The outdoor apparel manufacturer yesterday launched its Common Threads Initiative, which the company describes as a partnership with customers to reduce consumption. The program asks customers to make a pledge on the Patagonia website.
“This program first asks customers to not buy something if they don’t need it,” says 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.
“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,” Chouinard adds.
Patagonia in turn says it has committed itself to making products that last, and to help quickly repair any of its products that break.
Patagonia has also worked with Ebay to create the Common Threads Initiative store, hosted on the Ebay site. This store establishes a new model for consumption, the companies say, marking the first time a major retail brand has actively encouraged its customers to buy and sell used products on Ebay. It is also Ebay’s first multi-seller branded store.
Customers who list used Patagonia products on Ebay will be asked to take the Common Threads Initiative pledge and become a partner. The customers’ listings will then be included in the Common Threads store and on Patagonia.com. Patagonia says it will not receive any of the profits associated with the Common Threads Initiative storefront.
Ebay says it has developed several innovative projects over the past year to reduce the environmental impact of its business. The Ebay Box, launched as a pilot in September 2010, encourages buyers and sellers to reuse packaging. Ebay Instant Sale, launched in October 2010, encourages customers to sell and/or recycle their used electronics.