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IF IT'S BROKE, FIX IT!

One of the most responsible things we can do as a company is to make high-quality stuff that lasts for years and can be repaired, so you don’t have to buy more of it.

As individual consumers, the single best thing we can do for the planet is to keep our stuff in use longer. This simple act of extending the life of our garments through proper care and repair reduces the need to buy more over time—thereby avoiding the CO2 emissions, waste output and water usage required to build it.

We live in a culture where replacement is king. We do routinely fix big-ticket items, like cars and washing machines, but primarily it’s easier and cheaper to go buy something new. There are other reasons to avoid repair, including labels warning that repairing a product on your own will void the warranty, or the lack of access to the information and parts necessary to repair something ourselves.

These conditions create a society of product-consumers, not owners. And there’s a difference. Owners are empowered to take responsibility for their purchases—from proper cleaning to repairing, reusing and sharing. Consumers take, make, dispose and repeat—a pattern that is driving us towards ecological bankruptcy.

Many companies have great warranty programs these days. You buy something, use it for awhile, it breaks and you send it back to get repaired or exchanged for something new. While warranties are great for consumers looking to buy from companies who stand behind their products, what happens to items beyond repair? Well, most of the time they end up in the landfill. But at OFF-LAND, anything is sent to the Restoration Department.

The team running the Restoration Department dismantle, repair, restore and extend the lives of many once-warrantied bags and leather goods. Through new leather components, zippers and—sometimes extensive—darning of the fabric, unique, fully restored bags are ready to continue their adventures, albeit with a new owner in tow.

 


Within this process the craftsmen of the department will analyze the material condition and take liberty to replace materials such as rotted leathers or fabrics, broken or worn out hardware etc. There is a lot of care and attention to detail when restoring these items, which creates a very sentimental relationship between the craftsman, product and end customer.

We do our best to find a perfect match for all materials and hardware we use to repair your item. In cases where we do not have an exact match available, we’ll do our best to get as close as possible. Regardless of the product, all repairs are made with the objective of preserving the integrity and rugged durability you’ve come to expect from OFF-LAND.

A repaired item can never look brand new, as if it just came off the store shelf – rather, the damage and resulting repair shows each item’s unique wear story.However, we can guarantee the repair under the same warranty that covers every other OFF-LAND product. That is how much we believe in our repairs and the production team who perform them.

We typically use the same material that the item is made from when performing these types of repairs. However, colors may vary depending on the age and use of the item. Please remember that our repairs prioritize function over aesthetics.


The two most important things to remember to preserve your OFF-LAND products are the following:

  • Condition the leather like it’s your own skin. The more moisture you give it in the form of conditioners and oils, the longer it will last. This will help prevent cracking, waterlogging and dry rot.
  • Wax, wax and re-wax your OFF-LAND bag. Same as the leather, the more you wax the cotton, the more impermeable it becomes to the elements. Waxing your bag also reduces friction wear, and will ensure a longer life for the fabric.
As businesses, we have a responsibility to make higher quality products to help reclaim the act of ownership: make parts accessible and repair easy. The idea of bringing new life to something full of character and patina is beautiful.

Fixing something we might otherwise throw away is almost inconceivable to many in the heyday of fast fashion and rapidly advancing technology, but the impact is enormous.