Last week saw a number of brands announce new repair services, an aspect of the circular economy that sometimes gets undervalued compared to the more exciting world of resale.
Don’t throw away your clothes, fix them
Starting on November 1, Bottega Veneta is effectively giving all of its customers a lifetime warranty, allowing them to get their bags repaired and “refreshed.”
It’s an option that high-end brands have offered for years, although every service is different. As of April of 2021, Chanel only offers a five-year warranty. Louis Vuitton will repair any bag or leather good, but it’s not free — exact prices vary, based on the item and level of repair.
But as the fashion industry becomes more cognizant of its environmental impact, more brands are offering repairs as a cost-effective way to extend the life of garments. There’s tons of interest in the industry: Major brands like Patagonia and Arc’teryx have opened repair centers, and repair-focused startups like The Restory have raised millions of dollars in funding.
Even fast fashion brands have started to offer repairs. Zara announced the launch of a new repair service last Friday and Uniqlo opened a repair center in New York in January.
Discussions with both fashion brands and people in the environmental activism space, while making new things out of better, more sustainable materials is fine, making fewer things is better for the planet in the long run. We still have a long way to go to undo decades of massive overproduction, but offering more repairs and extending the life of clothing is a step in the right direction.
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