Why Patagonia's Worn Wear is a Dream Come True
Patagonia is a company lauded for the extreme measures it takes to promote and practice sustainability. Much of their clothing is made from recycled materials, and if not, then sustainably harvested ones. The company's immense transparency means you can trace each item to the factory it was produced in, along with the facility's ethical certifications and more. Back in 2011, Patagonia began its Anti-Black Friday campaign and ran a full page "ad" in the New York Times boasting a photograph of one of their jackets and the giants words: "Don't buy this jacket." The intent was to encourage consumers to rethink their shopping habits, especially by considering repairing their ripped or broken clothing before purchasing brand new replacements.
And while Patagonia makes a phenomenal product from the start, they went one step further in 2014 and introduced us to Worn Wear, their repair service. You can send any of your Patagonia pieces to Worn Wear for them to repair and send back to you for a small fee. Their gear experts and seamstresses also tour the country in a wooden truck bed camper, taking in garments from Patagonia owners that need some TLC (think: holes repaired, zippers fixed, buttons replaced, and much more.) Fittingly, their slogan is "Repair is a radical act." All of this, of course, is in defiance to the fast fashion industry where clothes are treated as disposable and value-less. Patagonia aims to remind us of the value of thoughtfully-made clothing, and the global impact of buying and tossing clothes that embody poor standards.
As for me, an admitted but suppressed shopaholic, the best news of all came last week when Worn Wear announced the opening of their online store. Yes, you better believe it. Patagonia will now buy back your broken (or not!) items, fix them, and sell them online to the general public.
This is great for a few reasons; 1. Buying used clothing is always the better option for reducing your personal environmental impact. 2. Used Patagonia clothing is wildly less expensive than brand new, meaning that the company is closing the disparity between 'cheap' and 'sustainable'. And 3, Buying used clothing from Patagonia is a surefire way to make sure your dollars are doing something good.
I may or may not have jumped on the opportunity to purchase some items I've been pining after (for years) last Thursday when the online store was launched. Which, by the way, has since been shut down temporarily due to the influx of orders.
But, I recommend checking back in shortly: https://wornwear.patagonia.com