aimING TO garment repair AS standard practice for the textile industry
Makers Unite and Patagonia open ‘United Repair Centre’ as antidote to disposable clothes
Makers Unite, a creative textile platform, and Patagonia, an outerwear brand, have collaborated to open the United Repair Centre (URC) in Amsterdam, offering clothing repair services as an alternative to buying new.
According to a press release shared by both Patagonia and Makers Unite last July, the centre aims to perform 300,000 clothing repairs per year, saving one million kilograms of textile waste.
Patagonia and Makers Unite hope that the centre will inspire brands to incorporate repair and reuse into their business models in order to reduce the negative impact of the textile industry.
United Repair Centre: the mission
Consumers who bought products from a URC member will be able to contact the brand to arrange for the product to be repaired at the URC facility and returned to the customer to be worn again.
The aim is to act as an antidote to disposable clothes by making it easier for brands to incorporate repair and reuse into their business model – in turn helping counter the negative impact of the textile industry.
To drive further social impact, the organisation offers employment and training to people who have challenges finding employment. The parties involved were brought together by the Amsterdam Economic Board and are supported by a consortium of Dutch investors with a focus on social impact.
Industry with impact
Over the past 20 years, Europeans have bought 40 percent more clothing on average, which means that the textile industry is now responsible for 10 percent of global CO2 emissions. If this continues, by 2030 global water use (79 billion m3 per year), CO2 emissions (1,715 million tons per year) and waste production (92 billion kilos per year) will have increased by more than 50 percent since 2015 and will double before 2050.
Because repair extends the useful life of a garment, it has an immediate positive impact. For example, wearing a garment for nine months longer reduces the CO2 emissions of that product by 27 percent, water consumption by 33 percent and waste by 22 percent.
How the URC works
- The consumer purchases a product from a URC-member brand.
- Over time, the product will be in need of repair due to use.
- The consumer then contacts the brand, which facilitates that the product reaches the URC.
- The product is repaired by the URC.
- The product is returned to the consumer by the URC and can be worn again for a long time.
Repair as a solution for a responsible textile industry
The URC wants to encourage both brands and consumers to repair clothing as an attractive alternative to buying new, by extending the life of the garment and reducing its footprint.
With 300,000 repairs per year the repair centre would prevent an average of 1 million pounds of textile waste. Besides Patagonia, the Dutch clothing brand Scotch & Soda has also joined the URC.
Become a garment maker!
Starting in September 2022, and in collaboration with House of Denim, the URC will open up the United Repair Centre Academy for people who have challenges finding employment. During the training programme, they will be trained as certified garment makers and will immediately have the opportunity to work with major brands. The academy strives to train at least 300 students in the coming years.
Dissemination & education: Worn Wear Repair Tour
Repair has been part of Patagonia’s business since the 1970s and Worn Wear is Patagonia’s commitment to a new model for the production, consumption, and ownership of apparel—taking responsibility for its products for the whole of their lifecycle.
Dates for the tour can be found here: https://eu.patagonia.com/gb/en/upcoming-events.html.
United Repair Centre: repair is the new cool!
sources: a1retailmagazine I apparelresources
cover image: credtis United Repair Centre
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