When you walk to Arc’teryx’s new Broadway store in New York City, it first seems like retail as usual. But walk into the back room and you’ll find a workstation full of parts and tools more akin to a bicycle repair shop.
The brand’s fourth store in Manhattan is home to its first ReBird Service Center, an outlet for existing customers to have their outdoor gear assessed and repaired on the spot. It also maintains stock of used goods that have been cleaned and repaired, the first time Arc’Teryx has made such products available to shop in person. Together, these services and product offerings mark a push forward in Arc’Teryx’s push for sustainability, and the plan is to open ReBird Service Centers in other key regions through 2022 and beyond.
“Our used gear program, recycling, repairs, and care — everything is underneath the ReBird umbrella, and this is the first time we have a full expression of it in a physical space,” Dominique Showers, Arc’teryx’s VP of recommerce, told Input. “We really stand on the platform of “built to last” and durability, so we want to make sure the education is there.”
The stainless steel workstation in the back of 547 Broadway is stocked with Gore-Tex fabric swatches, zippers, sliders, and pulls — all in a rainbow of colors to match Arc’Teryx’s existing products, or not. Those coming in for repairs can choose among the components for personalization, creating a one-of-a-kind product in the process of extending its lifespan.
The ReBird Service Center is equipped to tackle repairs onsite including small tears, and replacement for components including sliders, pull cords, cord ends, cord locks, and buckles. Waterproof goods can also be tested for leaks using the same machines from Arc’Teryx’s factories that blasts water on the garment at 2 PSI. Any product undergoing the test will then be washed, dryed, and retreated with Durable Water Repellent (DWR), a service also available to anyone who asks for it.
All of these services are complimentary, and more significant repairs that can’t be handled on site will be sent to Arc’Teryx’s Arc’One factory in Vancouver, provided they fall under warranty. If a repair isn’t covered by the brand, it’ll still give you all the parts and fabric for free and point you toward a third-party servicer. Repairs handled off-site by Arc’Teryx can take up to a month and half to be returned, so Showers recommends customers be proactive and have the work done in the summer, when the waiting time can be reduced to just two weeks.
Patches are made using Tenacious Tape, the same material that can be used to fix tents and other waterproof outdoor gear. Unlike how you may apply the patch at home, employees at the will affix it using a heat press to maximize the strength of the adhesive in order for it to last a lifetime.
As much as Arc’Teryx is willing to help through the ReBird Service Center, the brand also sees it as an opportunity for education on how to extend the life of your products yourself. Waterproof goods should be washed after approximately 10 wears and retreated to prevent oils from your skin weakening the efficacy of DWR. And despite any fears you may have, you should absolutely dry such clothing — the heat actually bolsters its waterproofing.
The dedicated room will also serve as a community hub for Arc’Teryx to host events in, beginning with a tie-dye workshop on November hosted by the artist Shaun Crawford, who created bespoke gear as part of a charitable effort for the brand last year. And by offering used goods at a reduced price, Arc’Teryx should bring in a new customer base who may not have been able to afford its products at full price.
Arc’Teryx just launched its ReBird program in May, but already it’s grown to involve an interactive experience unlike anything else in the outdoor space. It’s all done in the name of sustainability, but handling your repair needs at the ReBird Service is also plain fun for gorp enthusiasts.