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Patagonia launches London flagship store

Ruth Styles

4th October, 2011

The bright green outdoor sports brand has finally arrived in London. Ruth Styles got a sneak preview

Ethical fashion brand, Patagonia, has opened a flagship UK store in London’s Covent Garden. The 4,340 square foot shop, run in partnership with fellow outdoor sports brand, Outside, will stock a mixture of ski and snowboarding gear, lifestyle clothing and the company’s full range of footwear. ‘We stand for more than just apparel,’ said Rob BonDurant, Patagonia’s Vice President of Marketing and Communications. ‘Patagonia is about sustainability, quality and responsible business,' added Rob Cohen, Vice President of Global Retail at Patagonia. 'We want stores to be gifts to their communities.’ Founded by Yvon Chouinard in 1973, this is Patagonia’s second UK store and comes in the wake of the successful launch of its first outlet in the Peak District.

With a 100 per cent recyclable collection, continued commitment to supporting environmental grassroots initiatives and participation in the ‘one percent for the planet’ scheme launched by Chouinard in 2001, Patagonia has a raft of sustainability measures in place. Most recently, the brand launched its ‘Common Threads’ initiative, aimed at building on its goal of making its entire collection recyclable. ‘[The success of the recycling scheme] got us thinking about partnering with our customers in a more profound way,’ explained BonDurant. ‘Recycling is just part of what we can do, so for us, our responsibility doesn’t end at the point of sale. It ends when clothes are returned to us for recycling. Common Threads is a pledge. We make high quality, sustainable clothes and in return we ask that you [the customer] reuse them. If it breaks, we ask that you send it to us to repair – free – which we will do in a timely manner, and when it comes to the end of its life, we ask that you send it to us to be recycled.’

Common Threads isn’t the only initiative that Patagonia is bringing to the UK either. Part of the proceeds from the company’s Earth Tax will be directed to British environmental projects, with a big focus on the small scale and front line. ‘We will be working with the store manager [at Covent Garden] to choose which groups to donate to,’ said BonDurant. ‘The initiatives we get involved in must be local to the country our store is located in. The store will also have space dedicated to local activists.’

Patagonia’s flagship store is now open at 6A Langley Street, Covent Garden, WC2H 9JA. www.patagonia.com

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