Ms. Howard said Mr. Chouinard -- who she called "one of the best
fly fishers in the world," keeping in mind his deep passions for
surfing and mountain climbing, too, of course -- spent 15 minutes
teaching her how to cast lines in a driveway and the next day she
easily caught two fish an hour and 40 fish total.
Surfing will be another focus in spring via the brand's sales of
wet suits made of Yulex, a plant-based material. Ms. Howard said
Patagonia will reissue a book called "Slow Is Fast" written by Dan
Malloy, a Patagonia surf ambassador. Ms. Howard credits Mr. Malloy,
along with his brothers Chris and Keith, for helping Patagonia
start its surf business.
Patagonia does not rely on external advertising agencies to work on
its campaigns and it does not have an advertising agency of record.
Its in-house team is headed by Dmitri Siegel, global creative
director and VP of e-commerce. Ms. Howard would not break out how
much it spends annually on marketing efforts.
Not about preaching
Marketing the "Worn Wear" film was Ms. Howard's first project,
which she called an evolution of the firm's "Don't Buy This Jacket"
campaign from two years ago.
"When I saw the film, it was just a powerful expression of who
our Patagonia consumers are, the kinds of lives they live," said
Ms. Howard. "We want people to think about quality or quantity and
be aware of the impact their buying has … and make people
realize it's not about preaching."
She said the response to "Worn Wear" has been very encouraging
and that people are interested in learning how to repair their
gear, something Patagonia hopes to amplify further. Patagonia also
wants to make it easier for people to recycle Patagonia products;
the brand already has a lifetime guarantee and she said Patagonia
"gets tons of product returned" for recycling.
Meanwhile, its Patagonia Provisions division also recently
launched a beer, which Ms. Howard said has exceeded expectations.
The company has an interest in food culture because it links back
to the brand's sustainability mind-set. Its first product, salmon
jerky, which launched in 2012, ties back to fly-fishing, which, in
turn, relates to river restoration.
Last May, Patagonia reorganized into a holding company called
Patagonia Works, which is dedicated to one cause: "Using business
to help solve the environmental crisis." At that time, the company
also launched the "$20 Million and Change" fund to help companies
bring positive change to the environment.