Basic summer Baggies are Patagonia’s most popular product to date. Surprised? Here’s why you shouldn’t be.
The iconic shorts are multifunctional. They also boast Fair Trade certification while using recycled materials to reduce their carbon footprint. Of course, Patagonia also builds exceptionally practical women’s swimwear. And, in this case, it also uses fair labor and recycled materials.
Patagonia leaders are outspoken about climate change and know making outdoor apparel contributes to the issue. That’s why they constantly work to ensure that the brand’s high-quality adventure clothing is as low-impact as possible.
That means reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas production when it creates a new product. It also means paying a premium to empower the people who sew the brand’s swimwear and other clothing. It now boasts more Fair Trade Certified styles than any other apparel brand.
When you do need to buy something new, it’s easier to get on board when you know what goes into a product. Here are two functional Fair Trade Patagonia picks that will serve you well this summer: Baggies and Nanogrip swimsuits.
Fast-Drying Patagonia Baggies for Paddling
At this point, most outdoor enthusiasts probably own at least one pair of Patagonia Baggies. The do-everything bottoms were one of the brand’s first big hits. And the shorts remain in production 3 decades later for a number of reasons.
Baggies are easy to pull on and off. They dry fast and work for lots of outdoor sports, from rafting to SUPing to fly fishing. Both men and women can wear these rugged bottoms on the river or at the beach. Baggies are as effective and effortless as the name suggests.
Last year, Patagonia made these summer shorts even better by making them entirely out of recycled, quick-drying nylon, a Bluesign-approved fabric. The change uses 52 percent less water and emits 18 percent less carbon dioxide than conventional nylon.
Patagonia Fair Trade Certified Swimwear
Patagonia Baggies are also sewn under national Fair Trade Certification by factory workers, most still overseas, who are respected in the process. The Fair Trade program promotes worker health and safety as well as social and environmental compliance.
Brands must pay more for the Fair Trade Certified clothing label. And Fair Trade committees at each factory decide how to spend the extra funds. They could go toward advancing anything from healthcare programs to cash bonuses.
But outside of inspiring environmental and social messages, Patagonia’s nylon Baggies are downright fun. They come in 10 solid colors and new prints each year, plus multiple lengths for men and women. The 5-inch short is a nice in-between length, but there’s also a men’s 6.5-inch option and a full-coverage 7-inch style. But Barley Baggies run as short as 2.5 inches in the minimalist women’s cut, which works well over a swimsuit.
Patagonia’s old-school Baggies come with a drawstring elastic waistband and vertical side pockets with easy-draining mesh corners. On the men’s Baggies, there’s a mesh liner and secure rear snap pocket.
And Patagonia seasonal patterns are anyone’s guess, as fresh takes come online each year. But that’s just part of the fun of owning these iconic summer shorts.
Adventure-Ready Patagonia Nanogrip Swimsuits
Another growing Fair Trade Certified favorite is Patagonia’s Nanogrip swimsuit line for women. The brand’s innovative mircrofiber lining keeps the suit in place and everything covered, which is especially important for active women who really want to move in a swimsuit.
The Nanogrip bikini, for example, is designed to stay put enough for full-on bodysurfing, but also flatter in a way women demand these days. New Patagonia eco swimwear fabrics now blend together recycled nylon or polyester with spandex jersey, plus that stay-put microfiber liner. The feel? Soft, stretchy, and tough — all in one.
Because women wear swimsuits in the surf but also while walking on the beach, Patagonia is ever mindful of the way it gathers fabric, laces back closures, and cuts and sews seams to cover yet complement bodies of all sizes. In addition to a classic triangle-shaped bikini top and midrise bikini bottoms, Nanogrip comes in several other cuts, from a halter top to a barely there banded bottom.
For those who like more coverage, Patagonia’s Fair Trade-sewn certification is also featured in lots of updated one-pieces, tankinis, and rashguards, including a modern cropped version of the surfing classic. All come in refined solid colors that feel modern and in some gorgeous and playful new prints.
And better yet? It’s not just Nanogrip. Every women’s swimsuit Patagonia makes is Fair Trade.
Patagonia’s classic Baggies and Nanogrip swimsuits appear as functional for consumers as they are fair to the planet. And that’s something we can all feel good about.