top of page
  • Oliver River

Giving Your Hiking Clothes A Second Chance

Giving Your Hiking Clothes A Second Chance

As an outdoor enthusiast, I want to take every opportunity to live in a way that leaves a low impact on the planet. Doing things like biking instead of driving, taking shorter showers, and trying to use zero-waste products are all great examples of taking steps to better our environment. An additional area I try to focus on is keeping clothes out of the landfill.

The ugly truth of clothing production

  • Each year over 11 million pounds of clothing waste is created in the united states alone. That comes out to 85% of textiles purchased.

  • The fashion industry is responsible for 71 trillion gallons of wastewater annually.

  • Fast Fashion accounts for 10% of global carbon monoxide emissions.

  • The fashion industry is responsible for 300 million tons of plastic waste annually.

  • The working conditions are abysmal and often unsafe for any human being.

  • Communities and habitats are destroyed in the pursuit of components.

How do we fight this?

Being conscious of the damage the fashion industry has on the environment is the first step toward building a better future. It may not change overnight or even during our lifetimes, but there are steps we can take to make a difference, even if in a small way. Talk to your friends about purchasing clothing that will last years, and buy from brands that are trying to fight the norms of product waste; if an item is damaged, give it a new purpose, pass on hand-me-downs, and most importantly, work as a force of change in your community.

Okay, time for me to hop off my soapbox and give some practical tips on how to make your hiking clothes last or live a new life.

Repair Patches

Sticker patches are probably the quickest way to save an article of hiking clothing. There are many companies out there that offer quality patches intended for rejuvenating hike clothes. A brand worth looking into is NoSo - The brand offers easily applied patches focused on aggressively keeping your gear alive and its integrity.

Sew-on patches are a bit more labor-intensive but are a versatile choice for softer items that don’t need to be reinforced/sealed. For example, one of my hiking hats got burned, and I sewed on a patch to keep it alive - 6 years later, it’s still kicking. Alternatively, sewing without a patch is also an option.

Like sew-on patches, iron-on patches are great for light materials such as pants and shirts. Take a chapter out of the Punkrock Handbook and pick some cool patches. You’re not only keeping clothing out of the trash, but you can make a statement.

Consignment AND Hand-Me-Downs

Search your local town for a consignment store offering hiking clothes and other gear. This option is excellent for you and local businesses and helps outdoor enthusiasts find what they need within budget. My local consignment shop, Eugene Gear Traders, has everything I need to stay outside without breaking the bank. Check out your local options and make an impact.

Hand-me-downs are also a killer option. Got a friend or family member who’s getting into hitting the outdoors? Bless them with some new-to-them gear. Sometimes the best gift is the outdoor gear with a story.

Professional Repair

You’ve probably heard of Patagonia having a traveling repair truck. Save your damaged hiking clothes and get them repaired when the trucks are around. Another option is sending off gear to manufacturers that do professional repairs.

Giving New Life

Lastly, find a new purpose for your hiking clothes and other gear. Check out sites like Pinterest or hit up your local consignment shop for ideas. Shirts make great cleaning rags, and shoes can be planters, jackets can be made into the ultimate patch kit, and so on.

Make An Impact

I hope this has set you up to start your journey of keeping clothes out of the landfill. Check out your local gear stores and see how they can help you continue to live and make a change with your hiking clothes and gear.


  1. Eugene Gear Traders is an incredible consignment shop based in Eugene, OR. If you are in the PNW, visiting is worth the drive. Bevin and her team work tirelessly to educate and create an environment that is a force for good.

66 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page