In addition to letting our fleece go, I wrote to Patagonia. I'm never certain that these letters make a difference, but I do think that it is important to offer our perspective as customers. Yesterday I was thrilled to find a personal response to my letter in my inbox. Regardless of how I feel about the response, the fact that I received one makes me feel heard. What gives me even more hope is to imagine the response to many letters on this topic!
I've attached my letter (not that it's great or anything) + their response. I will say that I could have written more, but thought that short + concise might be more likely to get read.
Hello- Our family loves Patagonia + considers you a leader in the ethical clothing industry. I learned about plastic fibers from our clothing shedding into the water stream from Patagonia...and now there are studies finding that 83% of the drinking water worldwide + 94% in the USA has plastic fibers in it. https://orbmedia.org/stories/Invisibles_plastics
A recent email from Patagonia stated, "Our mission is to build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, and inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” One of the featured products pictured just below this statement was a fair-trade fleece. I am excited about your commitment to fair-trade certified production…but don’t at all support or understand the further production of fleece products.
Please consider again being the leader in exploring + promoting natural fiber options. No more fleece, please. Our water supply depends on it.
Thank you for your email! We apologize for the delay in response, we've been experiencing an unusually high number of emails this holiday season.
We greatly appreciate you taking time to write to us with your feedback regarding our fleece products. While we are aware of the nature of fleece fabrics shedding, we also feel that fleece is a crucial fabric for use in outdoor activities. We are currently conducting research in the attempt to develop a more environmentally friendly fleece so that we can help to reduce the amount of micro fibers that enter our water supply. For the time being, we offer a GUPPYFRIEND Washing Bag on our website for our customers to use when washing fleece. This bag helps to catch microfibers so that they do not enter our water supply or our oceans. The bag is sold at cost to help make it a more affordable, reasonable option for our customer who own fleece.
Please feel free to email me directly if you have any further questions, xxx. You can also reach out to our Customer Service Department by phone at (800) 638-6464 or by chat on Patagonia.com from Monday through Friday 6:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. (PST) and Saturday and Sunday 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (PST) if you would like to speak with someone directly.
All the best,
Patagonia Customer Service
Let's make our voices heard. Someone just might be listening! :)