Buy & Sell Used Stuff at Patagonia’s Worn Wear Store

, October 5, 2017

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It’s practically inevitable that the gear you once bought is no longer the gear you now need. After grabbing a Patagonia Down and Arc’teryx Gore-Tex ensemble to be flexible for ski touring in Japan earlier this year, I no longer needed my Patagonia Primo Down Jacket (the down and waterproofing layer are integrated). Nevertheless, my Primo Down was still seriously robust for many types of skiing, and could do with a more active owner anyway.

I can’t be the only one that sees this – thousands of dollars hanging in the closet, merely gathering dust or becoming moth-bitten. In reality, my Primo Down Jacket stands a better chance of outlasting my own lifetime, so was only at the beginning of its journey of what is now its Worn Wear odyssey.

Worn Wear’s trade-in programme is the latest in Patagonia’s attempt to slow the production of new things and give well made objects the chance of a second owner. By receiving and repairing products at their retail stores in exchange for Patagonia vouchers, they’ve built their own inventory of used gear, now listed at WornWear.com.

There is a direct economic component to this, one that removes the friction for those on the fence about trading-in their used stuff. I spent a good portion of a monthly salary on my Primo Down Jacket, so getting some kind of return during my exchange with Patagonia made a significant difference. The flip side of this is the pricepoint of refurbished products on WornWear.com –  they come it a way lower price point than new products, even though the quality remains exceptional.

Patagonia’s audience is already widespread in the U.S. so instead of figuring out how to build inventory and find customers for the second-hand products, they are able to focus on the operational layer of Worn Wear. Currently there are teams in both Reno and Ventura that work on Worn Wear, repairing thousands of refurbished garments per week with the help of in-store employees. A smaller team in Reno updates the WornWear.com store.

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The Patagonia booth at ISPO 2017, a tradeshow in Munich

Patagonia are looking to tour with the extended Worn Wear message in Europe, Japan and Latin America. European roads have already been navigated by the Worn Wear vehicle, which did repairs on-the-go (see the photo above). Indeed, this reach could extend to the international exchange of products, enhancing the story-telling element between adventure lovers around the world.

Beneath the entire model of Worn Wear is a more deeper connection to quality, and the subtle art of caring for your expensive technical gear during ownership. By placing a premium on longevity through sophisticated design and quality manufacturing, efforts like Worn Wear alter the entire investment profile of purchasing products. Instead of being bound for a kind of destruction or redundancy, well made products like those from Patagonia can be passed between owners with confidence, and perhaps even with a sense of shared charisma.

Consult this Worn Wear trade-in sheet to see how much you can sell your threads for.