The Plastic Age

The Plastic Age

Chris Hines, the only surfer we know with an MBE (for services to the environment), examines the source and solutions to the ocean plastic problem. It is a fight we have to win.

Plastic. It’s everywhere, from the moment you hit the alarm on your smartphone to the cleaning of your teeth at the end of the day with your plastic toothbrush and toothpaste from a plastic tube. Most of us will touch, see or interact with plastic hundreds of times a day, me included. It’s the current norm and one of the results is the almost unbelievable level of plastic pollution in the oceans.
Back in 2006 in an essay I wrote for Andy Hughes’ brilliant book Dominant Wave Theory (*1). I did a little beach clean and then looked at how all of those bits of plastic were, in some way, connected to my life … and it’s the same for all of us. We are all deeply embroiled in this plastic problem and we are all going to be involved in the solution to it. Many people are doing lots of individual actions but that’s a tiny percentage of us and this plastic crisis isn’t going to be overcome on the fringes and, I would argue, the solution is about far more than plastic. We need mainstream change.
If plastic pollution is everywhere it is nearly outweighed by the number of people and organisations who are on the plastic campaign trail and the campaigners are on fire with Surfers Against Sewage leading the charge. Awareness is at an all time high. The population want this sorted but ultimately a long-term solution to our pollution of the planet will require a different attitude and one that a lot of people, especially business aren’t going to want to hear:

We have come to believe that we can, and should be able to, have as much of anything we want, whenever we want it and don’t even think about the consequences. Consumption has been disconnected from any moral compass and we’ve lost our way.
The economic structures of the neoliberal western world are all based around growth. More, more, more! Research from Bioregional shows that if all seven billion inhabitants want to consume like the average North American then we would need five planets. For the average European it’s three. (*2). The planet does not have that carrying capacity. It doesn’t work. The growth addicts have even stolen the term “sustainability” and come up with “sustainable growth”! On a single planet there is no such thing!
There are massive powers stacked up to keep selling us this version of the world, to keep selling us more. But much of it is a hoax, brought to you by advertising agencies that make you feel inadequate because you don’t have the latest phone, surfboard, bike or whatever. And those agencies are just working for the companies who want to sell you more and more. With built in obsolescence and constant development, the moment you buy something its already out of date and we’re constantly inventing another hundred things that we all must have. Our relationship with plastic is just a symptom of a life in discord.

One quick plea for climate change: Whilst the plastics issue is important we also need to remember climate change. It’s not as visible and whilst everyone is fixated with plastic, climate change is not getting as much attention. Remember it’s the same people who are giving you climate change who are giving you plastic pollution. Those good old oil companies!
When Surfers Against Sewage started back in 1990 our primary aim was to stop the 400 million gallons of raw sewage that the Dirty Man Of Europe (the UK’s environmental nickname in the 80s and 90s) crapped out into our coastal waters every single day. Mixed in with that sewage were countless plastic panty liners and condoms. Ironically having the plastic panty liners helped, as it made the sewage slicks more visible. The history of those first ten years of Surfers Against Sewage shows what can be achieved and in what timescale. The infrastructural change to go to from 400-million gallons crude, to all continuous sewage discharges receiving at least secondary treatment and tertiary treatment for two thirds of that took 15 years and a massive engineering project worth £5.5 billion. The difference between 1990 and 2005 (and now) in terms of the sewage in our coastal waters is like chalk and cheese. Porthtowan Beach used to be known as ‘Porthtampon’ (we even managed to get ‘Porthtampon’ into a House of Commons Select Committee report) with hundreds of panty liners and condoms coming in with the slick of sewage every day. When they weren’t getting stuck in your hair or wrapped around your legs or leash, they’d dry and blow up the road and onto the forecourt of the village shop. Thankfully they and the sewage have now 99 percent gone.

