The annual ISPO trade show in Munich isn't typically a place associated with hope. Four days spent in this stale, strip-lit hellscape is enough to suck out the soul of even the most passionate snowboarder, leaving only a dollop of distilled grim.

A few years ago we were wandering one of its indeterminable halls, our immune systems mired in battle with the dreaded ‘ISPOla’, when we came across the Patagonia stand and spotted a woman working diligently away at a sewing machine. After making a repair to the elbow of what appeared to be a well-used wooly jumper, she handed it back to the owner, who walked away with a smile.

This was our first taste of Patagonia's Worn Wear initiative - and we liked what we saw.

"If you can get yourself to a Worn Wear clinic, they’ll repair your gear on the spot"

Since 2013, Worn Wear has been encouraging snowboarders, skiers, climbers and mountaineers to extend the life of their gear - whatever brand it may be - for as long as they can.

It dovetails perfectly with the Patagonia’s raison d’etre, which is to make sure the products they produce themselves are built to withstand years of abuse in some of the world’s least hospitable environments. Examples include the Patagonia Powslayer jacket and pants, an impressive combo that we selected for this year’s Whitelines 100.

patagonia-worn-wear-2018-tour-snowboard-gear-repair-puffer

It may not be as headline-grabbing as their famous ‘Don’t Buy This Jacket’ ad in the New York Times, nor their recent criticism of the President reduction of major national parks. Rather it’s one of many Pata projects that quietly ticks away in the background, doing its bit to spread the good word about sustainability in an industry that tends to focus on anything but.

"Demonstrations on how to apply patches and fix zips will arm you with the knowledge to do it yourself in future"

Worn Wear gets the job done in a number of ways. If you can get yourself to one of their clinics, they’ll repair your gear on the spot. This winter they’ll be touring Europe in a purpose-built repair centre on wheels, reviving as many old shred garments as they can. You can see the dates in full below.

It’s not just limited to Patagonia products, or even outdoor gear for that matter; anything needing fixed will get the treatment. What’s more, demonstrations on how to apply patches and fix zips will arm you with the knowledge to do it yourself in future. That's a major goal of the Worn Wear program; the more people are able to repair their own stuff, the less they'll need to buy.

For those that can’t make it to a one of their stops, comprehensive repair guides are right there on the Worn Wear homepage, and you can also pick up a compact, robust sewing kit for making on-the-go repairs while in the mountains.

patagonia-worn-wear-2018-tour-snowboard-gear-repair
patagonia-worn-wear-2018-tour-snowboard-gear-repair-yellow

Failing that, there’s always the option to send your Patagonia product to their dedicated repair facility in Reno, which now handles over 50,000 items each year.

"A transaction becomes a partnership - a shared responsibility between Patagonia and the owner" - Alex Weller, Patagonia

"Worn Wear is really about changing our relationship with stuff, with the things we own" says Alex Weller, Patagonia's European Marketing Director. "If we can inspire more people to be thoughtful owners of the things they need, rather than fast consumers (and disposers) of goods, then we will have made a positive impact."

"We want to demonstrate Patagonia’s commitment to everything we make for its entire lifecycle, not just until the moment someone buys something from us. A transaction becomes a partnership - a shared responsibility between Patagonia and the owner to keep stuff in use for as long as possible."

Of course, it's not just the snowboard industry that has a problem with short-term shelf life - it's the world at large, and Worn Wear might therefore seem like a drop in the ocean. There's no denying, however, that it's a step in the right direction, and a novel way to get the sustainability message out there.

Worn Wear Tour 2018

patagonia-worn-wear-europe-tour-2018-free-repairs-for-ski-and-snowboard-equipment-car

The Worn Wear Snow Trailer, built by Patagonia ambassador Tom de Dorlodot and his team at Wildernest, will be heading back out on the road in 2018. There are stops planned for resorts, snowboard shops and Patagonia stores across Europe.

Here’s where you can pay them a visit:

13/1/2018
Switzerland
13/1/2018
Scotland
16/1/2018
Scotland
18/1/2018
Switzerland
19/1/2018
Scotland
20/1/2018
Scotland
23/1/2018
Scotland
27/1/2018
Scotland
29/1/2018
France
2/2/2018
France
7/2/2018
Italy
10/2/2018
Italy
14/2/2018
Italy
17/2/2018
Italy
23/2/2018
Germany
24/2/2018
Germany
1/3/2018
Austria
2/3/2018
Austria
10/3/2018
Austria
16/3/2018
Germany
17/3/2018
Austria
30/3/2018
Italy
4/4/2018
France
7/4/2018
Switzerland
11/4/2018
France
19/4/2018
France
20/4/2018
France
27/4/2018
France