Most clothes have a lifespan—you wear them until they break down. But Patagonia, the California-based outdoors company, is trying to change that with their Worn Wear College Tour, which is visiting the UO on April 18.
The Worn Wear Tour is a mobile clothing repair shop located in the back of a custom-built wagon that runs on biodiesel while driving and solar power to run the sewing machines in the back. It goes around the country, offering free clothing repairs, regardless of brand, as well as teaching customers how they can make their own repairs. If you don’t have any clothes that need repair, there will be a rack of used garments that you can fix up and take home.
Rose Marcario, Patagonia’s CEO, said in a blog post titled “Repair is a Radical Act” that “the single best thing we can do for the planet is to keep our stuff in use longer.” Extending the life of clothing and other products means less need to produce more, so all the emissions, waste and energy that comes from manufacturing is avoided.
Following the 2017 tour, Patagonia will be launching an online Worn Wear platform where they will be selling people’s used Patagonia products. To stock this site, in the spring they will begin a program that allows people to bring their used items into a Patagonia store and exchange them for store credit.
The Worn Wear Tour's stop in Eugene is made possible by the undergraduate and graduate chapters of Net Impact, a student organization affiliated with the college's Center for Sustainable Business Practices and dedicated to sustainable business, as part of their Sustainable Practice Raising Net Growth (SPRNG) Conference event. The focus of the SPRNG conference is consumer behavior habits and the impacts they have on the environment.
Keynote speakers for the conference include Rick Ridgeway, Patagonia’s vice president of environmental initiatives and special media projects; Adam Werbach, president and co-founder of Yerdle; and Scott Briscoe, the Expedition Denali event coordinator and marketing representative. Breakout sessions will be held prior to the keynote addresses where a panel of experts discuss innovations in clothing and how businesses can be used as a force for good.
The Worn Wear Wagon will be in front of the Lillis Business Complex from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The SPRNG conference begins at 5:30 p.m. and ends at 8:30 p.m.