If I were to ever open a business – and even call it that – I always wanted things to be transparent. How much I paid for things, what the mark-up is, the final cost, and where the money goes in the end. It’s that reason that I never really felt like I could run a business. I’m trading things or time for money, when I could just give it away for free to people I care about. Maybe I’ve read too much CrimethInc? Who knows.
But Patagonia, purveyors of sustainable outdoor clothing, really got outside the box on their new Common Threads Initative. They’re basically saying, hey, our stuff is awesome, and it lasts a long time. Use it, repair it, recycle it, and only buy something new if you absolutely have to. That’s basically saying “buy less of our stuff.” What? Unheard of! Their profits will plummet! Somehow, I don’t think they care…
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.
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).
The last part of their initative’s site is called “Reimagine” and it’s pretty damn spellbinding to come from a retail company who sells clothes:
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.
Patagonia is also pushing clothing repair (which they or others do), as well as buying and selling your gently used clothes on eBay. This is really cool stuff, and for eco-freaks like me, it makes me want to buy (ha!) more Patagonia stuff to support them. Maybe I can find it at Goodwill first!
Image souce: Markify