Repair Clothes and Help Reduce Textile Waste

In many parts of the world today, clothes are seen as disposable. In Germany, for example, about 10 pounds of clothing per person ends up in the bin each year; in the US, it’s 70 pounds per person. Extending the life of our clothing by repairing it is an essential step in combatting this throwaway mentality.

A little tear on the back of a winter jacket is not a reason to order a new one. Clothes can be mended; in fact, Jack Wolfskin has a workshop where customers in Germany and Austria can have damage – including holes in waterproof gear – rapidly repaired. By returning clothing to full working order, the repair service conserves resources and reduces waste.

Fashion ending up in the bin

There’s nothing new about the idea of mending clothes, of course. Previous generations would try to get as much out of their clothes as possible. But in many parts of the world today, clothes are seen as disposable. On average, every adult in Germany owns 95 items of clothing (not including underwear and socks) and throws out almost 10 pounds of these every year. Nearly a quarter of all textile waste is incinerated, releasing large amounts of CO2. At the same time, more than half ends up in landfills that are extremely harmful to the environment. Repairing clothes is one very effective response to this dangerous trend.

Since its establishment 40 years ago, Jack Wolfskin has encouraged its customers to have products repaired instead of throwing them out and buying replacements. In Germany, an item of clothing is worn for an average of just three years. Studies have shown that Jack Wolfskin items are used longer than 3 years, often up to 10 years.

The materials and processes used to manufacture new clothes – even those produced following strict sustainability guidelines – take a significant toll on the planet. The best way to reduce the ecological footprint of clothes is to keep them in circulation for longer, whether by wearing them ourselves or by giving them to others to wear.

What goes back into circulation?

Jack Wolfskin tries to repair whatever it can, including zips, press-studs, and Velcro fastenings. The 25 talented tailors in the repair workshop in Idstein can even seal waterproof seams, a service that most ordinary tailors don’t provide and is challenging to do at home.

But the repair team doesn’t just mend defective products. They also fix damage caused by customers, such as holes, tears, and burn holes, at a reasonable price. If sleeves or trouser legs are too short or too long, customers can send them to us, and our team will alter them.

How exactly does the repair service work?

There are a few different options. One option is that the customer takes the faulty product to the retailer where they purchased it, and the retailer then sends the product to our repair service.

Alternatively, customers can bring products in need of repair to any Jack Wolfskin store. The products are repaired and returned to the store, which then notifies the owner. Repairs that will cause the product to look very different and potential costs are clarified with the customer before the repairs are carried out. Turnaround time is average of 14 days.

In accordance with statutory consumer guarantees, repairs to defective materials or workmanship are free up to two years after purchase. If the customer caused the damage or the product was purchased more than two years previously, repairs are charged according to a price list.

Functional for longer

Another thing that’s good to know: as well as the repair service Jack Wolfskin offers a professional cleaning and waterproofing service. That means waterproof and water-resistant items remain functional and attractive for longer. This service is perfect for customers who want their products to be professionally reproofed or don’t want to attempt wash-in waterproofing in their own washing machines.

Our repair service aims to keep products functional and in use for as long as possible. In doing so, Jack Wolfskin helps its customers to make an important contribution to sustainability.