Here’s the Patagonia’s Fair Trade European Tour with Belinda Baggs.
Go along and join in the fun with Belinda and the Patagonia team. 

Cornwall | Amsterdam | Wijk An Zee | Hamburg | Zarautz | Biarritz | Seignosse

Click on the above destinations for more information.

Interview by Nat Fox

Belinda  you’re based in Newcastle, Australia – what are your favourite aspects of ‘home’?
I grew up in Newcastle but actually haven’t permanently lived there since I finished school. I guess you could say I have had a nomadic existence for the past 15 years up until recently.  I now live in a quiet town along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia. In many ways Newcastle is still home as it represents family and that is truly what makes a place ‘home’. Family, love and a comfortability and familiarity to the land. That is what home is to me.

You’ve been an ambassador for Patagonia for many years now, what is it about the brand that appeals to you?
Patagonia’s environmental consciousness. They have donated over 70 million dollars to environmental causes and continually make improvements of their production line implementing natural fibres, recycled materials, and particularly Fair Trade. It makes you look deeper into your own lifestyle choices and how your choices as an individual impact the earth. 

Is there anything that makes you really angry?
Littering. I hate plastic waste at the best of times but when you see it choking our oceans and killing wildlife its really saddening. Most single use plastic is really unnecessary, and it can be easily avoided. When you see your favourite beach lined with wrappers and plastic bottles amongst dead sea birds and other marine animals it really doest make any sense to me. I try to practise in my own home minimising single use plastics and hope that if every household does the same the impact would be positive and great.  

Have you ever surfed in the UK?
Yes, It was over 12 years ago, I spent a few weeks in Cornwall, and South Devon. I didn’t score very good waves but had a great time regardless. My ancestry hails from Cornwall (although i was unaware of this on my visit) so I would love to get back there and look deeper into the area and its people. 

Where some of the most memorable places you have drifted to?
I really love visiting Japan. The culture is so intricate and interesting. The food and some of the flavours there are the best I’ve tasted. I also love road trips in Australia. Although I have travelled to many places the one thing I’ve learnt from many of those experiences is that I truly love it here. Our coast is so vast, theres always another beach or area to explore that leaves you breathless with its beauty. 

What keeps you grounded when things get a little crazy, and what lifts you up when you need energy?Again I would have to answer time spent in the ocean. I have found a re-occuring pattern that the sea is the place I go to for everything; Its a place to hide from our thoughts, something to do when your bored, somewhere to cry, somewhere to be alone, somewhere to share a passion with friends, somewhere to be free, somewhere to love, and laugh, somewhere you can be happy and healthy, and overall its somewhere that everything makes sense, somewhere I feel a sense of belonging. 

What advice do you have for women who want to embark on a surfing journey or simply spend more time in the water?
It’s good to be a dreamer, but you have got to follow through on those dreams. If you aspire to travel or spend more time in the water,  calculate what you require and make it happen. It may be courage or skill or unfortunately just money but all those things are attainable if it is to fulfil our hopes and desires. 

What keeps you connected to nature in this digital day and age, where so much of our time is in front of a screen?
Surfing! Luckily for me my passion’s lie in the natural environment so I don’t require much persuasion to get away from the screen and into the sea. I’m a bigger grommet now than I was as a teenager. 

About Patagonia’s Fair Trade Program

As well as producing eco-friendly products, Patagonia have gone one step further by using Fair Trade to raise workers’ wages, improve their standard of living and move them closer to earning a living wage. Because Patagonia does not own its factories, the Fair Trade program is one way that allows the company to increase workers’ wages directly and indirectly. Thuy Nguyen, Manager of Environmental Responsibilities at Patagonia explains: “We want to inspire other brands to act on this problem by showing that Fair Trade can have a positive impact on the lives of workers as well as the bottom line.”

When you choose products with the Fair Trade label, your day-to-day purchases can improve an entire community’s day-to-day lives. Fair Trade certification is the latest among the points of difference that sets Patagonia apart: responsible production, recycled fabrics, field testing and an Ironclad Guarantee. All products are made with recycled stock, waterless printing and are carbon neutral.