Thrift and repair were unlikely stars at SXSW.
In a jam-packed events calendar, Patagonia hosted a morning activism run that saw 150 attendees on Saturday for SXSW, followed by an in-store coffee bar, breakfast, repairs and screen-printing workshop.
The trio of repair technicians representing “Worn Wear” — Patagonia’s branded resale platform — saw a handful of customers drop by the repair table in the back of the South Congress retail store for minor mends. The setup was complete with tatted-up sewing machines, notions, spare fabrics and stickers with “If It’s Broke, Fix It” and other kitschy slogans, as well as a repair handbook, which is an extension of Patagonia’s ironclad repair ethos.
“Art is special but there’s a place in the world for craftspeople,” said Anne Graham, a Patagonia Worn Wear repair technician, while fixing a hole in a jacket pocket at the event. Graham has been with Patagonia’s repair center since 2015. Technicians Claire Beaumont and Evan Franz were also in town from the West Coast conducting repairs at SXSW and raved of the service from an employee viewpoint.
In another sustainability-billed event, ethical retailer Fashionkind and luxury resort Auberge hosted an intimate cocktail gathering at the Commodore Perry Estate, Auberge Resorts Collection last Saturday. The event drew namesakes such as Judy Greer and Stacy London, among others.
The second-largest retailer in the world, Amazon, also made a sustainability play. The e-commerce giant partnered with thrift marketplace platform Goodfair to hand out SXSW-themed merch printed on thrifted denim jackets from Goodfair.
Together, the teams gave out more than 2,000 jackets across three days at an Amazon Prime event. Additionally, six artists were on site customizing jackets for attendees.
“This partnership is significant for several reasons,” Topper Luciani, founder of Goodfair, said to WWD. “First, Amazon is known for owning every supply chain except this one. It’s exciting to see them work with a company that aligns with their customers’ values around sustainability and ethical fashion. Additionally, the younger, hipper crowd at SXSW resonates more with sustainability and thrifting. This move shows that Amazon is listening to their audience and making efforts to meet their demands.”