But in some ways we had it easy. There was tough European legislation such as the EC Bathing Water Directive (1976) and the EC Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive (1991) to act as a focus and a reference point, a stick with which to chase the polluters with. The UK government was doing its best to wriggle out of its obligations and hence the need for the SAS campaign of the 1990s. Make no mistake that was still a very tall challenge. Unbelievably the whole plastics problem has hit without any relevant legislation being in place. Neither the EC Waste Framework Directive (1975) EC Hazardous Waste Directive (1975) really took plastic into account, although maybe there could have been a legal challenge over plastic waste being hazardous , but yes you got it, no-one saw this coming! So this is challenging and complex work to even have the legal, legislative tools with which to force everyone to the table. Unfortunately many of the big players will simply not engage until they are forced and that force has to have teeth that can bite.
SAS have already helped secure some vital bits of legislation Single Use Carrier Bags Charges (England) Order 2015 and a government commitment to a national deposit return system for some plastics but there are still more needed before all the legal sticks are in place. We need government to match the level of commitment and pace being shown by the campaigning organisations. We need to be cutting off the tide of plastic pollution now. Personally I think it is an outrage when a government says it will sort excessive plastic packaging within 25 years! I can see the argument of time needed to change legislation and infrastructure, but 25 years … come on! The supermarket Iceland and other industry leaders are doing it now and blazing the trail. There is already a massive waste management infrastructure in the UK and the vast majority of waste, plastic included, is either recycled or collected through household collections and disposed of to landfill or incineration, but it will need more work and investment. This isn’t going to be easy but it can be done. Again back to the sewage there were certain companies Dwr Cymru/Welsh Water and Wessex Water who pushed the boundaries and changed the game.

Fundamentally we need to have a wider understanding of our roles as citizens of this planet.

Ocean plastic is an emergency and of global importance. Imagine turning up at an intergalactic planetary hospital Accident and Emergency Department and Planet Earth and The Oceans are screaming: “Save me! Do something, this HURTS! and the Governments/Doctor saying: “Hmmmm let’s do some consultation on this.” Reality is the whales are washing up full of plastic crap like some self-sacrificing suffragettes, the albatrosses are screaming and dying.
The danger of too much consultation is that the British Retail Consortium, the soft drinks industry etc. and the plastic producers along with big oil will all lobby hard to delay it, legally challenge it and ultimately hope that the whole infernal issue just goes away.

But let’s just take a step back and look at this whole plastic issue. Is plastic in itself an evil? It’s safe to say that plastic has had a profound affect on us as a species as well as the planet and there have been a lot of positive benefits as well as the downside. Many of us reading this today will have benefitted from the medical uses of plastic in life saving medical equipment. The easy to use contraceptive pill packaging that showed the day of the month helped revolutionise women’s ability to take control of when to have children and control of their lives. The use of plastic in cars and other forms of transport helps reduce weight and therefore reduce the CO2 footprint and hence has a beneficial effect on climate change. There are many other examples.
As surfers and people who have an interest in surfing, climbing, cycling, exploring and general outdoor activities plastic has benefitted us. Plastic will have played a massive role in opening up these sports and activities due to decreases in weight and increases in durability. There was even a 1969 surf movie called The Fantastic Plastic Machine!
So plastic is not in itself necessarily bad, it’s the way we use and abuse it.
Research (now known as internet searches) tell you the first totally synthetic plastic, Bakelite, was made in 111 years ago in 1907. The brilliant Radio 4 series Plastic Fantastic (*3) (listen to all three parts its brilliant) said that the first plastic was invented in a contest to find a replacement for the ivory for elephant tusks used to make billiard and snooker balls. Importantly it was cheap and therefore commercially viable. One web search shows: “…it had no molecules found in nature…” Now if ever there was a reason for caution that should be one. If something is totally unnatural then “Proceed with caution!” signs should have been flashing up. Off went the scientists working hard to develop other plastics such as polystyrene, polyester, polyvinylchloride (PVC), and others. The oil industry must have loved it! Not only did their liquid black gold create energy by burning (again another unnatural activity that has helped land us in a right old pickle with climate change and air pollution) but they could now make hundreds of thousands of products from it.

Of course there were a few inconvenient obstacles to remove such as hemp – the perfect natural, renewable alternative. Henry Ford of Ford Motors made car panels out of hemp and even planned to run them on biofuel. So the plant was demonised and linked to its relative marijuana and heavy lobbying by the likes of chemical giant DuPont saw the 1937 Prohibitive Marijuana Tax Law that made not only marijuana illegal but also the wonder plant hemp. The DuPonts of this world were joined by William Randoph Hearst, a media magnate who owned 75 percent of the newspapers in the USA, and wanted all of the paper to be sourced from his logging companies and not hemp. (Anything sounding familiar?) Just think what the world and our oceans would be like if hemp had been the material used in the mass expansion of our consumer world…
The plastic and oil industry came out post Second World War with a clear playing field and very few critics. Everything was white, shiny and clean! Big production was king. The consumer age was upon us and off it ran completely out of any restraint or understanding of the long-term planetary impacts. Our world became plastic. As Polystyrene (and X-Ray Spex) sang on the Germ Free Adolescents album (*4):

