Ever the maverick Patagonia gets a little crazy once again. As an extension of their long running Common Threads program (where they take back old outdoor garments for recycling into new fibres) they've now partnered with eBay, the world biggest online second-hand marketplace, to promote the sale of secondhand clothing and footwear.
Yvon Chouinard, founder and owner of Patagonia said of the concept's 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."
He also notes that, "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."
By signing the pledge eBay users will get their product exhibited in the dedicated Patagonia Common Threads Initiative store. When we last looked enough folk had pledged with their almost 100 pieces of pre-loved Patagonia outdoor gear.
At the time of writing Patagonia had the eBay link highly visible on their front page, And it opens right within their website.
How many companies do you know, with over $400 million USD in annual sales, tell their customers not to buy their stuff, or to buy secondhand as first purchasing preference? Probably about the same number that have given away $43 million in cash and in-kind donations to environment related causes.
We doubt this buy-us-on-eBay-first campaign is likely to dent Patagonia's sales of new product in the short term. The reverse might even be true -- an expanding customer base, who like to align themselves with a brand that truly wears it heart on its recycled polyester or organic cotton sleeve. 'Cos this is a pretty impressive sales mantra:
• Reduce what you own
• Repair what you can,
• Reuse what you have. Sell what you don't need. Buy used when you can
• Recycle everything else
• Reimagine a sustainable world
Patagonia via SportsOneSource
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