February 11, 2009

Patagonia walks its talk, then resoles its boots.

Patagonia never ceases to impress me with its eco-responsible, mission-driven, successful business practices—what other company goes out of its way to discourage you from buying a new product, and fixing your old one, instead? Via Treehugger:

In our Outdoor Enthusiast Gift Guide we suggested not buying new boots, but arranging for well loved boots to resoled for years of extended use. Patagonia Footwear announced last week that they were partnering with Mountain Soles to formalise just such a process…for the rest, go here.

Or here. Excerpt:

“Patagonia began with founder Yvon Chouinard in the tin shed pounding pitons that would last and be re-used time and time again,” said Whitney Conner, brand manager at Patagonia Footwear. “Our philosophy has always been about creating products that perform and inventing ways to increase the longevity of our gear. There is no need to go out and purchase a new pair of shoes if you’ve spent the time outdoors, molding them for the perfect fit. There are alternatives to material purchases and we’re working to increase the lifespan of our products by partnering with solid organizations that share a similar philosophy to Patagonia.”

“We’re excited that Patagonia has developed footwear which can be serviced and maintained for a longer life,” said Matt Menely of Mountain Soles. “We’ve always shared a similar ethos with the Patagonia brand. Much like the tinshed, Mountain Soles started in a single car garage in Southeast Portland, seeking to use our trade to help reduce people’s environmental footprint by keeping essential gear out of landfills. We’ve been hoping for a long time that more footwear companies would take up this challenge and produce more sustainable and resoleable shoes and Patagonia Footwear has jumped in feet first.”

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