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Kit & Gear

Better than New! Why Patagonia is taking repair on the road

On a grey, mizzle strewn February morning, the Patagonia Worn Wear Trailer, Sheddy, rolls out of her Peak District home bound for the imposing Scottish Highlands. Among the Worn Wear team’s hastily packed mountain bikes, skis, and crampons is all the machinery and expertise required to take repair on the road. Going town to town they’re fixing busted zippers, barbed wire bites, and even your favourite duct taped down jacket. Any brand, any age, completely free.

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Pictured: Sheddy, the Patagonia Worn Wear Trailer, passing through Glen Coe in the Scottish Highlands. Photo credit: Rupert Shanks

At Patagonia, consideration of repair begins when the first pencil strokes of a product design grace the page. A commitment to creating responsible, quality, repairable product has been at Patagonia’s core since its founding in 1973. If you read Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard’s manual for Patagonia employees, Let my people go surfing, you’ll see among the Design Philosophies, that repairability ranks as a key considerations the product team have to factor into every item. Through their Iron Clad Guarantee, they offer free repair on any Patagonia item irrespective of how, or when the damage was done. This is done at one of their four UK repair centres who specialise in everything from GORE-TEX to wetsuits.

If you’ve a Patagonia item in need of a repair follow this link to send it away for a free repair.

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Pictured: The Patagonia Worn Wear team repairing clothes at Kendal Mountain Festival. Photo credit: Hannah Bailey

Today, the global fashion industry is on track to account for over a quarter of the world’s annual carbon budget by 2050.

We can no longer assume the Earth’s resources are limitless. Everything made costs more than we know how to repay. Whilst consuming less, and more responsible manufacturing are part of the solution, the best way to reduce the environmental footprint of our clothing is to keep it in use for longer. Extending the life of a piece by just nine months can reduce the product’s associated equivocal CO2 emissions by 27 percent, its water use by 33 percent and its waste by 22 percent.

As Patagonia says, repair is a radical act.

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Photo credit: Hannah Bailey

On The Parade in Fort William, nestled at the foot of Ben Nevis, a needle glides through another successfully repaired over-loved garment. A blue fleece, whose pocket stood between a tasty treat and a terrier, is returned to its current owner who wears the patch with pride. Every hole has a story, every loose thread presents a yarn to be spun, and every item that leaves to be worn again has the potential to see countless more adventures. Fort William Mountain Festival is unsurprisingly busy and on the promise of free repairs, the surrounding outdoor community have gathered around Sheddy to share stories and keep their gear in play.

Crafted by Romerworld using responsibly sourced and reclaimed materials, whilst powered by on board renewables - Sheddy embodies the spirit of Worn Wear. She comes from a strong lineage of Patagonia repair vehicles which have been on the road globally for over a decade. Whilst Patagonia has operated a repair service since the 1970s, Worn Wear originally started in 2005 as a blog celebrating the stories we wear and the characters behind the repairs.

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Pictured: Sheddy ready for another Worn Wear adventure. Photo credit: Rupert Shanks

Whilst it’s important that companies establish strong plans to reach net zero and decarbonise their business, what we really need is for companies to consume less. Next time you hear about a company’s carbon reduction plan, consider how often are you also encouraged by that company to buy something new? Keeping our gear in play is one of the best things we can do for the planet. Through Worn Wear, Patagonia are offering free repair on any brand of clothing at events throughout the year across the UK.

Fast forward nearly twenty years, Worn Wear has repaired thousands of items across the globe whilst sharing the skills to ensure folk can continue to repair once the team have left town.

If you’ve a Patagonia item in need of some love, then you’re covered by the Iron Clad Guarantee and their free repair service in store or online. Whether it’s pre-loved, repaired, or hand me down – it’s all better than new!

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Wrap: Extending the life of clothes

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