Patagonia Invests in Eco-Friendly Performance Chemicals

Stakes $1 million in Swedish company

Patagonia aims to find ways to make more environmentally friendly versions of the chemicals that keep our gear sturdy and waterproof. (Thomas Shahan/Flickr)
Photo: Thomas Shahan/Flickr

Patagonia is looking to reduce performance wear’s footprint. The company announced Thursday that it’s investing in Beyond Surface Technologies, a Swedish company that’s developing high-performance textiles from natural raw materials.

Patagonia did not indicate a specific amount in its statement, but Environmental Leader reports that sources close to the company confirmed that its stake is “north of $1 million.”

To get the highest level of performance from outerwear, companies need chemicals to make their pants waterproof and jackets wind resistant. These chemicals can be toxic and hang around in the environment much longer than the life of the product.

“We look for better, cleaner, safer ways to do things, we apply our own R&D and look for brilliant companies to partner with,” Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario said in the statement. “Beyond Surface Technologies has the potential to help Patagonia and our entire industry get to the next level of chemical safety without compromising performance.”

The investment comes from Patagonia’s $20 Million & Change fund, which supports companies working on environmental solutions and positive change through business. Should Beyond Surface Technologies hit on any big breakthroughs, Patagonia will share them with the outdoor industry, much like it did with Yulex and its biorubber wetsuits.

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