Make do and mend is the new cool, with Patagonia and Rapha helping to establish a new repair shop in London
Mountain bike clothes have a hard life, lashed by foliage, rain and sometimes the ground itself, it’s no surprise their lifespan is short. Now though Patagonia has launched a free repair centre capable of stitching back together up to 30,000 jackets a year.
Called the United Repair Centre London, the implications are huge both for your wallet and the planet. Instead of shelling out for the best new mountain bike jacket every few years, you could have your jacket professionally reproofed, the stitching sorted and that hole in the sleeve where you caught it on barbed wire made good.
It doesn’t stop at Patagonia either, the United Repair Centre is open to other brands, with Rapha already signed up to the groundbreaking service and other sports brands like Lululemon involved too. These are no quick stitch-ups either, the centre is committed to a full time staff of 15 trained to repair items to their original state.
That could tip the scales in favour of buying a premium product from the likes of Patagonia, Rapha or Endura, which cost more to buy but could potially last a whole lot longer.
Repair shop: so hot right now
Repairing your mountain bike gear and components is on trend in 2023, as riders look to save money and the planet at the same time. Free crash repair schemes from the likes of Specialized and Hunt are now standard with most carbon wheelsets, while Bell, Met, Giant and loads more will replace your helmet free of charge after a bust up.
Rapha also offers a free repair service on its products that includes general wear and tear as well as the usual accidental damage.
And then there’s Endura, which practically started the idea for make do and mend. The Scottish brand’s long-running repair service is available on all its ride wear, for the princely fee of £15. It’s a huge trend, according to Endura, which has seen demand increase alongwith an overall concern for the end to end life cycle of garments. It’s also just brought in an option to have patches included when you buy a new jacket, in case the worst should happen.
Meanwhile Alpkit has repair stations at all its stores, or you can send your kit off through the post to be fixed up. It’s not free though, a patch is £25 while a full zip replacement costs £75.
Patagonia’s repair process is accessible through a portal on the brand’s website, the repair is free although there might be a postage charge depending on where you live. Upload the details and images of the area and Patagonia should get it back to you in something like 4-6 weeks.