Patagonia recently announced its Common Threads Initiative for environmental sustainability. The two-pronged approach will start by challenging customers to be more thoughtful about their purchases with "think twice" verbiage appearing on hangtags and store signage—a tactic intended to discourage potential buyers from excessive, needless consumption, but a suprising one nonetheless.
Patagonia's founder, Yvon Chouinard, a longtime environmental activist who has positioned the company to donate more than $40 million to the cause over the years, believes that shifting the attitude will drive people towards their high-quality products and ultimately be good for business, WWD reports.
The primary component of the initiative lies with the brand's four R's: reduce, repair, reuse, recycle. The tenets will be outlined in the upcoming holiday catalog (available November 15), including policies on product guarantees and free repairs on broken zippers and such, as well as plans to set up clothing collection, donation and trading options. Chouinard indicated at the Sustainable Textiles Conference that eBay would play a role in such practices, but neither Patagonia nor eBay reps offered any additional details.
Besides its own brand, Patagonia is exercising its eco-conscious know-how by assisting mega-retailer Wal-Mart in its sustainability practices, as well as participating in the industry-wide sustainability grading system being hashed out to classify all apparel in the coming years.