Patagonia Upcycled

Every year, fifty-three million tons of fiber are produced for clothing, but less than 13 percent is actually recycled. The rest ends up in landfills or is incinerated, some without being worn at all.
But there is an extraordinary company that’s working to keep their products out of landfills by partnering with their customers, to upcycle old clothes into new ones.

The outdoor clothing company Patagonia, is known for their durable products and their environmentalism, which actively encourages their customers to repair and even return used and damaged products for store credit.
But after a while, those returns add up. Some can be resold, but what do you do with a warehouse full of old products beyond repair?

The company’s answer is their ‘ReCrafted’ line, making new clothes out of old. Damaged items are salvaged at Patagonia’s warehouse, then shipped to Suay, an upcycling studio in Los Angeles, where they are sorted by fabric and color, then deconstructed, redesigned, and stitched back together.

Every ReCrafted piece is hand-sewn and uses three to six used pieces of clothing. So far, master seamstresses and cutters have created over 10,000 individual pieces of clothing specifically for the ‘ReCrafted’ line.

Suay owner Lyndsay Rose Medoff, says the scale of this project has never been attempted. “In my 18 years of experience, I’ve never seen this done before. I would say that it’s impossible to do and that we’re actually doing the impossible.”

The “impossible” result is a trendy, colorful line of jackets, shirts, sweaters, and tote bags that are unique and eco-friendly. The ‘ReCrafted’ collection is available at

Patagonia is also launching its first WornWear pop-up store in Boulder, Colorado, which will also offer workshops to teach customers how to repair and upcycle their own products at home.

Patagonia consistently proves that being good to customers and the environment is also good for business.