As clothing companies go, Patagonia has been a long-standing leader in sustainability. They’ve even gone so far as to tell people not to buy their clothes if they don’t really need them. Now, the leading designer of outdoor clothing and footwear has announced another initiative that will benefit both people and the planet: a program to recycle gently used Patagonia clothing for those who might not be able to afford the full-price versions.
The program is called Worn Wear and is part of Patagonia’s Common Threads Initiative, which aims to reduce the company’s environmental footprint by ensuring that no wearable garment heads to the landfill prematurely. Four Patagonia retail stores, located in Portland, Seattle, Palo Alto and Chicago (Lincoln Park), will soon feature Worn Wear sections, where customers can purchase used Patagonia clothing as well as trade their own used garments in for store credit.
Roll out of the Worn Wear program is a continuation of Patagonia’s Common Threads Pledge, which asks customers to buy only what they need, repair what breaks, reuse and share what they no longer need and recycle the rest. In return, Patagonia pledges to make items that last a long time, and to facilitate the recycling of those items.
This type of pledge goes against everything the traditional corporate world stands for, but from a customer’s perspective it’s pure genius. Items accepted for trade-in and resale include Patagonia shells, fleece, down and synthetic insulation, and ski and alpine pants. Clothing must be clean and in good condition, and customers can earn trade-in credit valued at 50 percent of the price of the item’s resale value. Credit can be redeemed for purchases in store or online.
Each participating Worn Wear retail location will host a special in-store kick off event this fall. Patagonia’s Portland store will launch the reused clothing sales on November 7th.