The advert on the right appeared in the New York Times last month, to co-incide with Thanksgiving shopping. As the next step in their Common Threads Initiative, Patagonia is asking customers to join them in a 'mutual pledge' to Reduce, Repair, Reuse, Recycle and Re-imagine Patagonia gear.
Why? Because we are now using the resources of one and a half planets on our one and only planet. The R2 Jacket shown here is one of Patagonia's best sellers. Making one roughly requires:
135 litres of water, enough to meet the daily needs (three litres a day) of 45 people.
Its journey from its origin as 60% recycled polyester to their Reno warehouse generated nearly 20 pounds of carbon dioxide, 24 times the weight of the finished product.
This jacket left behind, on its way to Reno, two-thirds its weight in waste.
“The Common Threads Initiative addresses a significant part of today's environmental problem – the footprint of our stuff.”
Says Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia's Founder and Owner.
“This initiative first asks customers to not buy something if they don't need it. If they do need it, we ask that they buy what will last a long time – and to repair what breaks, reuse or resell whatever they don't wear any more. And, finally, recycle whatever's truly worn out.
We are the first company to ask customers to take a formal pledge and be partners in the effort to reduce consumption and keep products out of the landfill or incinerator.”
As well as 'Reducing' consumption, Patagonia's Common Threads Initiative aims to encourage:
Now the only clothing brand asking customers to buy less; back in 2006 Patagonia was the first clothing brand asking customers to Recycle through their Common Threads Initiative. Patagonia will take back any Patagonia garment on the market once it's reached the end of its useful life. They recycle what they can and keep what can't be recycled yet, thereby keeping the stuff out of landfill.
But before Recycling, Patagonia ask that you try to Repair or Reuse the gear. Patagonia aims to make products that last and to quickly repair anything that breaks. They aim to get repairs done and back to you within four weeks - paying for repairs that they're responsible for, and charging a fair amount for stuff that's normal wear and tear.
Patagonia has teamed up with eBay to launch a new marketplace to buy and sell Patagonia gear. It's only available in the US for now but is set to cross the pond to Europe.
“eBay and Patagonia have created this unique store to encourage customers to go into their closets, find the Patagonia garments they don't currently need, and list them on eBay to continue their useful life,” said Rick Ridgeway, Patagonia's VP of Environmental Initiatives.
Patagonia's ultimate goal is to 'reimagine a world where we take only what nature can replace'.
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