Update: Patagonia's Progress with Closed-Loop Recycling

9:28 a.m. on April 12, 2010 (EDT)
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This thread is for comments on the article "Update: Patagonia's Progress with Closed-Loop Recycling"

In 2007, Patagonia boldly announced its goal to have a completely closed-loop clothing line by 2010. That would mean every product available for purchase would be manufactured from recycled materials and also would be able to be recycled into new gear once worn out. It's now 2010, so where does Patagonia stand? Trailspace checked in.

Full article at https://www.trailspace.com/articles/2010/04/12/patagonia-closed-loop-recycling.html

3:56 p.m. on April 12, 2010 (EDT)
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I believe strongly in Reduce, Re-use, Recycle. It's not always easy, and sometimes you have to change the way you do things a bit, but it just makes sense.

I'm glad this program seems to be working out, this is one of the reasons I like Capilene so much, besides the fact that it is a great base layer.

It's too bad they could not meet their goal. Try as I might I don't meet all of mine either. The important thing is to challenge yourself, or your group, or in this case, your company.

Ever since I became aware of Patagonia I have appreciated their approach to this matter.

7:20 p.m. on April 12, 2010 (EDT)
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Let's stipulate that the products Patagonia puts out using recycled materials suffer not at all in comparison to products not made with recycled materials. A relevant question--perhaps the most relevant question--becomes one of cost. Is there a cost difference between the two? If so, how much, and in what direction? Most have long assumed that products made of recycled materials are more expensive to produce than those made of "virgin" polyester or whatever. Some people also harbored suspicions that the former products may be of slightly lesser quality, but I think most of those persons have abandoned such notions.

If we assume that quality is not an issue, as stated above, then it becomes interesting to try to determine how much of a premium one might be willing to pay for such a product. Having pondered the idea now and again, I've more or less concluded that I'm willing, in most circumstances, to pay up to about 10% more for gear or clothing made mostly or entirely of recycled materials.

Anyone else willing to pay extra for "closed loop clothing"?

10:13 p.m. on April 12, 2010 (EDT)
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I'm willing to pay more with the understanding that if enough people recycle, it should reduce the price we pay in terms of damage to the environment. If we do it smart.

11:48 p.m. on April 12, 2010 (EDT)
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"Pay for it now, or pay for it later" as the saying goes.. It's all the same, but I'd rather pay a bit more now. There are other manufacturers using recycled materials in their fabrics. Most fleece IS. One issue to contend with is that some of those products will, inevitably, be substandard from time to time, which may bring about the opinion that all recycleds are of lesser quality. As for Patagonia...I never had a single problem w/ quality.

8:49 a.m. on April 13, 2010 (EDT)
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If any of you haven't already, check out the Footprint Chronicles, where Patagonia traces the impact of certain garments: materials, shipping costs, and so on. It's an interesting overview and helps you question what is truly a less harmful product.

Recycled fabric and organic cotton tend to cost more, but if more manufacturers use recycled fabrics, costs go down for everyone.

I'll pay a bit more for organic or recycled materials, assuming the quality is there. With Patagonia, I'm confident in their clothes and their quality.

They may not have reached the closed-loop end goal yet, but at least they're striving toward it and asking questions along the way.

1:40 p.m. on April 18, 2010 (EDT)
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I am willing to pay a bit extra now. That said, in my experience Patagonia base layers & fleece, recycled or not, simply perform better and seem to last forever.

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