If you’re walking around the campus of Utah State University Wednesday you may have noticed a funny looking vehicle parked on the Quad and lots of signs for the clothing company Patagonia. This promotional event comes on the heels of Patagonia’s recent withdrawal from the Outdoor Retailer Show typically hosted in Salt Lake City.
The company’s Worn Wear initiative was on the campus repairing peoples’ damaged gear and showing off their mobile repair shop.
“We partnered with Post-Landfill Action Network to focus on campuses that are working towards zero-waste initiatives and sustainability. And then we have our repair vehicle, Delia, which is, it looks like a combination of a giant wooden submarine and a food truck. And I just like to say that instead of serving food we serve repairs," said Kern Ducote, a content creator for Patagonia’s Worn Wear initiative.
“So, that’s what Worn Wear is all about, reducing our impact by either 1.) Buying used, if you’re going to buy anything at all; and then 2.) Repairing what you already have; and then 3.) Celebrating that,” he said.
It may seem odd to have this outdoor retailer so prominently represented here, considering the company’s recent feud with the state over Bears Ears National Monument and the future of public land in Utah. Patagonia was among the list of other prominent retailers who succeeded in pulling the industry’s Outdoor Retailer trade show from Salt Lake City.
“So we decided to pull out of Outdoor Retailer, in hopes that we can inspire others to also pull out of Outdoor Retailer - other brands - in order to show the [Utah] government that we really care about this - these wild places - and about preserving them,” Ducote said.
He explained that the company’s concerns in Utah are not with the state itself - they all love it here - but with the state governments’ recent positions on public lands.
“We love Utah. There’s so much great stuff in Utah!”