I drove my polypropolene
Car on wheels of sponge
Then pulled into a wimpy bar
To have a rubber bun

And watched the world turn day-glo
You know you know
The world turned day-glo
You know

The X-rays were penetrating
Through the laytex breeze
Synthetic fibre see-thru leaves
Fell from the rayon trees

And watched the world turn day-glo
You know you know
The world turned day-glo
You know

Find it and play it LOUD!

After leaving SAS in 2000 I worked as Sustainability Director at the Eden Project and originated the Waste Neutral concept. This followed the normal waste hierarchy of “reduce, reuse and recycle” but had an additional element of buying back a weight of products made from recycled materials that was equal to the residual waste that Eden sent to landfill, or to be recycled. This had two effects: Firstly it encouraged a reduction in all consumption as reducing the weight of materials sent to be recycled meant we had to buy less recycled product. Secondly it gave value to the recyclates, which helps pull them out of the waste stream and turn them into a resource. If something has a value it isn’t thrown away. This is similar to the circular economy now being pushed hard by the likes of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, but first conceived in 1966 by Kenneth Boulding in an essay “The Economics of the Coming Spaceship Earth” often cited as the origin of the phrase “circular economy”. (*5)

We need to be realistic and understand that the opposition to positive change is huge. The UK plastics industry alone has an annual turnover of over £23.5 billion and employs over 170,000 people. The global plastics market is projected to reach $586.24 billion US dollars by 2021 and the plastics industry is supplied by the oil industry.
These companies aren’t going to give up easily! They’re going to fight this every step of the way. In fact they don’t see reduction in plastic at all, they see… yes you guessed it… GROWTH! Big oil companies are seeing their market for combustion engines contracting so they need new markets for the base product and that means more plastic. Right now there will be hundreds if not thousands of people looking at new markets and new products that can be made of plastic.
We need a marked change in the way we consume in general and we need to redefine our relationship with plastic and we need to own that change as the mass population. I recently spent two days talking to over a thousand students at a school in Geneva. They haven’t waited for others to act. They’ve removed all the plastics from their food outlets. They call it: “The new norm!” The planet and its oceans need a “New Norm!”
I don’t want this to feel negative and I am an optimist. The campaigners are doing an amazing job and it feels like we could be on the cusp of turning this whole plastic issue around but have no doubt there is a long hard way to go yet. To solve this is arguably more complex than solving sewage as it’s such a wide issue with so many players and products involved, but it can be done. I will continue to pay my subs to the environmental groups and would strongly urge you to do the same (How can any surfer not be a member of SAS or your countries equivalent? I’ve paid my membership for 28 years now and will continue to do so till the day I die). I will continue to sign the petitions, to talk to others, to say ‘No’ to things I don’t need or often even want and love and look after the things I have. Cherish them, value them and when you’re done try and find another home for them or dispose of them in the right way. I will try and do my bit and would urge everyone to do the same.

Fundamentally we need to have a wider understanding of our roles as citizens of this planet. We need to think about and understand our footprints. No one is perfect and reality is we can’t be but we can think and challenge ourselves and live a more examined life. This doesn’t have to suck the joy out of our lives but can become a quiet element of how we live. We need to think of what I refer to as: “The Deal”. For the majority of us, we are lucky. We’re warm, we’ve got homes and we’ll eat today and we get to live here on this amazing planet and do amazing fun things. For us as surfers we even get to GO SURFING! We are the luckiest! The deal is we give back, we make a difference with our lives and we tackle the plastic problem as part of the wave of activism that helps us tackle all of the world’s problems. And if we can commit to that deal then it’s only fair that we demand that government and business change … NOW. Step up and lead! Commit to the take off! We’ll be hooting you all the way!

Chris Hines was a founding director of SAS leading the campaign from 1990 to 2000, Director of Sustainability at the Eden Project and a special advisers to the Minister for Environment, amongst other things.

