Sometimes nothing can be a very real something.
Patagonia is a well known maker of outdoor gear and clothing. They’re also renowned for their commitment to making products from sustainable materials and keeping the cast-offs out of landfills. To further the latter goal company executives recently launched a new section of their website devoted to used clothing. The storefront is connected to eBay auctions and displays Patgonia items posted by individual sellers.
So what’s in it for Patagonia?
Not a thing. Well, not money anyway.
The program is part of Common Threads- a campaign that encourages customers to respect their Patagonia products, repair them if possible and recycle the old ones instead of just tossing them out. Conventional wisdom would dictate such antics would cannibalize sales. For Patagonia the effort is an exercise in building brand loyalty.
So far it appears to be working. In the first 3 months after rolling out the eBay portal for used clothing over 25,000 visitors had signed up for the Common Threads campaign.