“Hey, is that my jacket on your Kindle?”
“Why, yes it is!”
It’s a conversation you’ve probably never heard in your life, but might soon begin.
The general public of the United States throws away 11.9 million tons of clothing, textiles, and shoes per year, with the average American tossing out 68 pounds of clothes annually. Patagonia, an outdoors clothing company, wants to provide a green solution to recycling old materials by converting your used Patagonia fleece into Kindle tablet covers.
Collaborating with a small company named ReFleece, Patagonia runs its own recycling program called the Common Threads Initiative which asks consumers to take the pledge against being wasteful. Instead of throwing away clothes when they are done with them, Patagonia promises it can find a new home for your previously loved goods, or figure out a way to repair or reuse the material. In this case, Patagonia sends your old jackets to ReFleece, who takes apart bits and pieces of the outerwear and convert the fleece into a felt tablet case.
While recycled products are green in itself, the process of recycling can be energy-intensive. ReFleece aims to manufacture the fleece covers with as little energy as possible by reducing the amount of times it uses to melt plastic and keeping the heat lower than average factories. The company also makes these covers right here on American soil, reducing the cost of overseas shipping and outsourcing. The outcome is a two layer case with a charcoal outer layer made with fleece scrap, and the inner colored layer from jackets which give each case a unique, vintage look. No worries, manufacturers wash everything before they put the cover together.
ReFleece currently offers Kindle 3 covers in a variety of colors, with plans for the Kindle 4 and 4 Touch cases coming soon. Each case will run you $25 with free shipping.
If you’re not quite ready to see your Patagonia jackets torn apart and outfitted to your tablets, no problem. Common Threads will accept your jackets for free repairs if it’s a company error, or charge you a small fee to fix damages you’ve made during its shelf life. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve had your jacket but if you still want fixing, Patagonia will accept the challenge. If you need help recycling, the company can take your stuff and properly recycle them so they stay out of landfills and reuse perfectly good parts for new items.
Alternatively, Patagonia will also accept your donations should you choose to peacefully part with your clothes, or you can sell good condition items on the company’s eBay site. You can also purchase used items for a discount to support the cause. Donated and unsold items are usually given to those who have lost their belongings from natural disasters.