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Recycled fleeces

Product analysis: Patagonia Lightweight Synchilla Snap-T fleece

The market
Like all Patagonia products, the fleece is aimed at young, active people who are independent, adventurous and environmentally active. This market reflects the company's culture:
'We prefer the human scale to the corporate, vagabonding to tourism, the quirky and lively to the toned down and flattened out. We used to call our own world of alpinists and surfers a 'dirtbag culture': of temp jobs and long summers; of foraged meals and tribal travel that followed the seasons, from summer climbs in Yosemite to Baja's winter surfbreaks to spring kayaking. And if many of us now work more than climb, and care more for our families than for bumming about, we still sound our appeal to the dirtbag within, the need for the wild dirtbag spirit to survive in our e'd-out culture.'

Technical specification

Product function
Can be worn as an outer garment (a general-purpose thrown-on), or as a simple warming layer under a shell.

Most of the garment (90%) is made from double-faced PCR Synchilla fleece, which is based on post-consumer recycled PET. The rest is made from virgin polyester.

The fleece material is made using the process described in cog 3. Once the fabric arrives at Patagonia, it is cut to shape. The pieces are then sewn together into the finished garment.

The process of making the Synchilla Snap-T fleece is safe, and the finished garment is safe to wear.

Like all Patagonia products, the fleece is made with a strong emphasis on keeping the environment safe. The post-consumer recycled Synchilla fabric is made from recycled PET bottles that would otherwise end up in landfill sites. The electricity used in the manufacturing process is bought from renewable electricity plants (some Patagonia shops use wind power or photovoltaic cells).

The fleece has a deep front-fastening that vents the body and makes it easy to pull the garment on and off. It is comfortable to wear and washes easily. It is not susceptible to pilling.

The fleece comes in a wide range of colours and is generally an attractive and fashionable product.

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Practical Action - Technology challenging povertyEuropean Commission - Department for International Development

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