Patagonia. PataGucci. Whatever you call the coveted brand, you have definitely seen this company's products adorning another person before. Most likely you even own an item or two from the popular outdoor clothing brand. And as the styles and colors change, more people are spending money on a Patagonia look of their own.
Patagonia, along with brands such as The North Face now supersede all other brands of what is considered “durable clothing." You no longer hear “bring a jacket," but instead “bring your Patagonia." It has become the new normal to own one of the expensive jackets, and people are now branching out. No longer is there just the longing to own one of their colorful fleeces, but also their puffy vests, windbreakers, or backpacks.
With the Patagonia outlet on River Street so close to campus, UC Santa Cruz students have more access to products sold by the company, thus contributing to the amount of Patagonia wear that is seen on campus. Not to mention the atmosphere Santa Cruz offers, which makes it ordinary to see outdoor wear used to heavily.
But the real question is, why? Why are people willing to spend hundreds of dollars on a name brand fleece when they could find a similar item for much cheaper elsewhere, such as Columbia. Sure, I understand wanting to belong to a group, a group that consists of the “fun, outdoorsy people" that get to wear the bright colors that Patagonia offers. But the idea of spending that much on a jacket, when I could easily go to Target and get a cheaper one, shocks me.
Yes, Patagonia's merchandise is incredibly comfortable. But I was raised to be frugal, and the idea of spending that much on a jacket terrifies me, even though I have friends that swear by them.
Now I must admit, I am guilty of owning a Patagonia fleece, thus making me a total hypocrite. I waited months before I made my decision to purchase one, and weighed all of the pros and cons. I had worn my friend's fleece to test out if I would enjoy one of my own, and soon realized the undeniable comfort that it brought me. But once again, the cost of purchasing one was incredibly daunting. How could I convince myself to spend upwards of eighty dollars on a single jacket? In the end, I bought mine right before going up to Lake Tahoe for the weekend, as I had nothing snow appropriate. The purchase was justified, and yet, spending that much still put a weird feeling in my stomach.
Of course, Patagonia has their reasons for being so pricy. They advertise that they are high quality, comfortable, and dedicated to helping the environment.
Patagonia has contributed greatly in regards to giving back. On Black Friday, Patagonia gave back 100 percent of its proceeds to organizations working towards conserving and protecting the planet. This effort raised $10 million dollars, which went towards protecting climate, water, and other conservation efforts. In fact, according to patagoniaprovision.com, since 1985, the company has donated more than $55 million, mainly to small grassroots conservation organizations. And while I applaud this, I still cannot get over how much people manage to spend on just a single brand.
I can not go one day without seeing their insignia decorated on someone's clothing. In fact, just walking to class I counted eighteen different Patagonia products and this was within twenty minutes. It is the new style, new trend, and people who do not own one of their products are now becoming outsiders.
Patagonia is expensive, that is just how it is. So if you are an outdoorsy person that is in need of a great jacket that will last for a long time, go for it, splurge. But if you just want a name brand jacket for the sake of having it, just save your money. You can find something similar for a cheaper price.
Please note that prices are accurate and items in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.