After a long-lived relationship with Hurley, the Malloy brothers have curiously downsized to the smaller grassroots company, Patagonia. Why such a rash change between such different companies? SURFING Magazine caught up with Chris Malloy for an interview.
To begin, what brought this switch about?
Well, surfing can be a medium for communicating with people, and my brothers and I feel that if, by one way or another, you find yourself in a position where people may find importance in what you have to say, then we feel that you have a responsibility in that situation. We got to a point where we felt our careers weren’t really representative of who we were, and Patagonia seemed like a place where we could have some sort of an influence on surfers and create something for surfers that they can believe in.
What kind of influence are you looking to have on surfers?
We want to try and do things that are more environmentally and ethically conscious and more things that help perpetuate the spirit of the people who came before us. So when we had the opportunity to work with Patagonia it seemed like a perfect fit for what we want to do with our lives and what we want to leave behind. Over the course of a few months we talked about that becoming a reality, and we took pay cuts to do it, but we feel like we’re gonna be with Patagonia for the rest of our careers… forever.
What opportunities does Patagonia provide that other companies don’t?
A lot of the surfing industry, their sole purpose is to make a lot of money, regardless of anything else. And their feeble initiatives to change things are more often marketing ploys. They don’t really put their money where their mouths are. Patagonia puts their money where their mouth is; millions and millions of dollars. They basically won’t make a product unless they feel like they can give the market something it needs that it doesn’t have… organic cottons, recycled materials, something that has a story behind it, something that has a meaning and something that’s going to help change the way things are. They’re not just gonna go to some contractor and throw the Patagonia label on something.
What kind of work are you guys going to be doing for Patagonia?
If you’re a pro surfer, you go to the gym maybe two hours a day and surf three hours. That’s a total of five hours a day. What else are you gonna do during the day? It still gives you a huge amount of time to work on things that matter. I don’t think there’s time to be complacent. We have a lot of big plans. Lots of projects for the future. We’re developing a ton of gear and we’re gonna test pilot all of it; boards, wetsuits, lots of stuff.
It sounds like you guys have a lot of work ahead of you, and a lot of plans that focus more on the way you guys live your lives, especially by being more conscientious of your surroundings.
Well, you’re gonna have an impact on the environment. It’s a fact. We’re really excited about spending time finding ways for that impact to be positive. We’re not trying to make a huge statement, we’re just trying to do something that feels right. —Danny Galligani