Patagonia Launches Worn Wear, an Online Store for Used Gear

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Close up of an orange patagonia puffy jacket

ajay_suresh / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

The pop-up events were so successful that the outdoor clothing retailer has made them permanent.

For years, outdoor clothing retailer Patagonia has been hosting 'Worn Wear' pop-up events, where customers can bring used clothing items for repair or exchange. The program was so successful that Patagonia has now launched a permanent online version of Worn Wear, a website where you can trade, sell, and buy second-hand Patagonia goods. In other words, it's Patagonia's own thrift store, which is a fun idea.

How It Works

Worn Wear works in the following way. You buy clothing, either used or new, from Patagonia and wear it till you're done -- "packing some grit and memories into it," as the website says. Then you trade it in at a local Patagonia store; staff will tell you how much it's worth, and do the washing, too. There are standard trade-in values listed here, and they're nothing to scoff at, ranging from $15 to $100, depending on the kind of item. Patagonia says they will pay up to 50 percent of the price they will sell the item for. You'll get credit toward more Patagonia gear, either used or new.

Resell prices aren't a huge reduction from new. A pair of Women's Strider Running Shorts, for example, costs US$40 on Worn Wear and approx. $50 on the main site. But you can find some pretty funky-looking vintage pieces and discontinued models.

The Worn Wear site also includes detailed product care guides for all fabrics carried in stores.

Patagonia's Dedication to Environmentalism

The online store is a logical extension of Patagonia's already laudable environmental commitment. The company's famous 'Don't buy this jacket' campaign drew attention to the issue of overconsumption, encouraging people to buy only what they need. The Worn Wear mission fits in well with that, reminding people that clothing can have a much longer life than what we sometimes think, as long as we can match it with the right person. From the website:

"Worn Wear is a set of tools to help our customers partner with Patagonia to take mutual responsibility to extend the life of the products Patagonia makes and customers purchase. The program provides significant resources for responsible care, repair, reuse and resale, and recycling at the end of a garment’s life."

Of course, the best option would be to wear your own clothing items for as long as you can, to the point where resale isn't an option because it's so worn out. But that's not the case for many shoppers, whose tastes and interests and sizes change over time, making Worn Wear a valuable addition to the retail world.

Learn more here.