Talk about walking the walk. I just read an article about Patagonia, an outdoor merchandise retailer, strongly encouraging people to look into buying used gear before buying new from them. That’s a pretty amazing thing to hear from a company which won’t be profiting on said sales of used gear, but I like it.
This is a part of their Common Threads Initiative, and participants get special privileges to sell their used Patagonia gear on eBay’s Patagonia Common Threads Initiative site, which also appears to show up on Patagonia’s website in the used clothing and gear section.
The pledge is pretty simple:
I pledge to buy only what I need.
I pledge to repair items when they are broken.
I pledge to use what I have, sell what I don’t need, and buy used when I can.
I pledge to keep my stuff out of landfills.
Together we will reimagine a planet where we take only what nature can replace.
Sounds to me like something that anyone trying to live an eco friendly lifestyle can agree to, even though it won’t always be easy. I believe most people will be challenged significantly by the Repair part, as well as the Recycle part, as even the best intentioned of us usually generate some trash that goes into the landfill.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out for Patagonia as a business. They’ve shown themselves to be quite active in environmental causes, but this step may impact their bottom line.
That said, I don’t know that it will be a big impact. There are still plenty of people who will be solely interested in Patagonia’s products as products, and not for the environmental philosophy. I expect there will continue to be plenty of people buying new from them.
I have been a patagonia fan for a long time, not just for their gear but for their ethic.
This pledge is a great thing for anyone in the industrial world to remember – especially since it’s all too easy these days to both buy and discard things without a good reason.