Patagonia Worn Wear

By Sona Senapati, Berkeley-Haas Center for Responsible Business, Student Editorial Writer

“One of the most responsible things we can do as a company is to make high-quality stuff that lasts for years and can be repaired, so you don’t have to buy more of it. The Worn Wear program celebrates the stories we wear, keeps your gear in action longer and provides an easy way to recycle Patagonia garments when they’re beyond repair.” – Patagonia’s Worn Wear

Patagonia, a company continuously recognized for its ability to practice sustainability in all business aspects, has reached yet another incredible milestone with their Worn Wear tour. The Worn Wear tour focuses on repairing worn out clothing and promoting environmentally friendly ways to maintain the integrity of our clothes. Those a part of the initiative, travel to many diverse areas and offer repair services for any brand of clothing. In addition to offering repairs, Worn Wear tour members teach these individuals how to mend their own garments at home and how to properly dispose of severely worn out items that are beyond repair.

The implementation of this program has increased general knowledge about proper recycling methods for garments and cost efficient repair methods. The CEO of Patagonia, Rose Marcario, describes the concept of “radical repair” as highly essential to sustaining the health of our ecosystem. Many people find inconvenience in having to go out and repair their clothes – it’s simply easier to throw it away and start anew. What Patagonia is trying to instill in citizens across the world is that they can impact the environment in an ostensible way by simply using their belongings for longer;  as a result of maintaining longevity in use, they can prevent harmful CO2 emissions and waste for generations to come. “Patagonia employs 45 full-time repair technicians at our service center in Reno, Nevada. It’s the largest repair facility in North America—completing about 40,000 repairs per year. We’ve also teamed up with the repair experts at iFixit to create care and repair guides so you can easily do it yourself.” It is truly admirable that Patagonia is responsible about their supply chain and manufacturing methods. It is even more admirable that they are cognizant of the fact that they at times, may “take more from the planet than what can be returned”. Making an acknowledgement such as this can be difficult for a company with such large profit margins, solely because focusing on the environmental repercussions is costly and may not be a top priority; this ideal is what truly sets Patagonia apart from other companies. They aim to produce quality products without compromising the state of our planet.

Alex Wilton, an MBA student at Haas and co-president of the Haas outdoors club, has worked with Worn Wear over the past four months to bring their 2017 College Tour to UC Berkeley. After a lot of work, it is happening tomorrow: see below for all the information. Starting his career in management consulting at Bain, Wilton then left to work at companies shifting us to a more environmentally sustainable existence, and aims to continue this after school.  Wilton said, “there is no company I think more highly of than Patagonia, and the Worn Wear program is one of the many examples of why that is.” Wilton also noted to keep on the lookout: “despite already being on the cutting edge of the apparel industry, Worn Wear plans to innovate further: they will be launching an e-commerce platform in the coming month allowing customers to earn money selling their used Patagonia items to other customers.”

Worn Wear Tour in Berkeley

Berkeley has the privilege of being a stop on the Worn Wear Tour during Earth Week and during the Patagonia Case Competition. On April 21st, Patagonia will be coming to Berkeley to offer a variety of repair services, teach us more about how we can extend the wear time of the clothes we hold so dear, and inform of us the many ways in which we can sustain the delicate condition of our environment, simultaneously. You can find more information here about where the Worn Wear truck will be in Berkeley and see what other events will be happening on campus.

In addition to being included in the tour, two lectures centered on the preservation of our planet and how personal activism can affect real, tangible change, will be taking place at the Haas School of Business on Thursday and Friday.

  • Thursday (12:30-1:30pm), we will have the pleasure of hosting Scott Briscoe, a member of the first African American team to climb Denali and a sincere activist for diversity.
  • Friday (12:30-1:30pm), we will be delving into responsible business approaches with Worn Wear and Bureo.

Berkeley is fortunate to have the opportunity to accommodate such enthused individuals that hope to inspire change on our campus.

Help spread the word about the Worn Wear Tour.


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