WildChina Education x Patagonia: Repair, Reuse and Recycle 

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The carbon footprint generated by the clothes we wear accounts for 10% of global emissions. This percentage is set to keep on growing at the current rate unless measures are taken to address it. While there have been many strides made in sustainable fashion and the development of biodegradable textiles, synthetic fibers, such as nylon, polyester, and spandex, which are commonly used in garments for durability and wearability, are non-biodegradable and may take centuries to decompose.  

Recognizing the environmental impact, the imperative is to extend the life cycle of existing garments through recycling, upcycling, and reuse. This effort to extend the life of a garment reflects a mindset shift in how we wear, reuse, and reimagine a garment and its purpose.   

WildChina Education x Patagonia workshop, Shanghai Kinetic Space 
WildChina Education x Patagonia workshop, Shanghai Kinetic Space 

At WildChina, we see fostering this shift as one of our core responsibilities as a company dedicated to sustainability. It aligns with our commitment to creating positive environmental impacts and contributing to a more conscientious and mindful approach to fashion. A key part of growing and learning to be more sustainable also involves collaborating with industry leaders to learn from the best of the best.  

This last December, we proudly joined hands with Patagonia, a trailblazer in the garment industry and (in our opinion) the gold standard for incorporating a holistic sustainability approach across a brand. Together, we hosted a one-day children-parent workshop in Beijing and Shanghai.   The upcycling events for 7–10-year-olds and their parents were designed to inspire a reflection on the environmental impact of their clothing choices. At the heart of the event was Patagonia’s Worn-wear program, promoting garment longevity through repair, reuse, and recycling. The participants were then guided and assisted by Patagonia staff to create eco-friendly tote bags and gift sachets from old T-shirts they brought with them.  

WildChina Education x Patagonia: Repair, Reuse and Recycle 
Parents and children worked together to recycle old T-shirts into tote bags  

Patagonia as a company embodies what we all aspire to achieve in the realm of sustainability. Their commitment to fair trade, ethical sourcing, and circular economies sets the bar high for the entire industry. It was an absolute honor to collaborate with Patagonia, a company whose values and efforts we fundamentally admire. We hope that through our collective effort with them, we can work to redefine how businesses and we, as individuals, engage with the environment.  

We are happy to report here that, in China, the change is already happening. As an ever-increasing number of people embrace the circular economy concept of reuse, recycle, and reduce, the second-hand clothing market in China has grown significantly, increasing from approximately 5.9 billion CNY ($850 million USD) to 17.3 billion CNY ($2.5 billion USD) between 2016 and 2020. This trend underscores a shift in the mindset of the younger generation, prioritizing sustainable and eco-conscious clothing choices over fast fashion. 

Participants with their tote bags and gift bags created out of old garments and T-shirts.
Participants with their tote bags and gift bags created out of old garments and T-shirts.