An Ode to Patagonia

Join MSU Recycling, Patagonia and PostLandfill Action Network as we celebrate resue, repair, and recycling.

This past weekend, I and a couple other RISE students represented our program with a booth at Michigan State Worn Wear Tour event MSU’s Auditorium. Other attendees with booths included MSU Recycling, Sierra Club, MSU Bikes, MSU Surplus Store, MSU Upcycle–all environmentally centered organizations. The main star of the show, though, was the Patagonia brand and its Worn Wear College Tour.

Representing RISE! Featuring Max

Patagonia’s biodiesel repair truck is traveling the US to repair clothing for free and teach people how to do it themselves. As the event carried on, I watched people ranging from professors to general public to students come into the Auditorium with worn goods. They were then taught skills such as sewing and applying water resistant patches to repair the issue. To top that free service off, at a certain time in the event, Patagonia opened their boxes filled with gently worn gear in need of a little TLC to the public. This meant that you could choose an item, repair it, and take it to be yours for free. This coincides with one of their mottos of “IF IT’S BROKE, FIX IT!” Instead of being thrown into the trash, the blemished, but now as good as new, Patagonia clothing is being put to good use yet again.


Patagonia is partnered with PLAN, an organization that is working on reaching out beyond simply repairing clothing and creating action towards the production of less waste. Their aim is to start on college campuses. I personally really enjoyed speaking with the representative from PLAN at the event. It was really eye-opening to discuss their goals and initiatives with associating with college students and what the college students can do to help. I plan on signing up for their program and seeing what it is all about!

I was very impressed by Patagonia. Even before this event, I knew a little about their ethics towards clothing and the environment. I knew that they work with Fair Trade and are very open about their carbon footprint as a company. I knew that they organically sourced the food that they sell on their website. I knew about their Worn Wear campaign, but I didn’t really get the whole picture. I thought I knew a lot of things, but it turns out I didn’t know the magnitude of the impact they are making. Patagonia is more than just another clothing company– they are an activist company. They are out there helping reverse the effects of industrial waste products on the planet with innovating


Ollie fixing his “new” jacket with a Patagonia ambassador


So, next time you need to buy a jacket, consider Patagonia. You will not only get a durable and fashionable product but an eco-friendly garment with a whole lot of purpose behind it. Also, if one of your used items succumbs to the elements, first think about repair before totally pitching it in the dumpster. Even before that, try donating. Working together, we all can help our planet, one item at a time.




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