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Patagonia’s Boulder Popup Brings Worn Wear Take-Back Program to Life

Patagonia picked Colorado’s outdoor mecca and mountain town, Boulder, to debut its first Worn Wear popup shop on Nov. 14.

The Pearl Street popup replaced the Patagonia local store, which moved to a larger location nearby.  Patagonia said it was the perfect time to bring the Worn Wear resale experience to the brick-and-mortar arena while it still held a lease on the space.

Worn Wear allows consumers to turn in used Patagonia apparel for store credit. That gear is cleaned, refurbished and resold at accessible prices, expanding the brand’s pool of potential shoppers. The two-year-old program has sold 120,000 repaired and reused products so far, Patagonia said.

Consumers will also get a chance to interact with Patagonia and Worn Wear through several activations through February, when the popup is scheduled to end. These include several repair, sewing and upcycling workshops to encourage consumers to maintain their own clothing and hiking trips in the Rocky Mountains.

Patagonia's Worn Wear program will get the pop-up treatment in Boulder, Colorado this winter
Boulder’s Worn Wear pop-up will sell both repaired Patagonia products and the brand’s new Recrafted Collection along with hosting several community activations for consumers in Boulder, Colo. Patagonia

The new Worn Wear popup will sell repaired Patagonia products along with the brand’s new ReCrafted Collection, which is composed of apparel that has been reconstituted from multiple garments to create new styles, including down jackets and vests, sweaters, t-shirts and bags.

This isn’t the first time the Worn Wear program has taken its wares to the people. Worn Wear also operates the Worn Wearmobile, a mobile repair station that has traveled to more than 135 different locations over the past two years, according to Patagonia.

Patagonia is no stranger to the apparel repair business and has successfully monetized its founder’s philosophy that “the best jacket for our planet is one that already exists.” After adding repair services to its business model in the 1970s, Patagonia has expanded its capacity to more than 100,000 items a year. Currently, Patagonia operates 72 repair centers around the world.

Worn Wear is Patagonia’s resale strategy, supported by its existing apparel repair infrastructure. In a statement, the brand pointed to a ThredUp report indicating the secondhand clothing market’s 21x growth versus traditional retail. Brands like Adidas, Farfetch and even J.C. Penney have joined the secondhand market in recent months.