*1. Dominant Wave Theory by Andy Hughes, Booth-Clibborn ISBN 1 86154 284 4 Hughes, A. (2007). Dominant Wave Theory. (1st ed.). London: Booth Clibborn Editions.
*3 BBC Radio 4 Plastic Fantastic Professor Mark Miodownik explores our love/hate relationship with plastic.
*4 Polystyrene and X-Ray Spex, The Day the World Turned Dayglo. The Day The World Turned Day-Glo” / “I Am A Poseur” (March 1978: EMI International, INT 553) – No. 23 UK Singles Chart[41] From the album Germ Free Adolescents (November 1978: EMI International, INT 3023) – No. 30 UK Albums Chart[41]
*5. As early as 1966 Kenneth Boulding already raised awareness of an “open economy” with unlimited input resources and output sinks in contrast with a “closed economy”, in which resources and sinks are tied and remain as long as possible a part of the economy.[2] Boulding’s essay “The Economics of the Coming Spaceship Earth” is often cited as the origin of the phrase “circular economy”.[2]

Surfers Against Sewage recruits new trustees:

Surfers Against Sewage recruits new trustees:

Surfers Against Sewage is thrilled to announce the appointment of two new trustees, Richard Walker, MD of the Iceland Foods Group and Lucy Siegle, journalist, television presenter and author of Turning the Tide on Plastic. Richard and Lucy are leading progressive and meaningful environmental action and awareness in the business, fashion and media sectors, and have been working closely with the charity in various ways to progress our plastic-free campaigns, inspire volunteers and promote the protection of our ocean, rivers and beaches.

Richard Walker is a surfer, mountaineer, runner and a committed environmentalist. Richard is also the Managing Director of The Iceland Foods Group. Since November 2017 he has taken the board lead on sustainability issues across the Group, pioneering a range of world-leading sustainability initiatives. Richard is a leading voice driving sustainable innovation and positive environmental change within the business sector. His focus is currently on eliminating avoidable plastics and tackling deforestation driven by unsustainable palm oil plantations. Richard has been supporting the charity in a number of ways and recently presented the Iceland Foods Group plan to eliminate avoidable plastics in their own-brand products at the Ocean Plastic Solutions Day attended by HRH the Prince of Wales, which was hosted by the charity in St Agnes, Cornwall.

Richard Walker says of his appointment as an SAS trustee: “I’m delighted have been appointed as a trustee of such a forward-thinking and authentic organisation which is creating real behaviour change as well as protecting our beautiful landscapes. Surfers Against Sewage is truly leading the fight against plastics at all levels – from delivering high profile plastic-free campaigns to activating clean-ups and engaging communities across the UK. I’m looking forward to representing the business community in this important partnership, sharing learnings to better understand how businesses can reduce their environmental impact.”

Lucy Siegle is a writer and TV presenter specialising in environmental issues and ethical shopping and lifestyles. She is an authority on the environmental and social footprint of the global fashion industry. For over 14 years she honed her expertise as the Observer and Guardian’s eco agony aunt. She is well known on TV as a reporter and presenter on BBC1’s The One Show, and has been reporting on the problem of single use plastic since the show began. In January 2018 she began hosting a weekly segment dedicated to turning the tide on plastic. She travelled the length and breadth of the UK in pursuit of solutions. Lucy’s book, Turning the Tide on Plastic: How Humanity (and you) Can Make Our Globe Clean Again was recently published and is one of the most comprehensive guides to the plastic pollution crisis and the pathway to a plastic-free future. Lucy is a long-term supporter of SAS and has been involved in its campaigns for over a decade.

Lucy Siegle says of her appointment as an SAS trustee:
“I’ve followed the Surfers Against Sewage story for many years so it’s super exciting to formalise my passion for and anorak-knowledge of the organisation at this point. SAS has become a force to be reckoned with, a beacon of change that makes sure communities and individual engaged citizens can reach their potential as change-makers. I want to ensure that as many people in as many places get the opportunity to be SAS activists and supporters”. 


These recruitments are a testament to the growing ambitions, impact and awareness of the work of Surfers Against Sewage in its ongoing mission to protect oceans, rivers, beaches and wildlife around the UK.

Hugo Tagholm, CEO of Surfers Against Sewage says: “I’m delighted that Lucy and Richard are joining the board of Surfers Against Sewage and very much look forward to working together on our growing projects to protect oceans, beaches, rivers and wildlife for the future. They are powerhouses of environmental action in their respective sectors and we are hugely grateful for their commitment to the cause. I’ve been lucky enough to work with them on a number of successful projects in recent years, which have created a huge and lasting impact for our work. I look forward to working together even more closely to deliver an optimistic and ambitious range of environmental campaigns and community initiatives.”

