The Patagonia repair facility in Reno — the largest clothing garment repair facility in North America — projects to see 44,000 garments come across their sewing machines in need of repair this fiscal year. Sure, it is easy enough for us Tahoe-ites to jet down to Reno whenever we get a hole in our waders or a tear in our micro-puff. Unfortunately, this is not the case for all the other outdoor-gearheads not living in the Truckee/North Lake Tahoe area. Hence, the need for the Worn Wear Truck, or Delia, as staff at Patagonia like to call her.

If you are unfamiliar with this truck, it is a homemade traveling repair facility stocked with the materials needed to fix anything — from a busted zipper to a missing button to a hole in need of patching — in which a team of four Patagonia staffers (two repair technicians and two customer support agents) take on the road, traveling from city to city, mountain town to mountain town, offering free repairs to anyone and everyone trying to get extra miles out of their favorite gear. Whether it be a sentimental, hand-me-down fleece your mom took on the Appalachian Trail after graduating from high school, or a relatively new base layer you ripped on a tree branch while hiking in Desolation Wilderness, they repair it all — even non-Patagonia gear. Any gear that cannot be fixed onsite is shipped, or in our case, walked over, to the repair facility.

Chelsea Saul, a repair technician in Reno who has been on two Worn Wear Tours says, “It’s like a rock tour.” Saul said she enjoys being on the road more than hanging in the repair  facility because it allows her to interact with all sorts of interesting people and hear their stories. In the end, it seems that this is a huge part of what the tour is all about — interacting with all sorts of like-minded folks.

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“The Worn Wear program was created by Patagonia not just to recycle gear, but to celebrate used clothing and people’s meanings behind them,” said Danny Sierra, Patagonia’s event coordinator.

The truck’s current tour, the third of its kind, started in Santa Monica on March 20 and culminates in Reno, after visiting 12 locations throughout the West, including Flagstaff, Durango, Missoula, Vancouver, and Bend.

The Reno daytime events will include repairs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. — the technicians can handle anywhere from 30 to 40 repairs a day (with a record of 50 repairs in a day), so we recommend you get there early. To accompany the repairs, there will be beer from The Brewer’s Cabinet, food from Red Truck Tahoe, and musical stylings that were still TBD at the time of press. Then, at 6 p.m., Patagonia invites everyone inside for a short film focused on the worn wear philosophy.

Author

  • Ally Gravina

    Ally Gravina is a freelance journalist and former Moonshine editor based in Graeagle. She has a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where she specialized in arts and culture reporting.

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