Patagonia will help repair 30,000 items of clothing each year at London’s new repair shop, contributing to greater circularity in the fashion industry

United Repair Centre (URC) has teamed up with Fashion Enter and Patagonia to open a repair shop in London, following the opening of the first URC in Amsterdam.
November 16, 2023

United Repair Centre (URC) London has opened in Haringey, North London

URC London is a partnership between URC; the garment production company, Fashion Enter; and the outdoor clothing company, Patagonia. Within the next year, three more brands are planned to join the facility, and there is space for further partners. By 2025, the repair shop aims to have the capacity to perform 30,000 repairs a year.[i]

URC London follows the opening of the first URC in Amsterdam, Netherlands in 2022. This URC was a collaboration between Makers Unite, Amsterdam Economic Board, and Patagonia. Each year the unit repairs around 30,000 items from brands like Decathlon, Lululemon, and Patagonia.[ii]

URCs also provide employment opportunities for people struggling to enter the job market. URC states that,

“We are social pioneers on a mission to repair the clothing industry. We enable the clothing industry to make real social and environmental impact with a one-stop shop for circular solutions. Our approach is convenient, scalable, and data-driver, making it easy to embrace sustainability and create positive change.”[iii]

Why Fashion Enter? 

“Fashion Enter is a not for profit, social enterprise, which strives to be a centre of excellence for sampling, grading, production and for learning and development of skills within the fashion and textiles industry.”[iv]­ – Fashion Enter

Fashion Enter is based in Haringey, but they also have a factory in Wales. Their London factory was established in 2010 and it produces around 15,000 garments a week for multinational brands like ASOS, Tesco F&F, and N Brown. It is the only UK factory that is both SMETA audited and has a leading status in the ethical and technical Fast Forward audit. The factory also organises CPPD workshops to teach retailers how an ethical factory operates and how to notice unethical and dirty practices and open costings.[v]

Why Patagonia?

“For our 50th year, we’re looking forward, not back, to life on Earth. Together, we can prioritize purpose over profit and protect this wondrous planet, our only home.”[vi] – Patagonia

Since 1985, 1% of Patagonia’s sales have been pledged to the preservation and restoration of the natural environment. This has equalled over $140 million in cash and in-kind donations to grassroots environmental groups. In 2022, 1% for the Planet was created by Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia, and Craig Mathews, owner of Blue Ribbon Flies. 1% for the Planet is a not-for-profit corporation and business alliance that encourages members to also contribute 1% of their total annual sales to grassroots environmental groups.[vii]

Patagonia has been B Corp certified since December 2011, where they scored an overall B Impact Score of 151.4.[viii] 68% of Patagonia’s fabrics are made with recycled materials.[ix] Using these recycled materials has cut Patagonia’s emissions by 20,000 tons of Co2e. Patagonia also saves water and emits 45% less carbon dioxide by using organic virgin cotton instead of conventional cotton. Furthermore, they are investing in and testing regenerative organic practices to try and improve soil health and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Finally, two-thirds of Patagonia’s line is Fair Trade Certified sewn.[x]

Patagonia focuses on longevity rather than expansion. In 2022, the ownership of Patagonia was transferred to the Patagonia Purpose Trust and Holdfast Collective, which is a not-for-profit organisation. This transfer of ownership means that all of Patagonia’s profits are used to combat climate change and protect underdeveloped land around the world.[xi]

What does this partnership mean for the circular economy?

Repairing moves fashion away from disposability and waste, and towards a circular economy. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation says that circular business models for fashion, which include repairs (but also resale, rental, and remaking), could be worth $700 billion USD by 2030, make up 23% of the global fashion market, and provide significant greenhouse gas savings.[xii] URC London received circular economy support from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation as well as strategic guidance from British Fashion Council’s Institute of Positive Fashion.[xiii]

You can read more about circular economy in the textiles industry in other ZCA insights by Jonathan Dyson and Lauren Foye.


[i] Fashion Network- United Repair Centre, Fashion-Enter, Patagonia open London repair centre & Circular- Textile repair centre opens in London in partnership with Patagonia

[ii] Ibid

[iii] United Repair Centre

[iv] Fashion Enter- Who are we?

[v] Fashion Enter- Factory in London

[vi] Patagonia- Hidden cost of clothes

[vii] Patagonia- 1% for the Planet

[viii] B Lab- Patagonia

[ix] Patagonia- Hidden cost of clothes

[x] Ibid

[xi] McKinsey- Patagonia shows how turning a profit doesn’t have to cost the Earth

[xii] Ellen MacArthur Foundation- Rethinking business models for a thriving fashion industry

[xiii] Circular- Textile repair centre opens in London in partnership with Patagonia

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Gemma Drake
Research Analyst

Gemma recently graduated with a degree in International Development. She is currently studying for an MSc in Sustainable Urbanism, which examines urban planning and urban design through a sustainability lens. “I’m passionate about addressing sustainability challenges in a holistic and pragmatic way. Zero Carbon Academy's diverse range of services targets many of the areas that need support if we are to transition to a liveable future. I’m excited to see the impact that the Academy makes.”

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