Before Patagonia started making hyper-ethical outdoors clothing, Yvon Chouinard and his compatriots crafted innovative climbing hardware out of a shop in Ventura, California. Now the apparel maker has released a new line of workwear made from a fabric named after the iron forge that was once used to make pitons, chocks, and wedges. The 9.6-ounce material is woven from 55 percent industrial hemp, 27 percent recycled polyester, and 18 percent organic cotton—making it strong and fire resistant, yet soft.
Those merits mean the Iron Forge Hemp Canvas Apron ($59) is totally suitable for wearing in a metal shop if you want to play blacksmith. And it’s constructed like a real shop apron, with straps that secure behind your waist to keep them away from machinery, heavy duty hardware that’ll hold up to heavy use, and spacious pockets capable of securing tools and parts.
All that works just as well on your back patio, when you're slaving over hot coals. I’ve been wearing a pre-production version of the Apron for the last nine months, and it’s held up to weekly attacks from flying embers, hot grease, and hungry puppies. The pockets are deep enough to securely hold my phone, to which I frequently refer to for recipe advice, or a set of barbecue tongs and thermometer. I’ve wiped grease and other messes off my hands and onto the apron countless times, haven’t washed it once, and it still looks almost new. Technical cooking gear? I’m okay with that.