For real, and it's not as gross as it sounds. Their new collection is super eco-friendly and features some ~unusual~ dye ingredients.
Patagonia is known for being on the frontier of ethical and eco-friendly clothing manufacturing. The brand is always working to create new methods of producing sustainable apparel, as well as repurpose what they've already made through new programs like Worn Wear, where customers can sell their worn Patagonia products for store credit and others can buy them at a discount. Smart, right? (Love being green? Scope this sustainable fitness gear for an eco-friendly workout.)
But their latest product offering, the Clean Color Collection, features some, ahem, interesting production materials, including silkworm poop, dried beetles, and food waste by-products, according to the Huffington Post. See, the process of dying clothing is notoriously bad for the environment. It creates a ton of water waste, and science suggests that some dyes could even be bad for the people who wear them. (BTW, here's the deal on the harmful chemicals hidden in your workout clothes.) That's why Patagonia decided to create a collection with dyes that are made completely of plant-based products and biowaste (see previously mentioned materials).
Although it may sound gross, using silkworm poop as a way to dye fabric is actually a thing that has been done before, since scientists recently discovered that feeding silkworms pre-dyed food made them poop out silk in whatever color the dye is. Nature is weird. In any case, it's awesome to see a company taking the time and making an investment in environmentally and socially "clean" clothing manufacturing—even if there's bug poop involved.