The bike industry, with all its bright colors, changing standards, and synthetic clothing is not always the most environmentally conscious and has a part in the massive amount of material and resources wasted by clothing production each year. Over the last several years, some companies have started breaking the mold by encouraging customers to send worn clothes back for repairs rather than discard damaged apparel to keep buying more and more. Here are some examples.Velocio, Apidura, Velocolour & 'What Happened'
US bike clothing company Velocio
has partnered with companies in the UK, the EU, and Canada to facilitate product repairs around the world. The collaboration, Velocio said, is to minimize global shipping, which will help reduce both the environmental impact and the cost of repair.
UK bikepacking gear company Apidura
has an existing in-store repair program alongside a program for selling the repaired gear
. Now, in addition to repairing their own used packs, Apidura will fix clothing such as jerseys, shorts, and other layers sent in by Velocio customers in the U.K. Similarly, Canadian company Velocolour
, which produces an impressive range of cycling clothes, bags made from recycled materials, and custom paint jobs for bicycles, will adopt Velocio repairs alongside its usual collecting and repurposing unwanted pieces of gear. To cover the EU, Velocio enlisted a one-woman Slovenian operation known as What Happened
. The owner, Neza Peterca, worked for Patagonia's Worn Wear program (described below) before starting What Happened, which deals with all kinds of outdoor gear repairs, custom products, and gear education. The collaboration seems to be a more efficient system for gear repairs than we've seen so far in the bike industry and will hopefully be a mutually beneficial partnership all around.Patagonia
It wouldn't be a list of companies that emphasize repairs without Patagonia
. The outdoor gear giant has long led the industry in sustainability and encourages customers to keep gear in play for as long as possible. The brand encourages customers to send in damaged clothing
for repairs, and if the items are too far gone to fix, Patagonia gives store credit. Items that are traded in and salvageable go to the Worn Wear store
once they're fixed. Patagonia also makes care and repair tutorials
with catchy descriptions like "We can put a human on the moon. But fixing a broken zipper? This video shows you how to do one of those things." (I'm about to watch that one because 100% of the zippers in my life seem to be broken at once.)
Patagonia's warranty and repair policy also seems to be about as forgiving as possible. Rather than just compensate customers for quality issues like most warranty programs do, the program is genuinely aimed at extending the lifetime of all products. I currently have way more Patagonia store credit than I deserve for sending in a pair of tattered old ski pants that had crampon holes all over the ankles. I was sure that they were beyond repair and beyond warranty because all the damage was definitively my fault. As it turns out, you're expected to wear out your gear, and Patagonia's trade-in program will give you store credit even for clothing items that fully deserve retirement.KitsbowKitsbow
's whole ethos is about cutting down on manufacturing waste. The brand goes a step beyond local production by making each item specifically for the customer in its North Carolina production facility, a process it calls "lean manufacturing." Since the idea is to eliminate waste from unsold clothing and scraps, it only makes sense that Kitsbow also encourages customers to repair, rather than replace damaged items.Customers can reach out
about manufacturing defects, standard wear and tear, and crash repairs, but Kitsbow does reserve the right to charge a repair fee for fixing some items that are damaged from crashes or everyday use.Pearl Izumi & The Renewal Workshop
Pearl Izumi's Keep You Riding program
is for items that are still in good condition but need minor repairs. Those situations include things like broken zippers, some loose stitches, and crash damage. The Keep You Riding works just like the standard warranty program
, and Pearl Izumi will decide whether an item should be repaired or replaced.
When a Pearl Izumi item needs more than just minor repair, it is sent to an organization called the Renewal Workshop, which has a partnership with Pearl Izumi
. The Renewal Workshop sorts clothing based on how much repair the items need, repairs all manner of problems, stamps the Renewal Workshop logo, and sells the refurbished pieces on renewalworkshop.com
Also, Pearl Izumi has been making big steps
in becoming carbon-neutral by 2025, has encouraged customers to bike instead of drive to offset carbon emissions from the manufacturing process, and makes 40% of its clothing from sustainable materials.RaphaRapha
stands behind its clothing and offers free repairs
on most items for the clothing's lifetime as part of its plan to go green. The brand is clearly committed to sustainability
and aims to be carbon neutral by 2025. On top of that, Rapha has committed to reducing absolute emissions, rather than just focusing on net impact by offsetting emissions. Of course, to get there, Rapha has to cut waste and emissions from every step of the garments' lifetime before repairs even come into the picture. The company is actively working to improve manufacturing processes and operations of its brick-and-mortar locations as well as the longevity of the clothing itself.
Most items in Rapha's mountain biking range come with an iron-on patch kit
to encourage riders to repair their clothing. If clothes need more love, customers are encouraged to send them back to Rapha for assessment and repair, though some items are not covered by the policy.Norrona
products are meant to be worn for a long time, so Norrona plans on repairing them whenever possible. The brand is currently remodeling its headquarters, which will include a new and improved sewing and repair room. On its website
, Norrona has a price list for common repairs, with zipper replacements ranging from $33-$72 USD, button replacement for $11 USD, and pant shortening or lengthening starting at $55 USD.
Norrona also has a five-year warranty on all products (seven years for so-called Loyalty members), so damages not caused by crashes or normal wear and tear are repaired for free for the garments' first five years of life.
And for those inclined to fix their garments themselves, Norrona has the spare parts
for that, too.7mesh7mesh
is another brand that prides itself on making high-quality clothing that it fully believes in and stands behind. Based right near Pinkbike's home in Squamish, 7mesh offers repairs for damaged clothing
for a small fee. If the clothing is beyond repair, 7mesh still has you covered and offers a crash replacement discount for the replacement.
Furthermore, even though 7mesh is a relatively small operation, it has repair centers in the US, the UK, and Europe so customers don't have to send items back to Canada, reducing shipping costs and environmental impact.
Let us know what you think. What did we miss? Which of your favorite companies offer repairs?