Extending the life of our garments is the single most important thing we can do to lower our impact on the planet. In keeping our clothes in use longer, we reduce overall consumption.
Today, Patagonia launched a cross-country mission to change people’s relationship with stuff. The Worn Wear Mobile Tour, kicking off April 2 in Ventura, CA, and ending May 12 in Boston, is their attempt to encourage customers to make their clothes last a lifetime.
As part of the tour, Patagonia is bringing repair staff from their repair facility in Reno, Nev., on the road to offer free repairs on busted zippers, rips, tears, buttons, pulls and more – in addition to teaching people how to fix their own gear. Used Patagonia items will be for sale. The tour will be stopping at a myriad of locations such as retailers, coffee shops, farmers markets and trailheads.
Patagonia’s Worn Wear program was created in 2013 as a way to encourage people to take good care of their gear, washing and repairing as needed. The program aims to keep clothing, regardless of brand, in circulation for as long as possible. When it’s time for a replacement, Patagonia want you to invest in something that lasts.
Patagonia makes high quality, extremely functional products, guarantees them for life and owns the biggest garment repair facility in North America. And it’s why they are going on tour – bringing Worn Wear’s critical message to communities across the country.
“There is nothing we can change about how we make clothing that would have more positive environmental impact than simply making less,” notes Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario. “Worn Wear is a celebration of quality products and their relationship to our lives. It’s a simple but critical message: keep your gear in action longer and take some pressure off our planet.”
The Worn Wear Wagon is a one-of-a-kind custom vehicle, created by artist/surfer Jay Nelson. The solar-powered camper shell is made from redwood salvaged from giant wine barrels and mounted on a ’91 Dodge Cummins fueled by biodiesel. The mobile repair shop, complete with an Industrial Juki sewing machine, will be open to anyone who brings in a garment, regardless of brand. The tour will aim to educate visitors about the philosophy behind Patagonia’s Worn Wear program, in addition to offering up some fun with food, drinks and live music.
In November 2014, Patagonia announced a Black Friday investment in Yerdle, an innovative company providing a simple way for people to put goods back into circulation and avoid buying new – capturing the value of what they already own to save money and the planet. The investment, made through their internal venture fund, coincided with Worn Wear Swap Events in stores around the country, allowing customers to bring in their used Patagonia clothing and swap it with something off the rack.
At the end of the day, we can tinker with our supply chain, improve sourcing, use all-recycled fabrics and give away millions of dollars to environmental organizations until the cows come in, but nothing is more important and impactful than keeping our clothing in use for as long as possible. In fact, by keeping our clothing in use just nine extra months, we can reduce related carbon, waste and water footprints by 20-30 percent each, according to the UK-based group WRAP – simply because we’re making and throwing away less.
For more info and tour dates, see https://www.patagonia.com/us/worn-wear/
Photos: Erin Feinblatt