The Big Spring Beach Clean 2017

The Big Spring Beach Clean 2017

Join the Community Movement for Plastic Free Coastlines

Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) & Ecover call for community beach clean volunteers nationwide to join them in the quest for plastic free coastlines.

This April, 3rd – 9th, Surfers Against Sewage will organize their biggest ever Big Spring Beach Clean involving over 10,000 volunteers to clean up our beaches and recycle single-use or ‘throwaway’ plastics that are sadly littering the nations coastline and rivers. In partnership with leading sustainable brand Ecover, Surfers Against Sewage aims to collect over 50,000* plastic bottles from our beaches to create new bottles for the pioneering Ecover Ocean Plastic Bottle Project.

Join the Big Spring Beach Clean 2017! There are over 400 Big Spring Beach Cleans registered across the UK, find your local event on SAS’s Event Page here/ or get in touch with the SAS Beach Clean Team at and 01872 553 001.

Recent surveys have shown that there are almost 160 plastic bottles(1) for every mile of UK shoreline and that plastic pollution is affecting almost every part of our oceans, so the time has come to act together to erase our collective ‘plastic footprint’ from our beloved beaches. Surfers Against Sewage is excited to be working with Ecover on new systems and products to reuse and recycle plastic found at beach cleans, and to encourage communities to reuse and refill plastic containers wherever possible.

SAS’s Head of Community & Engagement, Dom Ferris says; “By collecting plastic that would pollute our oceans and converting it into functional packaging, Surfers Against Sewage and Ecover will raise awareness about using plastic conscientiously and more sustainably. Our volunteers are committed to tackling plastic pollution on their beaches for as long as it takes but each and every one of them longs for a day when beach cleans are just a fond memory and we truly have Plastic Free Coastlines!”

The vision of Plastic Free Coastlines is within reach if we take action and the small steps together. Grabbing a pair of beach clean gloves and heading down to your nearest Big Spring Beach Clean can be your first step, and SAS is inviting all beach lovers to join local coastal communities on the journey, adding your efforts to SAS’s 25,000 strong army of volunteers who have removed a colossal 200 tonnes of plastic pollution since 2010 alone.

Tom Domen, Head of Innovation at Ecover, says; “We’re delighted to be partnering with Surfers Against Sewage in their campaign to clean up the UK’s beaches. We share the same hairy ambition – to get people to totally rethink how they use plastic. Now in its 4th year, our Ocean Plastic bottle is designed to raise awareness of the impact of plastic on marine life. But we need to go further and change how we use, re-use and recycle plastic if we’re serious about creating a circular economy and a systematic clean-up of the sea”.

There’s no need to register, just arrive at the time and date advertised wearing suitable clothing, say hello to the Lead Volunteer and you’ll be made to feel like part of the SAS family!

Tackling plastic pollution is serious business but that doesn’t mean beach cleans can’t be fun! They are wonderful community events, with many lifelong friendships formed over the rim of a bin bag. Find your local event on SAS’s Event Page here/ or contact SAS at




Surf Activists

Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) believes that all surfers should take stewardship for our surfing environment and carry out actions to preserve and improve the places we live, surf and love. We can all be Surf Activists.

Surfers Against Sewage believes that waves and surf spots deserve to be seen as part of our natural heritage and should be afforded greater recognition and protection through political debate and legislation. The marine conservation charity is campaigning hard to raise the public awareness of these natural resources, the environmental, physical and geological factors that create waves and how they are integral to coastal ecosystems and can help support thriving, sustainable and economically successful coastal communities around the UK.

“Natural surf breaks should be treated as world heritage sites, and should never be destroyed no matter what the reason… we really can’t allow any existing surf breaks to be taken down, for whatever reason.” Yvon Chouinard, Founder & CEO of Patagonia, inc.

By challenging government, industry or community and individuals we can all make change happen. Utilising SAS’s extensive environmental campaigning experience, the charity has created a simple set of guides to help activists launch local environmental campaigns to ensure unique surf spots are better recognised and protected for everyone to enjoy.

Anyone, from any walk of life can be a grassroots activist, all they need is to feel strongly and have a willingness to cause change. Grassroots activism is a coming together of people, to stand up and make a difference using their freedom of speech.

