Vail Today: Patagonia urges customers to repair garments (video) |

Vail Today: Patagonia urges customers to repair garments (video)

Kern Ducote, of Patagonia, left, discusses the company's Worn Wear program with Vail Today's Tricia Swenson.
Austin Day | Special to the Daily |

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Editor’s note: This is part five of a seven-part series on new gear and ideas featured at the Snowsports Industries America (SIA) Snow Show held in Denver in January. SIA is a nonprofit, member-owned trade association representing suppliers of consumer snowsports with constituents in the retailer, rep and resort communities.

Every year at the Snowsports Industries America (SIA) Snow Show, there’s a quest to find out what’s new. Is there new technology in skis, boots, boards or bindings? Is there a new fabric out there that will keep you warm, dry and comfortable? It’s all about the latest and greatest. That wasn’t the case this year at Patagonia.

Sure, they’re still advancing technology and creating some of the top outdoor clothing and products on the market, but they also are asking you to repair, rather than replace, your garments in order to keep them out of the landfill.

On its website, the company states, “One of the most responsible things we can do as a company is to make high-quality stuff that lasts for years and can be repaired, so you don’t have to buy more of it.” That’s a refreshing way to hear a company speak, in comparison to some that just want you to buy more to increase their profits. Quality still goes a long way at Patagonia.

At SIA, Patagonia had a seamstress in its booth who was working on garments that trade show participants had brought in. Throughout the year, they have the Worn Wear truck that travels the United States and does mobile repairs daily. They were also handing out a do-it-yourself repair guide that lets you know how to fix anything from patching a down jacket to replacing a slider on a coil zipper.

Send your ripped Nano Puff or Down Sweater back to them, and they’ll fix it for you. Patagonia employs 45 full-time repair technicians at its service center in Reno, Nevada. It’s the largest repair facility in North America — completing about 40,000 repairs per year.

Those rips and patches and signs of wear and tear become our stories. What do your well-loved garments say about you?