Patagonia announced last week that consumers can now recycle their old jackets by turning them into fuzzy, durable Kindle covers and iPad cases. The company has partnered with ReFleece, who strips pieces of outerwear products, converts the fleece into a felt tablet case and sends it back to the original owner of the jacket. With customizable covers for iPhones, iPads, and other electronics all the rage these days, Patagonia strikes a chord with tech savvy consumers while simultaneously encouraging sustainability. Plus, Patagonia becomes top-of-mind for the customer whenever they reach for a good book or browse the net.
And if jacket owners aren't quite ready to see their products torn apart, they can travel to Patagonia's Ebay storefront, which was launched in conjunction with the Common Threads Initiative in September 2011 in another strategic move. After all, if a company's goal is to encourage reuse and rewear of their products, why not seek the help of Ebay, the world's largest marketplace for used and refurbished goods?
The branded Ebay platform extends the useful life of Patagonia products by providing a simple marketplace for users to buy and sell items. If customers would prefer to donate rather than sell, they can travel to the Common Threads hub on Patagonia.com. The partnerships are part of a larger effort to create a new standard of sustainability within the retail industry, which is plagued by over-consumption.
The Ebay platform makes it incredibly easy for consumers to take the pledge to reduce America's widening environmental footprint. This is key because today's consumers, particularly outdoor enthusiasts, lead incredibly busy lives. Even the strongest proponent of environment sustainability can be turned off by a complex system, so any effort to simplify the process will contribute to long-term success for these initiatives.