Photo: Patagonia

It's an unusual move for a company whose business model is based on selling clothes, but Patagonia are offering to repair people's old garments for free to make them last longer. And not just ones they've made, but clothes from any other brand, including their competitors.

They've set out on a multi-date tour of the UK's outdoor hotspots (with stops in Wales, the Lake District and that hotbed of adventure sports enthusiasts, East London) and are offering to repair any broken item of clothing - including replacing zips, buttons, patching and sewing on patches.

"So what's the big idea? Surely this initiative will mean people buying less kit?"

As well as doing the repairs, Patagonia's professional tailors will be teaching people how to repair their own kit. So what's the idea? Surely this initiative (which they're calling the Worn Wear Tour) will mean people buying less kit?

Photo: Patagonia

Well yes. But actually it's quite a smart move. Patagonia have always been proud of their eco-credentials. In the run up to Christmas 2011 they famously advertised a fleece with the words "Don't Buy This Jacket", explaining that any unnecessary consumption was bad for the planet. And projects like this help them re-affirm their environmental bona fides.

A famous Patagonia ad from 2011.

As their press release explains: "Extending the life of our garments is the single most important thing we can do to lower our impact on the planet.

"This simple act of extending the life of our garments through proper care and repair reduces the need to buy more over time — thereby avoiding the CO2 emissions, waste output, and water usage required to build it."

All of which is great news for the planet, but also for anyone with broken kit. Have a look at the Worn Wear Tour website for the full details and dates of the whole tour, including the European legs.

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