Patagonia Enters Australian Surf Market with Store in Torquay

After a six-year hiatus from the Australian market, Patagonia Australia opens its first store in Torquay, with another store opening planned for 2010. There are plans for more stores, wholesale distribution, and an e-commerce website.
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Melbourne, Vic., (March 6, 2009): Surf and Outdoor apparel company, Patagonia Inc., is proud to announce the opening of its Australian headquarters in Torquay, Victoria. After a six-year hiatus from the Australian market, Patagonia Australia opens its first retail store in Torquay, with another store opening planned for 2010. The company is dedicated to setting roots in the Australian surf market and has announced plans for more retail stores, wholesale distribution, an Australian-focused e-commerce website, expansion of its Australian ambassador group and a strong marketing presence.

Closely connected to the ocean for over thirty years, Patagonia is a leader in the practice of conscientious manufacturing, with a mandate for building superior products with processes that cause the least amount of harm to our planet, The company has also partnered with like-minded surf legend Wayne Lunch and stand-out longboarder Belinda Baggs.

"We're really excited to bring Patagonia, and something seriously new, to a place as cool as Australia and to the core audience of surfers there. Torquay is a legendary hub for the surf industry, pro surfing and the outdoors,” says Fletcher Chouinard, “Case and Wayne are great guys and amazing watermen - they're the perfect crew to carry our story and unique feel down there. It's really exciting to be a part of their world."

Chris Malloy, fellow Patagonia surf ambassador, notes, "My brothers, Gerry Lopez and Fletcher just felt that opening a store with Wayne in Torquay was a perfect fit. I've always felt the people of Oz would appreciate the values of Patagonia and gear that lasts a lifetime."

Patagonia has been offering surf and outdoor enthusiasts some of the most comfortable and durable gear since the late ‘70s, when it was founded by noted rock climber Yvon Chouinard, who, would later choose to base Patagonia in Ventura, California because of its proximity to the famous point breaks close to company headquarters.

With a product line that has included surf trunks for years, Patagonia began designing and manufacturing surfboards shaped by Chouinard's son, Fletcher, whose vision for the company's surf operations drove their efforts to address the ocean athlete in a whole new way. And it's through these efforts and living the ambitious mission statement: "To make the best product, cause no unnecessary harm and use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis", Patagonia has produced one of the most talked about offerings in wetsuit technology to date.

Using the highest quality Japanese neoprene - 80% of it made from non-petroleum-based ingredients - they've lined the entire wetsuit with a merino wool grid that is bonded to recycled polyester, which traps more insulative air-space, while wicking moisture away from the skin. Because of it's unique and highly flexible design, one can actually go “thinner”, wearing a 2mm suit for waters 13-18 degrees and a 3mm for waters from 7-13 degrees, a claim which has been thoroughly tested by Wayne in the winter waters of coastal Victoria!

Through its mandate for building superior quality products with processes that cause the least amount of harm to the environment, Patagonia has incorporated recycled materials in many of its products since 1993, has used only organically grown cotton in its clothing lines since 1996, and in 2005, launched Common Threads Recycling, one of the world's first garment recycling programs. Ever mindful in their approach, Patagonia remains one step ahead on the leading edge of environmental responsibility.

Contact: Jen Rapp, 805-667-4768, jen_rapp@patagonia.com

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