Patagonia Taps Into the Resale Craze With Used-Goods Pop-Up

Ella Chochrek

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Patagonia announced the first physical location for its Worn Wear resale program on Thursday — joining a slew of brick-and-mortar retailers that are getting in on the resale craze.

The pop-up in Patagonia’s Boulder, Colo. store will be open through February 2020. From Worn Wear, shoppers can purchase used Patagonia items the brand bought back from consumers, as well as items from the ReCrafted Collection, a line of clothes made from used garments that were diverted from landfills and repurposed.

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The Worn Wear website launched in 2017, but the Colorado pop-up marks the first brick-and-mortar location for the project. The resale market has grown exponentially and other omnichannel retailers have made recent plays in the re-commerce space. According to a ThredUp report, re-commerce has expanded 21 times faster than traditional retail over the past three years. 

Last month, Selfridges announced a partnership with reseller Vestiaire Collective and its decade-old re-commerce site, Vestiaire. A permanent Vestiaire boutique sits inside Selfridges’ London flagship. In August, both Macy’s and JCPenney announced partnerships with resale site ThredUp. Meanwhile, Neiman Marcus took a minority stake in online consignment market Fashionphile in April. Neiman’s shoppers can drop off pre-owned pieces in-store, in exchange for a type of payment that can be used at the chain.

But Patagonia’s commitment to sustainability goes beyond the resale market. The brand wants to become “carbon-positive,” meaning it wants to take more carbon out of the atmosphere than it puts in. To achieve this, Patagonia has pledged to use only renewable or recyclable materials in its ranges by 2025; it is also investing in regenerative organic agriculture as a source of raw material.

Sustainability has become a major conversation for the fashion industry, with brands across price points taking steps to reduce fashion’s negative environmental impacts. An October McKinsey report showed the environment as an area of focus for fashion brands at a time when companies have set ambitious goals for 2025. Fast-fashion retailer H&M hopes to be climate-positive by 2040, while luxury conglomerate Kering, parent to Gucci and Saint Laurent, committed to going carbon-neutral across all its brands and supply chain, retroactive to 2018.

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