If you had asked me aged 15 what I thought of the brand Patagonia I would’ve undoubtedly scrunched my nose up and declared it ‘uncool’, most probably relegating it to a similar level of the ‘trendy gortex jacket’ my dad bought me. Fast forward 10 years, I long for a Patagonia sweater or fleece, search for their sales for Christmas presents and am in awe of the company ethos.
We recently attended a Patagonia event in Milan that was supporting the plastic free movement by screening ‘los plásticos’ and interviewing some familiar faces on the outdoor scene. The setting in the Milan store was* leafy and wooden, making it feel like a Scandi mountain hut which inevitably created a great atmosphere for such an event. We were welcomed with a craft beer and watched a gentle yet eye opening video about islanders off the coast of Venezuela clearing plastic debris from their precious ocean.
Some top Italian snowboarders, surfers and kayakers were interviewed, who all shared their views on the plastic epidemic that is currently filling our newstreams. Each one offered a different angle to the issue of plastic pollution that we, and i’m sure many others, feel we ought to do more to combat.
They deftly dealt with what really resonates with us, how to integrate a plastic and waste free reduction in to our lives without sacrificing our health, mental wellbeing and livelihood. Although I have a bamboo cup and aluminium water bottle, we’ve all been caught short in an airport without, needing to buy a plastic water bottle. I often feel guilty when going to the supermarket- already a rushed task in a busy life- and struggle to find staple products in my diet that aren’t wrapped in excessive amounts of plastic.
Instead of abstaining from ever washing my hair again to avoid shampoo bottle plastic waste, I felt the solidarity that even the extremely successful outdoor ambassadors were adopting a ‘bottom up’ approach to try and make a change. In other words, its about keeping a tote in your handbag to avoid plastic bags at supermarkets, taking your lunch to work so as not to buy plastic packaged sandwiches and selecting lose fruit from the supermarket or greengrocers where possible. The smaller changes from individuals are what drives a bigger change.
Please give us some of your small change tips that you have welcomed in to your life, and any similar events on your doorstep!
*Patagonia Milan is set for a refurb over the August months!