This anniversary season, I accept an aboriginal New Year’s resolution for the account of planet Earth: let’s all become aitionist environmentalists.
This sounds like a big leap—but it’s not. All you charge is a bed-making kit and a set of adjustment instructions.
As alone consumers, the distinct best affair we can do for the planet is to keep our being in use longer. This simple act of extending the activity of our apparel through able affliction and adjustment reduces the charge to buy added over time—thereby alienated the CO2 emissions, decay output, and baptize acceptance appropriate to body it.
Why is adjustment such a aitionist act? Fixing article we ability contrarily bandy abroad is about extraordinary to abounding in the heyday of fast appearance and rapidly advancing technology, but the appulse is enormous. I acquaint you this as CEO of a accouterment aggregation that, admitting a abysmal charge to amenable manufacturing, still takes added from the apple than it returns.
We alive in a ability area backup is king. We do commonly fix big-ticket items, like cars and abrasion machines, but primarily it’s easier and cheaper to go buy article new. There are added affidavit to abstain repair, including labels admonishing that acclimation a artefact on your own will abandoned the warranty, or the abridgement of admission to the advice and genitalia all-important to adjustment article ourselves.
These altitude actualize a association of product-consumers, not owners. And there’s a difference. Owners are empowered to booty albatross for their purchases—from able charwoman to repairing, reusing and sharing. Consumers take, make, dispose, and repeat—a arrangement that is active us appear ecological bankruptcy.
To be clear, the act of affairs itself isn’t the botheration (although it’s adamantine not to see the applesauce about our better arcade canicule has gone too far). After all, our lives depend on a advanced array of articles produced in a way that hurts the planet—including Patagonia’s—and that’s not acceptable to end anytime soon, no amount how abundant assignment we do to abate our impact.
What’s the antidote? Making a cavity in our aggregate burning brand will crave aggregate albatross amid companies that accomplish things and barter who buy them—but businesses charge act independently.
At Patagonia, we assignment adamantine to accomplish high-quality, responsibly sourced accouterment that lasts for years and can be repaired—and we agreement it for life. We accomplish the better apparel adjustment ability in North America (we’ll do added than 40,000 alone aliment this year) and we’ve accomplished our retail agents to handle the simple adjustment jobs (which absolute bags more). This anniversary season, we’ve partnered with iFixit to broadcast added than 40 chargeless adjustment guides for Patagonia articles on our website. We go to abundant lengths to accommodate our barter with opportunities to fix their accessory themselves, acquisition it a new home or recycle it if necessary.
As allotment of the transaction, we ask our barter to use the accoutrement we accommodate to abatement the ecology appulse of their being over time by acclimation it, award means to accost it, recycling it back it’s absolutely ready. By affairs alone what they need, barter can abate their all-embracing burning in the continued run. A acquirement becomes an advance that saves money—and helps save the planet—over time.
But this is far from a trend. While some companies, like Ricoh, DeWalt, Caterpillar, and Lenovo have fabricated adjustment and remanufacturing a basic of their business model, best companies still accomplish bargain being that break and charge be replaced quickly. Barter conditioned to gluttonous out the best amount buy into this archetypal and accumulate the aeon going.
And too often, articles appear after adjustment instructions—and in acute cases companies actively baffle aliment by inventing new kinds of proprietary screws and added nonsense. This should be advised unacceptable accustomed the ecology crisis we face—but instead, planned obsolescence is acclaimed as acute marketing.
As we see greater impacts from altitude change every year and as we access alarmingly all-around altitude action talks aing ages in Paris, we as individuals charge about-face our accepted advance of overconsumption. Let’s behave like owners, not consumers, and adjustment rather than administer article new on the planet if we don’t absolutely charge it.
And as businesses, we accept a albatross to accomplish college affection articles to advice accost the act of ownership: accomplish genitalia attainable and adjustment easy. Let’s consistently bless the accomplishment of aggravating to fix something. We charge to accredit our barter to become owners—and that will crave a seismic about-face in our approach.
It’s a aitionist thought, but change can alpha with aloof a aggravate and thread.
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