Straight from the souce:
Patagonia started off quite small as an outgrowth of an even smaller climbing equipment company that at the time had its own machine shop in Ventura but also had ice axes and crampons made under its name in Japan and Europe. The climbing community in those days was small and mostly poor – and decidedly international. People traveled a lot on cheap tickets and slept on each other’s floors. So we were all inclined to consider ourselves citizens of the world as well as Americans.
I only own one Patagonia product, but that’s enough to learn how thoughtful the people are behind the brand.