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Patagonia Tackles Workwear

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The modern Patagonia believes that a brand needs authenticity in order to enter the workwear space and it has used its founding story to argue that it has the right to make workwear. The brand believes in this new line so much, it has designed a new Patagonia logo for it. The Fitzroy range now appears in hues of brown, black, and orange—colors you’ll also see on the clothes.

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Named after the forge sitting in the middle of Chouinard’s old shed , this material forms the basis of the new line. Made from 55 percent industrial hemp, 27 percent recycled polyester, and 18 percent organic cotton, the material is said to be 25 percent stronger than the cotton duck canvas that defines the ranges of Carhartt and Dickies.


Probably more important: Iron Forge Hemp is soft to the touch and extremely pliable. Where my Carhartt jackets are so stiff they’ll stand on their own when new, Patagonia’s equivalents drape, flex, and move with you much more comfortably. Know how comfortable your old barn coat is, now that you’ve worn holes in the elbows? Patagonia’s is that comfortable from day one.

Encompassing both men’s and women’s styles, the line has pants, shirts, jackets, vests, and even hats, wallets, and other accessories.

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The definitive items are the pants, shirts, and barn coats made from that Iron Forge Hemp Canvas. There’s also fleece-backed soft shells—the “Burly Man”—made from a new, heavy duty nylon face fabric, with Patagonia’s familiar nylon fleece pile inside. Mine is a new favorite for 4x4 camping trips.
All the items are defined by enormous, useful pockets, muted colors, and a relaxed fit that Patagonia says allows freedom of movement and that also suits the tastes and shapes of existing workwear customers.