Greener Than Green: Patagonia's '09 SST Jacket

Patagonia may not have invented recyclable fishing gear (hard to compete with the indigenous Aleuts’ seal-gut parkas), but it’s been a part of their product-design mantra since long before “green” became synonymous with lower carbon emissions and oil consumption. And they are still among the first to put their foot into the water when a new recycling or low-energy-use concept presents itself. The venerable SST Jacket — a product in which Yvon Chouinard has always taken a personal interest — will have yet further improvements along the lines of eco-friendliness and utility in 2009.
As product line director Steve Stracqualursi told us in an interview this week: “We wanted to incorporate non-corrosive waterproof zipper technology into the new design, so the pockets that were once completely open behind the large bellows pockets in front are now about an inch and a half to the side of the large front pockets and completely waterproof when closed. We’re using Riri zippers, which are far superior to the reverse-coil coated zippers that you see on a lot of ‘waterproof’ gear these days. We’ve also moved to double-rip-stop Nylon 6 fabric, in part because of its abrasion resistance and because it doesn’t wet out as fast as the stretch fabric, but also because Nylon 6 is completely recyclable. And of course one of our goals is to have recyclable fabric in everything we make by 2010.” The new SST also has new cuff designs and a single-pull hood that works from the back of the head (something from their alpine design team). Reading between the lines, what we heard from Steve and from Patagonia’s Bill Klyn is that what serious deep-wading anglers wanted was a beefier jacket, while Patagonia wanted a jacket that was easily recycled into new product. Looks like they’ve got it. The 2009 SST Jacket will retail for $425.

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