Patagonia Worn Wear – UK Tour

“Let’s all become radical environmentalists” commented Patagonia chief executive Rose Marcario “As individual consumers, the single best thing we can do for the planet is to keep our stuff in use longer. This simple act of extending the life of our (stuff) through proper care and repair reduces the need to buy more over time, thereby avoiding the CO2 emissions, waste output and water usage required to build it.”

This remains in my mind, one of the more useful of circular economy thinking approaches

Patagonia’s Worm Well bus will be setting up temporary workstations at venues across the UK to repair garments, free of charge.

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Worn Wear at Kendal Film Festival 2015

The UK leg is part of a wider five-country mission across Europe to extend the life of outdoor enthusiasts’ clothing. It starts on 15 April in the UK and Germany before moving on to other European countries.

Dates and details are on the Patagonia Worn Wear website.

It would be great to see this extended into other areas, more built environment related areas, for example, FM organisations holding free equipment repair workshops in buildings they operate, construction and consultancy organisations returning to their buildings and providing free sustainability advice and repair service … The opportunities based on circular economy business models are huge.

Put simply, if it’s broke, fix it! Dont replace it

Related previous post: (2012) Construction CSR Makeover: can construction learn from Patagonia?

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Signage – Why I became dis-enchanted with facilities management

Why I became dis-enchanted with facilities management a decade ago was brought back to me this morning. On the doors to the public toilets at Kendal Hospital was a sign, in bold on a yellow background, warning users that ‘air fresheners used in these toilets may cause discomfort to asthma sufferers’ ( I didn’t have a camera or phone with me at the time unfortunately)

So why continue to use? Even more so why continue to use in a hospital? So where do sufferers go?

I used to joke that a facilities management gut response was to put up a sign, I recall a presentation of mine way back, in 2004, titled “FM- Now Wash Your Hands” (Must find it!)

Surely if there is any hint that a material or product is harmful or cause discomfort,  it should not be used it, full stop – ie the precautionary principle, core to for example the Living Building Challenge Materials red list.

The world of corporate social responsibility is moving on from do no harm, to positively do more good to improve health. Wouldn’t it be great it that sign read  ‘air fresheners used in these toilets will enhance your health’. Instead the FM team know it may irritate asthma suffers, so do nothing, other than put up a sign and wash hands of responsibility?