Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Patagonia repairs students’ worn clothing

The outdoor clothing company taught students sustainability practices and screened a documentary on climate change

Patagonia arrived on AU’s campus March 1, armed with sewing machines and one mission: “If it’s broke, fix it!”

The outdoor clothing company visited AU to help students fix worn clothing as part of their Worn Wear College Tour.Patagoniais stoppingat universitiesandcolleges acrossthecountryto promote sustainable clothinguseof all brands.

The center of operations for the tour lies inside a redesigned 1993 Dodge Cummins D250. A wood plaque on the side of the truck reveals all the details of it. It has an added wooden shell made from salvaged redwood wine barrels. The plaque also says that the truck, which even has a fold-down bed, is officially known as “The Worn Wear Rig” but has been dubbed “Delia”.

For the tour, Patagonia is working in conjunction with Post-Landfill Action Network, (PLAN) a nonprofit organization devoted to promoting zero waste practices on college campuses.

“[PLAN] was responsible for coordinating the details of the tour from creating permits for schools to booking the spaces and setting up logistics,” director and founder Alex Freid said.

PLAN partnered with AU to create the student clubs Zero Waste AU and AU Student Zero Waste Club,whichareboth responsible for the separate recycling, compost and landfill bins seen throughout campus. PLAN has helped form similar clubs at over 100 campuses, according to its website.

Freid was on campus for the event assisting students and helping the staff fix clothes, and spoke positively about AU’s zero waste initiatives.

“American is one of our exemplary campuses having really amazing models and well developed programs. Being chosen for the Worn Wear tour is an honor for your leadership in zero waste.”

He emphasized the importance of teaching students how to fix and reuse clothes as an alternative to buying new clothes. In addition to fixing clothes, the tour also featured lightly used clothes for sale. Separate from those clothes for sale outside, there was a pop-up thrift sale of lightly used clothes going on in the Mary Graydon Center in conjunction with the tour run by the AU Student Zero Waste Club.

The event drew lots of curious AU students to check out what was going on, including juniors Dillan Archevesky and Greg Lomat.

“While I’m not here explicitly to support Patagonia, events like this definitely impact things I would choose to buy in the future,” Archevesky said. “It also changes my minds on certain brands and consumerism.” Lomat also said that he tries to choose more sustainable brands when possible.

In addition to the clothing repairs, organizers screened the documentary “Before the Flood.” The film, produced by Leonardo Dicaprio in collaboration with others, features Dicaprio traveling across the world learning about the consequences of climate change and the issue of climate change denial.

The next stop on Patagonia’s tour is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on March 10. It will make many more stops before completing the tour at UC Santa Barbara on April 26.


jreilly@theeagleonline.com


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