29 September 2008

tracing the backstory of stuff

When we buy something new we usually know only a few elements of its backstory. We know where it is was "made" and where we are buying it. We might even know a little bit about what it's made from by the label. But the origin and impact of the materials and the process of making the product is mostly a mystery to us.

[Image: brianinsanfran]

There are few examples of transparency in the manufacturing of goods. Patagonia stands out as one company with a policy of openness. And while they are by today's standards a shining example of sustainability, they are not without their flaws. They bare all in the Footprint Chronicles, where the user can trace the backstory of a Patagonia product. The good and bad aspects of production are highlighted, as well as where the company thinks they need to improve. There's even an opportunity for you to let them know what you think about their efforts.

Read more about Becoming Better Backstory Detectives at WorldChanging.

You can get Patagonia products at Amazon, REI, and Patagonia.