November 20, 2015 8:16 PM MST - Subscription purchasing, account maintenance, forum profile maintenance, new account registration, and forum posting have been disabled
as we prepare our databases for the final migration to our new server next week. Stay tuned here for more details.
Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Patagonia attitude toward gear recycling
Display Avatars Sort By:
Matthew Black
Patagonia attitude toward gear recycling on 10/28/2011 22:55:49 MDT Print View

This was just sent to me in an e-mail by Patagonia:

It is easy to be cynical but I appreciate that a company whose primary reason for existence is to sell me clothes will direct me to a source of their used goods and in fact encourage me to buy only what I absolutely need.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Patagonia attitude toward gear recycling on 10/29/2011 00:36:44 MDT Print View

Patagonia has nothing to fear and it just adds to the cache and legend of the brand. Note that the move has us discussing Patagonia on a popular outdoor product forum--- pure gold in advertising and marketing. They get to say, "look how valued our used products are." In a similar vein, car manufacturers brag about the resale value of their cars. I do think that Chouinard is sincere about sustainability and environmental issues and wants the company to reflect that.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
use it all up on 10/29/2011 00:57:14 MDT Print View

no need for new yuppie gear ... just buy it used, or buy it on deep discount, or buy stuff that is hella cheap like those $30 down costco puffies ...

and use it till it no longer works ...

i know this is BPL and we're all gear hoars who need the latest and lightest ...

but at the end of the day gear is to a means to an end ... not the end itself ;)

Dave Marcus
(Djrez4) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Whores, Eric. on 10/29/2011 07:59:22 MDT Print View

We're gear whores. ;)

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Whores, Eric. on 10/29/2011 08:35:57 MDT Print View

Eric gets all his stuff at Canadian Tire, right, eh?

David T
(DaveT) - F
blah blah blah. on 10/29/2011 09:27:15 MDT Print View

I summarize.

"... buy cheap.... use it up... gnar off width... dead bird... patagucci... all YOU yuppies... super gnar..."

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Re: Re: Whores, Eric. on 10/29/2011 10:05:41 MDT Print View

lol dale ...

mec has been called the walmart of canadian outoor gear ... i do have to say im more happy with their branded gear than stuff going for 2-3x the price under yuppie labels ... not to mention their gear swap is great for both buying and dumping unused gear

personally i get more use out of cheaper (which doesnt mean any lower quality) gear ... its the first thing i grab ...

MEC R1 copy ... still going strong while my patagucci and dead bird similar fleeces have small holes from minor use
BD cheap 50$ harness ... still going strong while i blew out 3 dead bird "top of the line" harnesses (god i love MECs return policy)
MEC 16$ climbing bullet pack ... going strong after 3 seasons with everything from those "gnar" chimneys to getting hauled while my dead bird pack blew a hole in the side through light multipitch use in a month
MH 50$ weave softshell ... gets the most use cause it works and is cheap, and when it dies ill find something similar at at similar low price (you can buy MH weave softshells here for ~50$ at discount stores)
OR chaos belay jacket i picked up for $130 ... warm, durable, no need to worry too much about rampaging bears gnawing at it
wallymart and mec base layers and underwear ... my 8$ polartec mec t shirts have been through a lot including those "deadly offwidths" not a single hole yet

im sure alot of other people have other such stories and judging by the activity on the 30$ down puffy thread, they have similar interest in "budget" gear

not to say i dont buy some of the lastest greatest new stuff if the weights savings are substantial (or helium, MB exl)

but a lot of the times there is no need for all that fancy $$$$ gear ... much more important to go out and spend the money on gas for trips and having fun ... rather than swapping out gear all the time IMO

i noticed a while ago that those who do the most and have the most enjoyment ,,, are not necessarily those with the latest, fanciest doo daaahs ... they use what they have, and use it well ... and make things happen

same for anything else in life i guess =P

Edited by bearbreeder on 10/29/2011 10:11:36 MDT.

