Patagonia — A Love Letter

I love Patagonia (The clothing/gear company. I’ve never been to the place it’s named after).

I love the products. I love the mission. I love that they put their money and heart where their beliefs are. I love the quality they put into their products and that they stand behind them 100%.

Did you know Patagonia has a site for previously loved clothing and gear? They do. It’s called Worn Wear. It’s awesome. You should check it out.

Here’s how they bill it:

Worn Wear is a set of tools to help our customers partner with Patagonia to take mutual responsibility to extend the life of the products Patagonia makes and customers purchase. The program provides significant resources for responsible care, repair, reuse and resale, and recycling at the end of a garment’s life.

Here’s the deal, if you have Patagonia clothing/gear that is no longer serving you, you can bring it to any of their stores or send it in to them and they will give you credit to be used for a future purpose. That’s right, they are willing to buy back the products they make and give you fair trade in return.. They then clean up, repair, and sell those products on their Worn Wear site.

In fact, they would rather have you get something used than to buy something new from them. They would rather, if you want one of their products, you check Worn Wear or another source first.

But, that’s not all. Get a hole or a tear in your Patagonia jacket? Maybe the zipper breaks on your Patagonia backpack. Through their Worn Wear program they will repair it for free. They will do whatever it takes to extend the life of that product.

Recently, my daughter’s beloved, many years old (and already a hand-me-down to her), Patagonia jacket began to develop tiny holes and rips along the seams. The wear and tear stuff of age and use. We took it into a Patagonia store and the manager evaluated the repairability of it. The wear and tear was extensive enough that they decided it was likely best to recycle that jacket (yes, they recycle what can’t be repaired — not burn, not send to a landfill, but recycle themselves into other garments/products). They gave her a whole new jacket. Just sent us back to pick a similar one off the rack and let us walk out the door. That’s what one calls standing behind your products!

All of this is to say that I’m happy to support such a great company with my dollars and telling others about this stuff. I don’t have a lot of Patagonia stuff but I love what I do have and plan on wearing that stuff into the ground. Like the 25+ year old deep pile fleece here.

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