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Patagonia’s Worn Wear Program Lets Consumers Mail In Used Goods for Credit

Outdoor apparel brand and sustainability stalwart Patagonia announced a new circularity-focused initiative to save used clothes from the landfill.

The brand’s Worn Wear program now allows consumers to mail in their worn Patagonia goods for store credit, which can be redeemed online or in-store to purchase new or used goods.

The used clothing sent in by consumers is cleaned and put up for sale on the brand’s Worn Wear microsite for a fraction of the retail price.

Patagonia introduced the mail-based extension to Worn Wear in a newsletter on Wednesday. This complements the existing store trade-in program, which launched in 2017.

“As individuals, the single best thing we can do for the planet is keep our stuff in use longer and reduce our overall consumption in the process,” Patagonia said in a video on the microsite. The brand asserted that keeping clothing in use for just nine extra months can reduce the related carbon, water and waste footprints by between 20 and 30 percent.

Worn Wear accepts used Patagonia men’s and women’s clothing, as well as luggage. “Next-to-skin” items like bathing suits, underwear, wetsuits, sleeping bags and accessories are not accepted. All items must be in good condition and function perfectly to be considered eligible for trade-in, the brand said on its site. Any items that are deemed ineligible for re-sale will be recycled by Patagonia.

Recouped goods are cleaned using a CO2-based technology from Tersus Solutions, which claims to present fewer impacts to natural resources than home laundering. Ninety-eight percent of the liquefied CO2 used in the process is reclaimed, Patagonia said, and the waterless process also captures microfibers that might otherwise make their way into waterways.

To get started with a trade-in, consumers can check their goods against a list of currently accepted pieces on the Worn Wear site, and print out a shipping label for the return. Ten dollars will be deducted from the item’s trade in value to pay for shipping and handling. Patagonia asks that consumers ship their used items in “an old bag or box,” to “extend the life of packaging that already exists.”

In a video describing the program, Patagonia said, “Worn Wear celebrates the stories we wear, keeps your gear in action longer through repair and recycles your garments when they’re beyond repair.”