Darren Bagnall

Locale: El Portal, CA
not cynical at all on 10/29/2011 14:08:15 MDT Print View

Gotta love Patagucci. They send us spam email and we love them for it. The Common Threads Initiative is one of the best marketing initiatives I have seen. Patagonia has a great brand, great products, and are a responsible company (although I would like to see fewer factories in China and other countries and more in the US AND fewer paper catalogs in the mail).

Patagonia has to fight the Catch-22: The very act of purchasing their products contradicts the values and lifestyle embodied by the Patagonia brand. They are a large capitalist entity that sells outdoor products at he very highest end of the market. Their target demographic is over 35 and has lots of disposable income and a certain set of values and beliefs (This isn't an outdoor company that sells camouflage gear). If you didn't believe they are an incredibly socially and environmentally responsible company whose brand embodies the very values and lifestyle we strive to live we would never purchase their pricey products.

Yuppies love buying this brand because it makes them believe they embody the same values as the company.

The people I know who actually LIVE the values and lifestyle espoused by The Common Threads Initiative can't afford Patagonia products.

Excuse me - I need to go buy a $130 down suit for my six month old baby who will grow out of it in a month.

David T
(DaveT) - F
patagonia. on 10/29/2011 14:17:18 MDT Print View

I dunno. Is their stuff really that expensive if you buy it used or on sale? I mean, when was the last time anyone (at least on BPL) bought a Patagonia or North Face item and paid full price? From their web specials, to, to whatever, it's awful easy to get good quality items for 60% their (arguably high) retail price.

I mean, if they have a retail $30 belt and I buy it for $12 on sale and wear it every day for the last three years, does that mean I am a non-gnar, totally not-off-width yuppie?

The deadbird/patagucci/yuppie-accusation! stuff is played out.

Edited by DaveT on 10/29/2011 14:18:14 MDT.

Dan Cherry
(risingsun) - F

Locale: Northern Arizona
100% agree w/ Dave on 10/29/2011 16:41:14 MDT Print View

Dave nailed it. I buy and own Patagonia products, among others. Most, if not all, bought on discount from places like REI and 6PM. The products last, fit me well, are backed by a sweet (oft-imitated) guarantee (even if bought on sale), and their catalogues fuel my wanderlust. I admire Chouinard as well. Hate me for it, if you must. :-)

Darren Bagnall

Locale: El Portal, CA
Hate on 10/29/2011 17:04:52 MDT Print View

I don't think anyone in this thread said anything about hating or labeling people who buy Patagonia products. I own
a Patagonia jacket myself and I bought it new at a 50% discount.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: patagonia. on 10/29/2011 17:27:25 MDT Print View

"The deadbird/patagucci/yuppie-accusation! stuff is played out."

Oh gosh, like +infinity. More than played out, exceptionally tiring, boorish and downright silly. Enough already.

Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
Pat on 10/30/2011 07:24:49 MDT Print View

When the other companies start making items in a US size XL or XXL instead of European one, let me know, because until then I have to buy Patagonia stuff because it is long enough to fit me.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Re: patagonia. on 10/30/2011 08:19:13 MDT Print View

I purchase Patagonia products for one reason, they seldom disappoint (and if they do they go back). Their sizing changes are a little frustrating, but again they are good about replacing items.

About half the Patagonia items I own (quite a few btw) were purchased used (here and fleabay) or purchased at deep discounts (40%+). I still have bits that were purchased in the 80's that are "still on the job"

My only regret as someone mentioned above, I wish more products were made in the US.

<--yuppie ????? :)

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
yuppie on 10/30/2011 09:15:24 MDT Print View

yr a yuppie mike ... a repressed one at that ;)

i still would purchase one thing from dead bird even now ... pants ... very few companies make pants at short sizes, dead bird is one of em

someone must purchase all this gear from patagucci at full prices ... and all that kid and baby clothes ... hmmmm

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Patagonia attitude toward gear recycling" on 10/30/2011 09:24:56 MDT Print View

For heaven's sake Eric, shutup already. ;-)

I have a few challenges for you this week:

1) Post a trip report of one of your daily "epics".

2) Say something positive about someone else here, unrelated to gear.

