There isn't anything wrong with Patagonia's clothing — in fact, the heritage brand is renowned for its quality outerwear. But if you asked the owner, Yvon Chouinard, he would urge you not to buy any new Patagonia products. Why? The passionate outdoorsman (who doesn't own a cell phone or computer) is urging his customers to reuse, recycle, and refuse — refuse to buy something new, starting with Patagonia's goods. It's a great message — and a fitting reminder to us all on Earth Day — but it's a strategy that's also seemingly at odds with growing your business.
Still, Chouinard isn't your typical businessman. His environmentally conscious efforts aren't just in line with what he views as a kind of social responsibility, but are also a way to remind customers to get the most out of his clothes and "wear them as long as possible." To that effect, he's also launched the Worn Wear Wagon, a mobile repair shop that travels the country helping Patagonia customers fix their used clothing. And, if that doesn't make you a loyal customer, perhaps his new mission to resell used clothing (at a reduced price) right alongside the new in his stores will. In any case, it's a message we'll take with us long after Earth Day and to brands beyond Patagonia. What's your take on Chouinard's mission to simplify your wardrobe?