On April 15th, Yale Avenue was filled with zealous Seattle Patagonia patrons, anxiously awaiting the Worn Wagon’s arrival in front of Feathered Friends; eager to fix their worn gear, busted zippers, rips and tears. The Patagonia repair team hit the road for a cross-country spring tour, traveling coast-to-coast doing free repairs with an industrial sewing machine, while also teaching customers how to fix their own gear with DIY stations. Even if you didn’t have any worn gear, they supplied it with a reward: fix it and you can keep it. I was on the scene to check out the tour and see how the repair process worked.
Patagonia actively helps and encourages customers to bring new life into clothes, keeping their gear in action longer and taking some pressure off our planet. The overall goal of the wagon tour is to raise mindfulness about renewing clothing. Patagonia joins others in the outdoor industry, such as L.L. Bean, in standing by their gear’s longevity and offering free repairs to its customers. Since the success of outdoor product companies is based on getting their customers outside to enjoy nature, many are increasingly focusing on environmental issues in regard to their company policies. More and more, we are seeing companies support specific environmental causes, encourage long-term use of their products, and seek out local materials in the interest of being environmentally friendly. Patagonia’s Worn Wear campaign is a reflection of these efforts across the industry.
Better Than New: “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. The Worn Wear program celebrates the stories we wear and keeps your gear in action longer to take some of the pressure off the planet.” – Patagonia
Seattle is known for its welcoming community of open-minded people with diverse backgrounds that have interests in inner exploration and outdoor adventures. Seattleites reinforced this eminence with a rousing welcome upon the Worn Wagon’s arrival. There was loud cheering and clapping with cameras going off like crazy! One patron described the wagon as “a sweet, back road, gnarly mountain hippie truck.”
The Patagonia Wagon Wear wagon is a recycled, custom biodiesel fueled 1991 Dodge Cummins truck. Its shell is a handmade redwood camper, made from salvaged wine barrels, by artist and surfer Jay Nelson. The wagon runs on biodiesel while driving and solar power when the sewing machines are spinning.
If you missed the stop, no worries! The Patagonia Seattle store located in Belltown, offers repair services in addition to a Worn Wear section as part of the Common Threads Partnership.