Green, Cheap, and Patagonia: The Common Threads Partnership 

For outdoor enthusiasts, gear is like a magical drug. We live it, breathe it, and use it to get us up, down, and around the mountains, canyons, rivers, and beaches of our spectacular earth. Sadly, there’s an almost ironic and negative correlation between some gear and the environment which forces a true lover of the outdoors, at one point or another, to stop and ask themselves, “If the production of my gear is hurting the planet, then can I really call myself a lover and defender of nature?” Luckily, Patagonia has an affordable and elegant solution.

The Concept
You may remember seeing the now famous, and at the time, controversial add from Patagonia: “Don’t Buy This Jacket.” The initiative is quite straightforward—Patagonia asks its customers to only buy new gear that they truly need, keep it for a lifetime, mend it regularly, and buy or sell used gear. How does this help the environment? Well, for starters, the production of gear, no matter how “green” or sustainable, often requires petrol—chemicals, dyes, and creates carbon emissions. However, when you buy used gear, or simply mend your own, you create less of a demand which, ideally, means less of a strain on our natural resources and environment. Thus, the Common Threads Partnership allows Patagonia customers to buy and sell used gear through the powers of none other than Ebay.

Gear You Can Score
From mountaineering jackets to running pants, yoga dresses to hardcore climbing shells, the beauty of the Common Threads Partnership is that, at any given time, you can find rare, well-worn, gems. All of these items have rich histories and, you have to admit, it’s kind cool wearing the gear of another fellow badass.

Worn Wear
Patagonia also created an initiative called Worn Wear which celebrates the stories behind the gear we don as we climb mountains, navigate raging rivers, and adventure widely. Some famous athletes who have participated in this project include Tommy Caldwell and Alex Honnold.

Why This Partnership Matters
One of the main reasons the “Don’t Buy This Jacket” campaign was controversial ( so much so that many haters called it down-right gimmicky) is because it was one of the first instances where a powerhouse clothing company actually made a commitment to the environment by asking their loyal customers to (mind blown) buy less. Now, perhaps this was (and still is) just a gimmick but, in the end, does it really matter? No doubt, people will continue to drop hundreds of dollars on Patagonia’s expensive, but high-quality, gear; if the partnership makes consumers stop for a moment and think about the impact of their purchase, perhaps the gimmick isn’t a gimmick after all. So, take the pledge, score some sick gear, and adventure on!

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