Opinion: Praising Patagonia for preserving my puffy

Good gear isn’t cheap, but I believe it’s worth every penny. Forget the upfront cost. I’ll willingly plunk down my moola for a quality product that’s built to last a lifetime, figuring that I’ll win the cost-per-year game in the long run.

What’s that you say? Nothing lasts forever?

True dat. That’s where Patagonia’s “ironclad guarantee” comes into play: “We guarantee everything we make. If you are not satisfied with one of our products at the time you receive it, or if one of our products does not perform to your satisfaction, return it to the store you bought it from or to Patagonia for a repair, replacement or refund. Damage due to wear and tear will be repaired at a reasonable charge.”

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I recently tested Patagonia’s guarantee when the zipper blew out on my beloved Nano Puff Hoody. Even though I had no record of the many-years-ago purchase, I went online and printed out the convenient return form and sent off my hoody. A few weeks later, it came back home with a new zipper. Free of charge. With a nice note card thanking me for having my gear repaired.

Patagonia believes in keeping its gear in use and out of the landfill. In addition to offering hassle-free returns and repairs, the Worn Wear section of the company’s website provides tips for garment care and DIY repair guides, should you feel up to tackling a given repair job yourself.

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You can purchase gently used Patagonia gear through the Worn Wear website. The used items come from a trade-in program whereby Patagonia retailers accept used gear in good condition in exchange for credit in Patagonia retail stores, on wornwear.com and on patagonia.com.

Patagonia’s Worn Wear Mobile Tour travels throughout the USA and Europe repairing the company’s gear on the spot and living the mantra: “repair is a radical act.” How cool is that!

More than making some of my favorite gear, Patagonia lives and breathes its mission statement: “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” I find that refreshing.

Check out this video about Patagonia’s Worn Wear program:

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Patagonia launches digital platform to connect environmental activism community

Regardless of political affiliation, I think any of us who love the outdoors and bikes are somewhat environmentally conscious. And if we are environmentally conscious, we can all agree that the planet is in trouble and in need of us to come together to fight for our parks and natural resources. But sometimes, it can be hard to know how to help.

Today, Patagonia launched a new digital platform connecting customers with local grassroots organizations working to save the planet. The goal of this new platform, called Patagonia Action Works, is to help people learn more about local environmental issues and how to get involved with events, petitions, fundraising and volunteering time and skills.

Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard says, “If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know that things aren’t going very well for the planet. It’s pretty easy to get depressed about it. I’ve always known that the cure for depression is action.”

This is the next chapter in the company’s 40-year history of activism and its giving program, 1% for the Planet. Patagonia’s support of grassroots environmental organizations around the world has totaled nearly $90 million and has reached thousands of community-based groups creating positive change for the planet. Many of the nonprofits operate with limited resources, and through this new platform, Patagonia aims to make these groups more effective and powerful than ever before.

Patagonia President and CEO Rose Marcario says, “This platform makes it easy to connect with organizations in your neighborhood who are working every day on local issues. We have decades of experience with these groups, and our collective grassroots actions can add up to the change we need to make a better world. With the threats we face, we need everyone in this fight.”

Specifically, Patagonia Action Works allows people to find environmental nonprofits based on issue and location. It also provides links for grassroots organizations who are new to Patagonia to apply for funding.

 “If we could connect our community, friends and customers directly with local groups working on issues they are passionate about, suddenly these organizations would have the capacity to achieve even more,” said Lisa Pike Sheehy, vice president of environmental activism at Patagonia. “Everybody has a role to play in this movement.”

Patagonia Action Works will launch with a national tour that unites community members with environmental organizations, laying the foundation for long-term community building and action. The tour will go the following cities: Santa Monica (2/9); Burlington, Vermont (2/16 and 2/17); Portland, Oregon (2/22); Washington, D.C. (3/6); Austin, Texas (3/13); New York City (TBD); Chicago (TBD) and Reno (4/5).

 Learn more about Patagonia Action Works here.

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