’10”, 175 lbs) and I (5’8″, 155 lbs) have both been very happy in the size Medium. I think they’d fit someone of your size quite well.

  5. Great discussion and some interesting points here. It’s great to see more and more companies understanding the need for more sustainable products and that this is actually a selling point. Glen/Corey mentioned that folks should be asking about where products are made and from what materials. I think in a funny way the positive increase in companies selling ‘sustainable’ products means that it’s increasingly hard to understand what is truly sustainable and/or circular. There is a lot of ‘greenwash’ going on (am by no means suggesting that of Patagonia, they have been a leader in this for a long time), so it is tough to know what’s real. I think there is a lot more education required here for all of us.

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