Rugged Thread Gives Your Used Outdoor Gear a New Life – Gossamer Gear

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While Rugged Thread, a rising out of doors gear restore store in Bend, Oregon, formally shaped in 2011, it’s truthful to argue that it received its begin a number of years prior when its founder and CEO, Kim Kinney, was simply 13 years previous. This is when Kim discovered how you can sew, a ability that may finally mix along with her love of the outside. 

At 18, Kim began working on the tailor store at Snowbird Ski Resort in Utah. By 20, she owned the store, renaming it Wasatch Design. She skied day by day whereas additionally repairing, designing, and manufacturing ski gear and outerwear on the store till 1997. Back in Oregon, she accomplished her larger training at Oregon State University–Cascades whereas constructing what has grow to be Rugged Thread at this time: the transformation of damaged out of doors gear into a brand new restore financial system.

We caught up with one other member of the Rugged Thread crew, Josie Kinney, to study extra in regards to the firm’s mission and imaginative and prescient for the way forward for gear restore. Josie has labored with Rugged Thread since 2018 doing a bit of little bit of all the pieces (besides stitching!), together with managing their associate relations, operations, gross sales and advertising, and accounting.

Gossamer Gear: Let’s dive proper into the large questions! Why does Rugged Thread exist and what do you do?

Josie: Our mission at Rugged Thread is to transform out of doors business waste into a brand new financial system. We work with people, manufacturers, and retailers to restore technical out of doors clothes and equipment, comparable to tents, backpacks, jackets, sleeping baggage, bike gear, skiwear, and all kinds of zippers. Kim is the founder and CEO of Rugged Thread and he or she initially began the corporate out of her storage in 2011. Her ardour is to alter the stigma of stitching as a profession path.

Why has Rugged Thread chosen restore initiatives specifically?

The psychology of restore is fascinating on the particular person and company ranges. There are usually three explanation why individuals select to restore over change, which we name the three E’s: financial, environmental, and emotional.

Economically, it simply is smart for many objects. Technical gear is pricey, and it’s normally cheaper to restore slightly than change.

Secondly, repairing gear reduces the environmental burden on the planet. The U.S. throws “away” 16 million tons of textiles yearly [1]. That’s exhausting to visualise, however it’s the equal of 1 rubbish truck each second [2]. It’s additionally vital to do not forget that outdoor-specific clothes and equipment is primarily derived from petrochemicals that take as much as 200 years to interrupt down, and which leach dangerous chemical compounds into our waterways and soils within the meantime. The excellent news is that extending the lifetime of an merchandise by an additional 9 months reduces carbon, water, and waste footprints by round 20 to 30 p.c every [3].

Lastly, individuals get hooked up to their favourite objects. Gear tells the tales of the adventures they’ve been on, and a few gear simply can’t get replaced. For instance, Joan and Richard got here to us with their first tent that they purchased collectively shortly after getting married and, now, 50 years later, they’re nonetheless utilizing it and selecting to get it repaired.

[1] https://www.epa.gov/facts-and-figures-about-materials-waste-and-recycling/textiles-material-specific-data

[2] https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/circular-economy/what-is-the-circular-economy

[3] https://wrap.org.uk/resources/report/valuing-our-clothes-cost-uk-fashion

Can you inform us a bit of about what introduced you, personally, to Rugged Thread and why the corporate’s work is vital to you?

In school, I majored in environmental research and thought I used to be going to pursue a profession in conservation. I got here again residence to Bend a couple of yr after graduating and began working part-time for Rugged Thread. I shortly realized that working at Rugged Thread stuffed my need to scale back the environmental impression on the planet. To date, we’ve stored over 50,000 kilos of textiles out of the landfill, and that feels superb!

As you recognize, our motto right here at Gossamer Gear is “take less. do more.” In what methods do you suppose our partnership collectively helps put that motto into motion?

It’s an awesome motto to dwell by, actually! The partnership between Gossamer Gear and Rugged Thread embodies the thought of shopping for solely what you want, utilizing what you purchase, and repairing when broken. It is inspiring to work with Gossamer Gear due to their dedication to restore—even when it’s not a guaranty situation. They will subsidize any restore by way of Rugged Thread by providing a 30% low cost (as much as $30). For instance, if somebody rips the underside of their Mariposa pack and sends it to Rugged Thread for restore, we mechanically apply the low cost at checkout. It’s a cool program that actually helps individuals take much less and do extra.

What are the other ways a buyer can work together with Rugged Thread?

We do repairs for people nationwide on all the pieces from backpacks to jackets, tents, skiwear, sleeping baggage, and bike gear. People can get a quote on our web site, then mail of their merchandise for restore. It usually takes about three weeks (not together with delivery) to get your merchandise again.

We additionally work with manufacturers like Gossamer Gear to restore guarantee and non-warranty points. Rugged Thread additionally affords “Design for Repair” workshops for manufacturers and designers who wish to design their merchandise for better sturdiness and repairability.

Lastly, we provide some suggestions and methods for do-it-yourself (DIY) restore and equipment upkeep. It’s useful to know how you can sew up a rip or change your zipper slider, particularly whereas on path.

How do you hope to see Rugged Thread—and the out of doors business as a complete—develop into the longer term?

As a complete, I’d prefer to see the out of doors business grow to be a round financial system. The time period “circularity” usually will get thrown round, but it surely’s a giant endeavor that features all the pieces from designing for restore, to utilizing greener supplies, utilizing sustainable manufacturing processes, upcycling, repairing, and recycling. In brief, the lifecycle of clothes and equipment ought to be a cycle slightly than a linear journey to the landfill. Repairing isn’t the one piece within the puzzle, but it surely is a vital facet.

For Rugged Thread, particularly, we’re on a scaling plan that takes us from repairing 9,000 objects a yr in 2022 to fifteen,000 objects a yr in 2024. Eventually, we’d like to develop a co-op of restore amenities throughout the nation that may share provides, workload, and coaching. We are consistently hiring and coaching, so should you or anybody you recognize is taken with working with us, we’d love to listen to from you!

Join the Repair Economy to Give Your Gear—and Our Planet—a New Chapter

Ready to present new life to your previous gear? Make positive to take a look at Rugged Thread’s web site for extra data on their companies. You also can attain out to us at Gossamer Gear with any questions at: assist@gossamergear.com!

Curious what else we’re doing at Gossamer Gear as a part of our sustainability efforts? Make positive to take a look at our Sustainability Page for the newest.

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