3) Post that old photo of your excessive Arcteryx shell collection again you hoarder.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Patagonia attitude toward gear recycling on 10/30/2011 18:46:04 MDT Print View

I like my Patagonia gear. I had a pair of the original Baggies that endured 10 years of extensive backpacking. My Houdini and R1 cannot be beat my anyone, IMO. My go to down jacket for a long time was a Patagonia Down Sweater that has been replaced by some Montbel stuff. The down sweater is so stinky after miles and miles my wife makes me keep it in the garage until I wash it :)

Patagonia's environmental "awareness" started with Chouinard's clean climbing concept. Yeah, they go after the urban clothing market, but it provides the cash to build the gear we like. And yeah they market their environmental awareness, but at least they are doing something good.

patrick walsh
(apbt1976) - F
In comparison... on 10/30/2011 19:10:19 MDT Print View

To other name brand clothing patagonia is not even that expensive. Unless that is you prefer to purchase crap that is made like crap thinking you are saving a few bucks for it only to fall apart a couple months later.

I will be honest. In most cases i end up with a different brand for my climbing gear than Patagonia as someone else has a piece that is just a tad bit more geared toward actual climbers. However for my day to day street clothes and a couple climbing staples you just cant beat the quality or the price of Patagonia even at full retail.

My last purchase quest was for the perfect 60 and 100gram Synthetic jacket. I was gonna go with a Nano Puff Hoddy and a Micro Puff Hoody but when i actually looked at it the Arcteryx LT And SV Weight fit a features where just a tad bit better imop enough so to persuade me to spend even a few more bucks than crazy Patagonia prices.

Next to actual designer labels Patagonia imop is a bargain, it's all well made and in some cases actual teachy gear. Its def well on it's way to taking the yuppy played out gear soccer mom helm from TNF but that is just the nature of things.

Patagonia may not always actually make good gear with actual outdoor use as its priority and quality to boot. But for now imop that is exactly what they do and in many cases are less expensive or competative with other brands price wise. Come on $65 for a pair of carpenters pants is expensive. Nothing next to a pair of $200 yuppy jeans lol or crappy pair Wranglers that make me happy walk around with plumbers ass..

Edited by apbt1976 on 10/30/2011 19:51:27 MDT.

Tim Haynes

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Patagonia attitude toward gear recycling on 10/31/2011 08:29:10 MDT Print View

I'm grateful for companies like Patagonia that have a high enough profit margin and large enough product volume, turnover and inventories to offer products at great clearance prices: Patagonia, TNF, Prana, GoLite, Westcomb, Icebreaker, Rab, Prana, among others.

Yes, the gear is hit or miss as far as its applicability to the needs of ultralighters, but if you're patient, you can typically wait 4 - 12 months and find almost any piece of gear at 50-70% off, making some of those "yuppie" brands an absolute steal.

With limited funds (like most people here), I'm looking for the best value, and I'm willing to be patient to get it. And often, that means that the best ultralight brands aren't in budget because they seldom go on sale and virtually never go on clearance -- the only discounts come from used gear in the FST forums, and even then gear from most cottage manufacturers still commands a premium.

Yes, there are pieces of gear that are exceptions... some things are inherently cheaper or so much higher quality in the cottage community that they maintain a value advantage, but for most clothes, packs, sleeping bags, etc. it's hard to do better than mainstream brands on clearance.

In my mind, one of the best gear values on a regular basis are the Stoic/ lines of gear offered by Back Country. They are that funny middle ground -- neither mainstream or cottage -- and most of their gear is mainstream quality, but frequently goes on deeper sales through SAC or DOG. It also escapes the stigma of wearing "yuppie" brands. I've gotten several pieces of their gear and have purchased even more as gifts, and have been incredibly happy with the quality, and from the looks of things, they've been slowly moving to producing lighter and lighter gear.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Patagonia attitude toward gear recycling on 10/31/2011 11:29:53 MDT Print View

"It also escapes the stigma of wearing "yuppie" brands."

It's only a stigma if you let it be. Such labels are generally perpetuated by the immature or those with low self esteem/self image. Those of us who learned long ago not to worry much about what others think don't view our clothing choices as stigmas, nor do we really care if others do.