These brands offer outdoor gear repairs and services to make your business last longer
No matter how careful you are with your outdoor gear, wear and tear is inevitable. And while DIY repairs are nice in theory, not everyone has the time or patience to sit around with a needle and thread. Fortunately, more and more apparel, footwear, and backpack brands are offering expanded repair services and take-back programs that match a growing desire to shop more consciously.
Circularity programs have come at the right time, and not just because more of us are spending our weekends in the great outdoors these days. With projections from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation showing that clothes will account for a quarter of the world’s annual carbon budget by 2050, reducing the number of clothes sent to landfill is essential. Below, we’ve outlined a handful of brands with outdoor gear repair and exchange programs that help us renew, reuse, and extend the life of our gear.
Patagonia has offered apparel repair services since the 1970s, but its more recent Worn Wear program, which encourages customers to trade in and repair their used gear, has inspired a broader circularity movement over the past five years. Boasting 72 global repair centers and the largest repair facility in North America, the outdoor gear titan offers free repairs on select items, including alpine jackets and pants that need a repaired hole or a repaired zipper. Its Worn Wear technicians even tour internationally, fixing products (regardless of brand) and leading equipment maintenance workshops.
The California-based company also continues to make its favorite pieces more eco-friendly. This spring, for the first time ever, all of its Baggies shorts will be made entirely from discarded fishing net, which is just one of the ways 94% of Patagonia’s spring line uses recycled materials to preserve the resources.
After creating a cult following for its technical jackets like the all-weather Beta AR, Arc’teryx now makes gear maintenance as cool as its Gore-Tex shells. The Canadian outerwear brand’s trade-in program has fueled a line of coveted recycled products (for example, its bespoke bags sold out in less than a week). In 2021, it launched ReBird, a circularity platform and hub for its waste reduction initiatives. Among them is the brand’s first ReBird Service Center, which opened at its Broadway store in New York last fall, allowing “Arcy” loyalists to bring in their gear for free repairs. With two more ReBird Service Centers set to open this year and its Fall/Winter 2022 lineup offering triple the amount of recycled content compared to 2021, its circularity strategy is only just taking off.
Heritage clothing brand Filson backs its products with a robust product guarantee that allows customers to return certain items for repair, whether it’s a two-year-old flannel shirt that’s missing a button or a a decades-old Filson briefcase that has traveled the world. (Some products like socks, gloves, and t-shirts are not eligible and if the product is out of warranty, the repair will be at your expense.) Filson’s craftsmanship is best showcased at the workshop of the brand’s flagship store in Seattle. , where two full-time artisans create unique products in small batches from unused materials such as old military bags and tarps, rolls of fabric, and returned or irreparable product scraps, which are then sold on-site.