Fashion Week is a time to present the new and toss out the old. As exciting as it is to see designer’s fresh ideas, most people forget, or turn a blind eye to the fact that this really promotes more consumption and inevitably creates more waste. Patagonia, the longstanding environmentally conscious outfitter is thinking differently and from a financial point of view, bravely, with the launch of their Ebay storefront where the company will not sell its own products but rather promote used Patagonia clothing from eBay sellers.
“This program first asks customers to not buy something if they don’t need it,” said Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia’s founder and owner. “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.”
Customers are asked to take a formal pledge, “to be partners in the effort to reduce consumption and keep products out of the landfill or incinerator,” Chouninard said.
Chouinard, says making money is not the point. Instead, he says he just wants people to reuse still-wearable Patagonia apparel rather than buying new threads. This is his way of helping to preserve the environment. “If we aim to reduce our impact, we have to reduce the amount of stuff Patagonia sells. We have to tell customers to buy stuff only when you really need it. This is an experiment. We’ll see how it goes.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, Chouinard acknowledged that, as a private company, owned by him, his wife and his two children, Patagonia is in a unique position to experiment with something like this. He states that Patagonia made $400 million in sales in 2010 and is on pace to grow 25% this year. Chouinard continues with “I’m in business for different reasons.”
To see the storefront click here.