It's a trial program in Denver, but is likely the way of the future.
Is it possible to love Patagonia any more? Not only does this private-owned company from Nevada make awesome, long-lasting gear, but it's always getting involved in interesting, progressive schemes to fight for environmental protection, support young activists, and reduce needless consumption.
Its latest project is a partnership with Awayco, a gear rental platform whose goal is to "reduce waste and eliminate overproduction by making outdoor gear a shared resource for the planet" – in other words, renting stuff instead of buying it. This enables a person to enjoy all the same great outdoor activities, without cluttering their home or garage with gear that does not get used on a regular basis.Environment + Energy Leader (EEL) reports that Patagonia is the first apparel brand to partner with Awayco, which has previously offered only snowboards, skis, and splitboards. They offer the same services as on-site ski and snowboard rentals, but broader and higher-end options. It writes, "Patagonia sees its partnership with Awayco as contributing to the growing circular economy and delivering to shifting consumer preferences, according to the retailer."
Clothing and gear rental is booming. EEL says that "the global online clothing rental market is expected to double, reaching $2.09 billion by 2025 compared to $1.12 billion in 2018," so retailers are smart to jump on this bandwagon. And we shouldn't be surprised that Patagonia is the first in this particular case.
Unfortunately you can only participate in this program if you live in Denver, Colorado. You order it online, pick it up at the store, and drop off once you're done. So it is more hassle than a rental located at the ski hill, but at least you don't have to store it at home. I wouldn't be surprised if the program expands into other ski regions of the country, since Patagonia has described it as "the testing ground for a new rental program that we’re kicking off with our snow gear — because being in the mountains shouldn’t be about consuming more." We couldn't agree more.