Common Treads is a new initiative from Patagonia that looks to reduce the environmental footprint of both its business and its customers.
It's based on 5 pledges to reduce, repair, reuse, recycle and reimagine...
We make useful gear that lasts a long time; you don't buy what you don't need.
"We design and sell things made to last and to be useful. But we ask our customers not to buy from us what you don’t need or can’t really use. Everything we make – everything anyone makes – costs the planet more life than it gives back. The biggest, first step we can all take to reduce our impact is to do more with what we have. Much of the energy consumed over the course of the life of a garment – about half – goes into laundering, ironing and drying, activities that shorten the life of your clothes as much as wearing them does."
We help you repair your Patagonia gear; you pledge to fix what's broken.
"What we have should be things we can repair. If you have the skills to turn a frayed collar or darn the worn heel of a sock, good for you. For our part, we should make clothes that wear out as evenly as possible and repair quickly what you send back to us to be fixed. Our policy is to get repairs unpacked, done and back in the mail to you within 10 business days. We pay for repairs that we’re responsible for and charge a fair price for repairs due to normal wear and tear. In addition, many of our stores have relationships with local tailors capable of working on our clothes."
We help find a home for Patagonia gear you no longer need; you sell or pass it on to someone who needs it.
"Nothing wearable should be hoarded; useful things should be in circulation. Reuse what you no longer need, whether you’ve given up climbing or no longer wear brown. Donate unused clothes to a charity or sell them through the Patagonia Common Threads Initiative site on eBay or on our website, (where you can also buy used rather than new, eBay handles the purchase). We donate our own factory seconds to activists working in the field and send some of last season’s unsold goods to people who lose their belongings in disasters."
We will take back your Patagonia gear that is worn out; you pledge to keep your stuff out of landfills.
"Everything natural or manufactured comes to the end of its life. Everything natural gives life to something new, so should the things we make. Whatever you’ve bought from Patagonia that’s finally worn-out, you can return to us, so that we can recycle it into new fiber or fabric (or repurpose what can’t yet be recycled). Since 2005, we’ve taken back 45 tons of clothing for recycling and made 34 tons into new clothes – thanks to our customers who have become partners."
Together we will reimagine a world where we take only what the planet can replace.
"Two-thirds of our economy is based on the purchase of consumer goods. But to blindly purchase what’s good neither for the planet nor ourselves to keep the game going is the very definition of unsustainability. Let’s buy what’s healthy and useful; let’s stay away from what we don’t need and what causes unnecessary harm. Every action we take together to protect the land and waters we love adds to our knowledge and confidence that we can reimagine, then help bring about, a sustainable world for those who come after us."
In part, a justification of a hefty price tag (quality lasts); in part, good marketing (reaching out to like minded people). But a vision for future sustainability more business should have in place.