Planned obsolescence keeps the wheels of commerce turning, from light bulbs to skis to hiking boots. But it also overloads landfills and stokes the incinerators, which is why Patagonia is helping to extend the life of its products through its Common Threads Initiative, part of which includes a new portal on eBay for re-selling old gear.
“The Common Threads Initiative addresses a significant part of today’s environmental problem—the footprint of our stuff,” Patagonia founder and owner Yvon Chouinard said in a statement announcing the launch. “This program 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.”
The actual “pledge,” part of the campaign, where participants pledge to reduce, repair, reuse, recycle and “reimagine a planet where we take only what nature can replace,” may be off-putting to some of the brand’s more general consumers. But the overall message itself is a bold one for any major outdoor manufacturer to make.
And to help customers put used clothes back in circulation, Patagonia and eBay Inc. have partnered to launch a new marketplace for customers to buy and sell used Patagonia gear. Pickings are still a little light as the initiative gets off the ground, but there looked to be some good prices when we checked, as well as post-expedition gear being sold by adventurer and climber Rick Ridgeway. Check it out here.