PATAGONIA LAUNCHES OCEANS AS WILDERNESS CAMPAIGN

In January, outdoor clothing retailer Patagonia, Inc., launched its 2006-2007 environmental campaign, Oceans as Wilderness, devoted to raising the public’s awareness of threats to the marine environment.
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PATAGONIA LAUNCHES OCEANS AS WILDERNESS CAMPAIGN
TO RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT OCEANS IN JEOPARDY


Unsustainable fishing practices, habitat destruction and contamination
threaten the marine environment.

VENTURA, CA (February 6, 2006) – In January, outdoor clothing retailer Patagonia, Inc., launched its 2006-2007 environmental campaign, Oceans as Wilderness, devoted to raising the public's awareness of threats to the marine environment. Patagonia's Oceans as Wilderness campaign focuses on increasing activism and helping its customers to better understand that the health of the oceans is essential to the health of the environment as a whole. Patagonia will spend 18 months – in their catalogs, retail stores and on their Web site – with scientists, writers, surfers and fishermen exploring the threats to, and solutions for, the ocean environment.

“The goal of our Campaign is to extend a vision of wilderness to the ocean environment,” stated Patagonia founder and owner Yvon Chouinard. “It's easy to say that we care about the oceans because so many of us here love to surf, but it's more than that. Around the world people are damaging the oceans, and in many cases we don't even know what we are losing. The health of a planet that's over 70 percent ocean is largely determined by the health of its marine environment. We hope that using the familiar metaphor of wilderness will give us a better grasp on the dangers facing the oceans and what we can do about it.”

Environmental campaigning is a mainstay of Patagonia's business. Past years' campaign topics have included calling attention to the importance of wild salmon as a keystone species; promoting the need for wildlife corridors linking protected areas, as well as large tracts of wild space, as essential to maintaining species diversity and healthy wildlife populations; and exploring and confronting the dangers of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Patagonia invites scientists, writers, politicians, athletes, activists and parents to explore these topics in essays featured in the Patagonia catalogs, retail stores and Web site.

“Part of our mission statement,” affirmed Chouinard, “is to use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis. That's why we want to use our influence as a business to get the word out to our customers that the oceans are in decline and we need to do something about it.”

Patagonia kicked off the Oceans as Wilderness campaign in their January catalog with an essay by conservationist and author Carl Safina who wrote, “Fifty million buffalo once roamed the rolling green prairies of North America. Gunners reduced them to near extinction. Now, hunters are at work on the rolling blue prairies of the sea, and already, the big fish – including miracles like thousand-pound, warm-blooded bluefin tuna – are 90 percent gone. What we regret happening on land, may again happen in the sea. Those who care about wildlife should get to know about oceans.”

For more information about Patagonia's Oceans as Wilderness campaign visit patagonia.com/oceans.

Patagonia, with sales last year of $240M, is noted internationally for its commitment to product quality and environmental activism. Its Environmental Grants Program has contributed over $22M to grassroots environmental activists since the program began in 1985, and its Environmental Internship Program allows employees to work for environmental groups while receiving their full paycheck. Incorporating environmental responsibility into product development, the company has, since 1996, used only organically grown cotton in its clothing line, and is noted worldwide for using recycled soda bottles in many of its polyester fleece garments. Known for a unique corporate culture, the company has been recognized for many years by Working Mother magazine as one of the “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers,” and is a regular recipient of recognition by Fortune and Human Resources Management magazine as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work for in America. ”

Contacts:
Lisa Pike (805) 667-4741, lisa_pike@patagonia.com
Coley Malloy, (805) 667-4878, coley_malloy@patagonia.com
259 West Santa Clara Street, Ventura, CA 93001
Phone (805) 643-8616
www.patagonia.com

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