American outdoor specialist Patagonia has established an initiative to encourage customers to consume less as part of their Common Threads program in Europe. The initiative mutually pledges customers to buy and use clothing more sustainably and focuses on five “R’s”: reduce, repair, reuse, recycle and reimagine. Accompanied by the initiative, Patagonia published an advertisement in the New York Times on November 25, the period of time, when consumption in the USA is reaching a peak just after Thanksgiving.

The aim to have as minimal impact as possible on resources and the environment has been part of Patagonia’s DNA for many years. In 2006, Patagonia was the very first apparel brand to ask its consumer to recycle with their Capilene® Baselayers, when the Common Threads program was launched. Extended season after season, Patagonia is now taking back every Patagonia garment put on the market, recycling what they can and keeping what can’t be recycled yet.

But recycling is only the last step, when repairing or reusing is not an option. A generous repair policy is also part of the strategy as a new cooperation with eBay Inc., to encourage customers to resell used Patagonia products. To help customers put back in circulation used clothes, and set up the reuse “R”, Patagonia and eBay Inc. launched a new marketplace for customers to buy and sell used Patagonia gear. Only available for the US market for now, Patagonia is also thinking about a similar partnership for Europe. “eBay and Patagonia have created this unique store to encourage customers to go into their closets, find the Patagonia garments they don’t currently need, and list them on eBay to continue their useful life,” notes Rick Ridgeway, Patagonia’s VP of Environmental Initiatives.