Famous for its green credentials, outdoor apparel brand Patagonia has launched a new line taking damaged clothes, that are beyond repair and converting them into new products. Called ‘ReCrafted’, the collection is created in collaboration with upcycling company Suay Sew Shop.
Keeping damaged clothes out of landfills
Back in 2017, U.S. clothing company Patagonia launched Worn Wear for customers to bring in products that can no longer be repaired, and instead can be refurbished. The secondhand marketplace is meeting the demands of U.S. consumers, with the market predicted to be valued at US$77 billion in the country alone by 2026.
However, the company found that several clothes were beyond repair or refurbishing. This leads to a vast majority of clothes ending up in waste. For instance, in 2012, in the U.S. alone, 84% of clothes were sent to landfills or incinerators.
To address this growing waste, Patagonia partnered with L.A.-based Suay Sew Shop that creates products from post-consumer waste, deadstock, and domestic, organically, grown fibres.
Announcing the launch in a video, senior designer of Patagonia, Kourtney Morgan said: “The ReCrafted line was an answer to a question. And the question was: What are we doing with all the products we are taking back that isn’t recyclable, that isn’t resaleable, and that isn’t repairable?”
Upcycling waste into new products
VP of Environmental Affairs at Patagonia, Rick Ridgeway said: “We’ve learned that the footprint on the planet of an apparel product, like a jacket, goes way way down the longer the jacket is reused and recrafted.”
The ReCrafted collection is developed from thousands of used garments which are sorted at Patagonia’s Reno Repair Center in different categories. The centre receives clothes from the ’70s to the ’80s, to different kinds of materials. And to make it easier, the items are sorted in colour tones into how many greens or blues or blacks can be made.
Owner of Suay Sew Shop, Lindsay Rose Medoff said: “The cutter receives an estimate of how many pieces can be made and then his job is to turn the pattern into a million different ways, a pocket, a sleeve, or a body, and then it goes to the sewing floor where the assembling begins.”
The items are deconstructed and upcycled into entirely new garments. For the first phase of the collection, items include jackets and vests, sweaters, tees, and bags.
We’ve learned that the footprint on the planet of an apparel product, like a jacket, goes way way down the longer the jacket is reused and recraftedRick Ridgeway, VP of Environmental Affairs at Patagonia
Apart from this, the apparel company has opened its first dedicated Worn Wear pop-up in Boulder, Colorado, alongside an on-site repair workshop.
In the past, Patagonia has been ranked as a global sustainability leader, abandoned corporate logos on its clothing to extend the shelf life of its products and refuses to partner with companies that aren’t eco-friendly and planet driven.
Lead image courtesy of Patagonia.