Patagonia was founded by Yvon Chouinard who had a been a keen rock climber since the age of 14. He began making and selling climbing hardware out of a small shop in his parents backyard. There was soon enough demand for this that he could no longer continue to make his products by hand so in 1965 he went into partnership with Tom Frost, an aeronautical engineer with a good eye for design and esthetics. During their 9 year partnership they redesigned and improved almost every climbing tool making them stronger, lighter and more functional and by 1970 Chouinard Equipment had become the largest supplier of climbing hardware in the US.
It was during the late 60’s that Chouinard turned his hand to apparel. Outdoor clothing was typically very dull but during a winter trip to Scotland Chouinard picked up a regulation rugby shirt to wear for climbing. When he returned home his friends were all keen to get something similar and Chouinard began ordering shirts from England and selling them to great effect, and thus the beginnings of Patagonia were born.
Patagonia pioneered the introduction of bright, stylish, technical clothing in the outdoor market and have been paving the way for this ever since. They continue to look for environmentally friendly fabrics including hemp and recycled polyester.