Inbound Logistics | July 2022


PATAGONIA FIGHTS PLASTIC Leading outdoor and adventure wear

brand Patagonia has long been a voice for environmental awareness and sustainability in its supply chain and product-sourcing eŒorts. The company’s move away from virgin plastics began back in the early 1990s when it first began producing fleece clothing made from recycled plastic bottles. Patagonia has spent the past two decades honing its supply chain sustainability strategies and maintaining a laser focus on reducing the use of plastics in its clothing. The company acknowledges that plastics are essential to building durable, high- performance clothing, but posits that plastics are accelerating the environmental crisis because they are produced from fossil fuels and contribute to pollution that piles up once that clothing has been tossed. of

OUTDOOR RETAIL CHEERS OCEAN SHIPPING REFORM Given the large percentage of imported goods that sit on outdoor retailers’ store shelves and in e-commerce warehouses, it’s not surprising that the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA), along with the National Retail Federation (NRF) and the Retail Industry Leader’s Association (RILA), have been outspoken about the need to update legislation around ocean shipping. Outdoor retailers and brands have much to gain from improvements in supply chain legislation, and they haven’t been shy about advocating for it. The House’s approval of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 (OSRA) is intended to allow the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) authorities to better protect U.S. shippers, farmers, and manufacturers from unfair or unreasonable anticompetitive actions by foreign-owned ocean carriers. NSGA, NRF, and RILA praised the passing of the legislation as a positive win for the retail sector. The bill was championed as key legislation to improve ocean shipping costs and conditions for retailers and to help ght against ination. NSGA indicated its strong support for OSRA by signing a letter sent to Congress urging the bill’s passage. After the bill passed, NRF released an ofcial statement: “Retailers depend on the global maritime transportation system to move goods through the supply chain every day and continue to face signicant challenges, including unfair business practices by ocean carriers. Making OSRA federal law helps address longstanding systemic supply chain and port disruption issues that existed well before the pandemic by providing the Federal Maritime Commission with the additional authority it needs.”

Among other various initiatives aimed at curtailing its virgin plastic use, Patagonia intends to make at least half of its synthetic materials using secondary waste streams by 2025. In June 2022, the company released a documentary stemming from its advocacy, called The Monster In Our Closet , which looks at the clothing industry’s plastics problem. The film, available on YouTube, “uncovers the dangerous threads that connect the clothing industry to the oil and gas industry and what we can all do on the individual, business, and government levels to create the change that our planet needs,” according to Patagonia. Key points from the documentary provide valuable takeaways for the outdoor apparel industry and other clothing brands and retailers: • Our closets are filled with fossil fuels: The UN estimates that 60% of clothing is made with plastic fibers that begin as crude oil, which is distilled into chemicals like ethyne, and then heated and transformed into fabrics like polyester and other products. • Plastics have staying power: According to Patagonia, plastic persists in our environment indefinitely unless it has been incinerated or launched into space via satellite or spacecraft. Less than 10% of plastic in the United States is actually recycled, 16% is burned, and the rest piles up in landfills. • Every business can help: Patagonia encourages other retailers to pitch in by sharing the names of many of its supply chain partners so other companies can invest in those secondary waste streams and amplify the eŒort. The company also recommends businesses take steps such as eliminating virgin petroleum sources from products, aligning with financial partners who are committed to a global energy transition, and supporting grassroots organizations whose communities are most impacted by the climate crisis.

July 2022 • Inbound Logistics 21

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