Patagonia successfully reintroduced a timeless classic with the Retro Pile Fleece back in 2019 and it's found its place in the hearts of outdoor enthusiasts and customers that love the aesthetic.
In this focus piece, we will shine a light on the Patagonia Retro Pile Fleece, giving an insight into its rich history and why this iconic design has become a timeless classic in Patagonia’s latest range of autumn/winter signature zip-ups, vests and newly reintroduced retro style.
The design that started it all
The original design was heavily inspired by a layered sweater that was typically favoured by fishermen in the North Atlantic. Patagonia Founder and outdoor enthusiast, Yvon Chouinard, set out to create a warm, comfortable, lightweight garment that could keep the wearer warm whilst also absorbing moisture.
Even the earliest attempts at creating this showed promise and were favoured by outdoor adventurers and gave the world an insight into just how influential Patagonia would become in the coming decades.
Since they first stepped onto the stage in 1977, Patagonia has been working tirelessly to create initiatives within the fashion industry that give fair wages to factory workers and put the environment first.
The ever-growing sustainability movement is at the very core of the Patagonia ethos, a value system that we at Urban Industry share and it is what makes us proud to be working with them.
For this feature, we feel it is important to give a brief run-down of the sustainability initiatives that Patagonia embraces and how they relate to their Retro Pile Fleeces. Both the Patagonia Retro Pile Jacket and the Retro Pile Vest are Fair Trade Certified, bluesign approved, and feature 100% recycled polyester in their iconic Retro Pile material. But what does this mean? Read on to find out.
Fair Trade Certified
The Retro Pile Jacket Fleece and the Retro Pile Vest are Fair Trade Certified, meaning that the workers that made the fleece received a fair wage for their labour. Patagonia now offer more Fair Trade styles than any other apparel brand in the world.
This has resulted in over 50,000 workers benefiting from their commitment to the Fair Trade Certified™ programme.
The Retro Pile Jacket fleece is also bluesign approved, meaning that the chemicals and materials used in the manufacturing of this product are sustainable and every effort has been made to minimise their impact on both humans and the environment.
In the early 1990’s, Patagonia made a huge step towards reducing their environmental footprint made from the creation of their polyester clothing. Patagonia set out to reduce their use of petroleum in the creation of their polyester clothing by using recyclable polyester materials such as soda bottles in their fleeces. Since 1993, they have eliminated the need for over 20,000 barrels of oil and have prevented millions of plastic bottles from going into the waste stream.
Refreshingly Retro: The Retro Pile Jacket
Upon building on the iconic 1977 design, The Retro Pile jacket is one of Patagonia’s most distinctive fleeces. The slight, yet significant, cosmopolitan adjustments to the classic concept don’t deviate from its distinctive features yet add a fresh aesthetic to the fleece.
Patagonia Retro Pile Jacket - Black, available in store and online
The Retro Pile material is what helps to thrust this fleece into the present. The Retro Pile material in this timeless design is made of 100% recycled polyester double-sided shearling fleece, giving the wearer an environmentally friendly, lightweight warmth that will make any cool-weather adventure comfortable.
The full-zip Patagonia Retro Pile Jacket features a zip-through, stand-up collar that helps to retain body heat, crucial for the outdoor adventurer on the cooler months.
The fleece also features a soft, rutted exterior and an interior that is gentle to the touch with pocket bags that consist of 3.5-oz 100% polyester warp-knit brushed mesh. The raglan sleeves extend fully to the collar, allowing for full mobility when on the go and added comfort when wearing a backpack; ideal for the everyday commute, or the weekend hike.
El Cap Khaki Retro Pile Jacket- available in store and online
The Patagonia Retro Pile Vest
Proving to be popular amongst outdoor adventurers and the business community, the Patagonia Retro Pile Vest has made quite the impact since its autumn/winter 2017 release.
The Retro Pile Vest features 100% recycled polyester double-sided shearling fleece Retro Pile fabric which provides warmth and breathability. The obvious difference between this and the jacket is the lack of sleeves, this gives the wearer a climate-controlled, lightweight versatile fleece option that can be worn right through into the warmer months. This vest’s full-zip extends through to a stand-up collar that provides the wearer with warmth, comfort and venting.
The offset shoulder seams and flat-seam construction throughout reduce the chance of any chafing and minimize bulk of the design. The zippered left-chest pocket and two zippered hand pockets with webbing zipper pulls provide the wearer with a secure place for all of their daily necessities.