The Surf Activists Toolkit focuses on the three core issues relating to environmental concerns within the surfer’s realm. These are constructed around the successes of SAS’s previous wave protection initiatives, linked to the Protect Our Waves campaign. All three issues have the potential to degrade or even destroy SSSIs. Within each issue, SAS outline the framework and offer the tools for a grassroots activist to challenge; community, industry and government. This creates the opportunity to tackle issues at varying levels and to ensure that there is an effective tool for all.

Surf Activists 2

Things to remember when changing the world:

– Change can be slow, small steps, can, over time lead to positive, long lasting effect. Change can occur between generations until it becomes a permeant fixture.

– A single and specific goal is often the most sure-fire way to create change. Focus your efforts.

– Positive People Power is one of the best ways to achieve change. The more people that can positively support your goal, the more likely others are to listen and follow.

– Now is the time to start making the changes that will ensure our Surfing Sites are available for the future generations.

– It is OK to ask for help. The Surf Activists Toolkit is designed to guide individuals into taking action beyond organised roles. The toolkit is by no means exhaustive and taps into just some of the resources used within SAS campaigning. Please get in touch if there is something missing or you need guidance in protecting a Site of Special Surfing Interest

Hugo Tagholm, Chief Executive of Surfers Against Sewage says: “We’re stoked to launch the pilot of the Surf Activists toolkit with Patagonia. Clean, perfect waves and great surf spots are finite natural resources just like our forests, lakes and mountains, and we must ensure they are protected from over-development, pollution and other environmental threats such as marine litter. We’re aiming to inspire and empower surf communities to take action to protect these amazing natural spaces.”

Gabe Davies from Patagonia says: “Patagonia has a long history of supporting grassroots environmental activists. Surfers Against Sewage is an NGO that has been committed to protecting the surf zone we love for many years. The Surf Activists Toolkit is a platform that has been developed to share their expertise with those who want to make a difference on local actions, and for people who are inspired to make change on their own doorstep.”

Sancho Rodriguez founder of the San Sebastian Surf Film Festival says: “The San Sebastian Surf Film Festival is highlighting the destruction and damage to waves world wide. The Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020 is set to include surfing but also destroy 3 important natural surf breaks. This is not acceptable and we urge all surfers and ocean campaigners to use the Activists Toolkit and join Surfers Against Sewage in standing up for our rights (and lefts). Stoked to be making this call to arms at the festival!”

The pilot of the Surf Activists website was launched at the San Sebastian Surf Film Festival in June 2016.

Take action today and visit the Surf Activists website at


Surfers Against Sewage –

Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) is an environmental charity protecting the UK’s oceans, waves and beaches for all to enjoy safely and sustainably, via community action, campaigning, volunteering, conservation, education and scientific research.

SAS also believes that waves and surf spots deserve to be seen as part of UK heritage and should be afforded greater recognition and protection through political debate and legislation. SAS is working hard to raise the public awareness of these natural resources, the environmental, physical and geological factors that create waves and how they are integral to coastal ecosystems and can help support thriving, sustainable and economically successful coastal communities around the UK.

Registered charity number: 1145877


Patagonia is an outdoor lifestyle clothing company catering for climbers, surfers, skier, snowboarders, fishers and trail runners. “Their mission statement is Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”

The concept of Patagonia is founded on a love of wild and beautiful places and the demand for the participation in the fight to save them and to help reverse the steep decline in the overall environmental health of our planet. They donate their time, services and at least 1% of their sales to hundreds of grassroots environmental groups all over the world who work to help reverse the tide. They know that their business activity creates pollution as a by product so work steadily to reduce those harms. Recycled polyester and organic cotton are some ways in which they achieve this.

“Staying true to our core values during thirty-plus years in business has helped us create a company we’re proud to run and work for. Our focus on making the best products possible has brought us success in the marketplace.”

The New Localism

We are all locals. And we live in a global world. We can no longer pass through or visit remote wild places and trust they will remain that way. Patagonia’s friends have always brought us news of places they loved that are threatened. Patagonia is committed to bringing our resources and connections to bear on these threats to wildness, far and wide. We all have a chance to make a difference. Take a stand. THIS IS THE NEW LOCALISM

San Sebastian Surf Film Festival – 22 – 26th June 2016

More information at