Way ahead of us

I applaud the efforts of the outdoor retailers that are making an effort to encourage recycling, reselling and up cycling used outdoor gear. In particular, the work of Patagonia is truly commendable. But the Europeans are way ahead of us.

In 2018, I had the chance to visit Bergans of Norway in Oslo and in the back of the store, on the sales floor, was this repair/alteration/upcycle center.

Bergans offered a wide variety of services at low cost/no cost available on-site by their staff. Need a spare part or a warranty repair? No problem, they can often take care of you while you wait. Damaged your gear and need a repair? They can also do that at low cost. Do you like the garment you bought but you are not too crazy about the fit? Have it altered. You have outdoor wear that has reached the end of its usable ice and is beyond repair? Place it in the bin so it can be reused, recycled or up cycled and get 20% off the purchase of a new garment.

This demonstrates Bergans dedication to reduce needless purchases, to keeping outdoor product from entering the waste stream and above all serving their customers. While I have seen similar services scattered around in the US, I have not seen a retailer that makes it so easy for the consumers.

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