Our program upcycles old Patagonia T-shirts into our Tee-Cycle collection using Infinna™ Fiber, which can be recycled again and again.
Most of the clothing industry is based on a take-make-waste model, which fails to take responsibility for what happens to clothing once someone no longer needs it. Without a solution in place, global textile waste is expected to increase 60 percent annually until 2030, when it’s estimated to hit 148 million tons per year. And the issue isn’t just volume, but what happens once those textiles are sent to landfills. Landfills release greenhouse gases, impact wildlife habitats and pose a risk to air and water quality—all of which disproportionately affect minority and low-income communities who often live near these sites.
To help build a circular clothing system—one that prioritizes a more efficient use of resources and upcycles waste into new clothing so it can be reused multiple times—we launched our Take-Back Program, repurposing your old Patagonia tees into new ones.
Where We Are
Our Take-Back program, which launched in Fall 2021, allows us to recycle our old cotton products while supporting recycling chains for apparel waste. Once you no longer need your Patagonia tees—any that are made with cotton, hemp or linen—bring them into your nearest Patagonia retail store or mail it to our Reno distribution center (Attn: Cotton Tees–Infinited Fiber Recycling, 8550 White Fir St., Reno, NV 89523).
We’ll send them to Infinited Fiber, our Finland-based supply-chain partner that recycles the material from the used tees into Infinna™ Fiber. Those soft, durable fibers are then combined with factory cotton scraps to create our Tee-Cycle collection.
We believe every cotton T-shirt should be made within a circular system. Ultimately, we want all of our products to live in a circular model so we can reduce our reliance on virgin materials. As we make progress on our Take-Back Program, our materials and innovation team is exploring other ways to increase our use of recycled postconsumer apparel when building new clothing.