What is the environmental impact of sending garments to Japan for recycling?
Compared with making polyester from virgin materials, using recycled fiber in the production of new polyester helps divert waste from landfills, uses less energy and generates fewer CO2 emissions. However, the transportation required to move garments from customers’ closets to Patagonia collection centers to the recycling facility in Japan mitigates some of those energy and emissions savings. The greatest environmental impact in this process comes from customers transporting their garments to our stores and other collection facilities. Third-party research shows that shipping garments to Japan does not pose a significant environmental impact, because they go on container ships that usually travel empty to Japan. To help minimize the environmental impact, we encourage customers to mail us their worn-out garments or drop them off at a Patagonia store or dealer while running other errands.