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Patagonia is selling your old clothes

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With Patagonia seeing increasing sales despite the company encouraging its customers to buy less, the retailer is making a new green pitch to customers: buy these old swim trunks.

That's because Patagonia is now selling used Patagonia clothes at five stores in what it's calling Worn Wear sections of stores in Portland, Seattle, Palo Alto, and Chicago. Customers can now trade in their old Patagonia clothes for store credit -- 50 percent of their value -- and then Patagonia resells it at the same store.

The program is expanding after a a successful pilot run that started last October in Portland.

As Bloomberg Businessweek reports, the move is a way for the company to build on the "buy less" campaign and lead the way in sustainable retail:

Rather than back away from the buy-less program, however, Patagonia is turning up the volume, launching a new publicity campaign today dubbed “The Responsible Economy” to highlight its environmental work. Patagonia is hoping the initiative will get executives to question business models that rely on compound annual growth (which is basically every business model when one considers competition and sheer population dynamics).

Even so, the new program also seems like a good, sustainable business model -- encourage people with store credit to trade-in their old clothes and upgrade to something new and make a 50 percent profit on used clothes sales while you're at it -- to add to boost its steadily growing sales.

Read more: Bloomberg Businessweek

Photo: Flickr/Sam Beebe

Photo: Samuel M Beebe, Ecotrust

— By on September 26, 2013, 11:58 AM PST

Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure