Four years ago I purchased two pair of Patagonia pants. Gi II, full leg, not the zip off at 10.4 oz per pair. One pair in "Retro Khaki" the other in "some other word" for brown. They may be the last pants I buy from Patagonia. When I first purchased these pants at approximately $45 per pair I was impressed with what I though was quality construction, excellent fabric, great fit, and a promise from Patagonia that when these pants reached the end of their usefulness I could donate them to be used for recycled garments via Patagonia. I can't loose, right? Well, I have to say that I feel that I've been taken advantage of. How long could these perfect pants hold up? How long until I get to shop again? One year, two maybe.
How about a wear cycle like this: Khaki pair on for two days, Brown Pair on for two days, repeat. Imagine a montage (Muppet style) of the pants constantly on my body, working, hiking, traveling, family gatherings, working, hiking, etc. Finally, this year on a hike in CO I sat on a rock that looked less sharp than it was and put a centimeter hole in the butt of the brown pair. Location of said hole is right where it counts.
So, I'm thinking ok. I get to go buy some new pants after four freaking years. Then I get this email. "Don't Buy This Jacket" Ok, cool. I won't. I don't need a jacket, no problem. Then after reading the whole email, and frankly because I'm kinda a smart guy, really, I put two and two together I figured that they were not just talking about that one blue jacket. They were really talking about any color jacket, any Patagonia product, (having another smart guy moment here, real time while typing... any product you don't need, you don't need).
I feel cheated. Here I am looking for a way to help this struggling economy, and Patagonia is telling me, "Hey, guy. We'll fix that hole in your butt. We'll even match the fabric. So when you see people looking at your butt, you can rest assured they're not just looking at the crappy patch job, but their genuinely interested in your butt." - approximate conversation with Patagonia Customer Service
I should be clear... I may not have to buy another pair of Patagonia pants. The construction is quality. The fabric pretty darn good. The fit is perfect for me. Not too loose, but not too tight, no chafe induced by seams or stitching.
However, I'm not sure about the recycle portion of the deal. If they'll help me fix them, then I don't need to buy new pants. And if I don't need new pants these won't be recycled.
At about $45 per pair I've spent $23 per year to keep my lower body covered (you're welcome everyone). Those that know me, would say that's priceless.