I order a lot online and thus receive a lot of catalogs in the mail. Of late I have just been tossing them without even looking through. No need for superfluous temptation. But I had to eat my mentality this week. I got a catalog from Patagonia for the first time (because I ordered some killer Baggies Shorts). This one pulled me out of the cynical funk that had me thinking all retailers everywhere were straight-up relentless marketing mongrels.
Here are some things I enjoy and deem noteworthy about Patagonia’s catalog, a company perhaps standing for something genuine in this world that we should all be aware of.
You instantly notice the pleasure of fingertip-feel. Matte finish. Strong text weight. Natural color absorption. It’s made from 100 percent recycled paper.
Speaking of natural colors… The photography is so thoughtful and eye-catching. From showing people fishing to a man preparing lunch to a group leveraging a van unstuck from the muddy waters, these images are truly beautiful.
You certainly don’t think of seasonal sales catalogs of having much copy. And Patagonia’s appears to be not only copy but substance. In fact, there are as many pages devoted to content than actual products. That was mighty refreshing. I spent 45 minutes reading about fishing for pompajack in Honduras, organic provisions based on world travels and removal of a dam that allowed resurgence of wild life to a Washington river.
I also didn’t expect to be inspired by one of the ambassadors featured. Yet a Ms. Kate Taylor, writer and owner of an adventure travel company, sticks in my head as someone to emulate as I follow my own dreams.
One headline reads Clothing Is Equipment. This overall philosophy “flies in the face of conventional practice” (pun intended). Sun-protective, functional, durable and classic styles. The type of clothing I’d like to be buying instead of chasing trends.