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Patagonia launches online repair portal championing circularity

Chloe Burney
13 July 2023

Outdoor apparel brand Patagonia is ‘putting the power of repair into the hands of customers' with its new online returns portal to encourage the industry and consumers to partake in a circular fashion economy.

Patagonia has entered a new phase for its initiatives in Europe, following its long-standing commitment to garment repair. The ‘Repair Portal’ will allow customers to request a repair directly, 24hrs a day as well as the ability to track the status of their repair.

In addition to the online initiative, the company is expanding its European network of fixers as well as bringing increased repair tools and services into stores. The retailer's goal is to increase repairs to 100,000 per year in the next five years.

Keeping a product in use for an extra nine months, saves 20-30% in carbon, waste and water footprints, compared to buying something new.

Willem Swager, Director of Finance and Operations at Patagonia, commented: "We need a new, regenerative model and structural change if we are to stand any chance of cleaning up the dirty industry of apparel. That’s why Patagonia is calling on brands to move away from a focus on only selling new and to stimulate reuse and longer wear of their products, through repair.

"At Patagonia, we know that offering free repairs brings us many benefits, and a unique moment to engage with our customers. And to scale our impact, we are looking for companies to join us in the repair movement. As the saying goes: 'If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together.'"

Over the last 12 years, Patagonia has educated customers on why they should prolong the lifetime of their clothing through the Worn Wear programme. For example, on Black Friday in 2011, the company placed an advertisement in the New York Times that said, "Don’t Buy This Jacket".

Last year, Patagonia partnered with Makers Unite - a new repair provider set up to service multiple apparel brands. The initiative plans to open a second location in the UK in 2023, with other European destinations planned next year.

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