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Worn Wear: Better than New—How Patagonia’s Social Marketing Campaign Enhances Consumers’ Responsible Behavior

Part of the Springer Texts in Business and Economics book series (STBE)


With its Worn Wear: Better Than New campaign, outdoor manufacturer Patagonia challenges the boundaries between social and commercial marketing and succeeds in its attempt to induce behavioral change among their customers. Despite the apparel industry being highly competitive, the campaign propagates a more conscious use of clothing instead of simply disposing of used items and purchasing new ones. Thus, it provides a telling example of how to use corporate activities in inspiring and implementing solutions to the environmental crisis. Following the company’s mission to build on the principle of social norms, the campaign introduces practical ways for embodying a lifestyle of voluntary simplicity. Thus, it enhances environmental protection, as well as personal well-being. Seeking to inspire, educate, and take action, the campaign includes different elements for inducing behavioral change regarding the repair, recycling, and disposal behavior of Patagonia’s customers. Among other things, the corresponding activities include physical repair centers for clothing and gear, either permanently or temporarily installed. Moreover, on their website, the outdoor manufacturer communicates personal stories of customers who successfully participated in the campaign, and it offers more than 40 freely downloadable repair guides. Finally, the company has established an online shop for used clothing to implement a practical alternative to current practices of mere consumerism. This case study illustrates how social marketing is applied in a commercial context and illustrates how one far-reaching campaign can thereby induce behavioral change among customers and, in doing so, contribute to the greater good and quality of life.


  • Responsible consumption
  • Voluntary simplicity
  • Social marketing
  • Sustainability
  • Apparel industry
  • Environmental protection
  • Patagonia
  • Worn wear

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Correspondence to Nina Bürklin .

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Bürklin, N. (2019). Worn Wear: Better than New—How Patagonia’s Social Marketing Campaign Enhances Consumers’ Responsible Behavior. In: Basil, D., Diaz-Meneses, G., Basil, M. (eds) Social Marketing in Action. Springer Texts in Business and Economics. Springer, Cham.

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