Contact info


High Country Conservation Center 737 Ten Mile Dr Frisco CO 80443 PO Box 4506 Frisco CO 80443


(970) 668-5703


Dear Eartha, Now that I understand the limited options for recycling clothing and gear, I’ve been wondering – are there any good repair options in Summit County?

I love the way you think! First, let’s reflect on why it is important to prolong the life of our items instead of opting to trash them and buy new ones. Did you know that the textile and clothing industry is believed to be the second largest polluter? That’s right, it’s second only to the oil industry. Fashion and gear manufacturing requires both raw materials to create the clothing and water as a solvent and medium for dyes, in addition to the water needed to grow said raw materials. Demand for clothing and gear is amplifying resource depletion throughout the world. What’s more, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 85% of all discarded textiles (13 million tons) are sent to U.S. landfills every year. All that being said, something needs to be done!

There are large scale solutions taking place in France, where a government funded program provides an opportunity for the public to claim back seven euros for mending a pair of shoes. Residents can receive up to 25 euros to repair clothing. Even though we do not yet have a national program, we still have several solutions at our fingertips here in Summit County.

Repair Beyond the Fair

Stores like our neighborhood REI have clothing and gear repair services. They partner with companies that repair fabric, outerwear, footwear, and even tent poles. Follow their simple steps online at and send your gear to get fixed instead of sending it to the dump.

Outdoor brands have also stepped up to help divert salvable gear from the landfill. Companies such as Osprey, Patagonia, Rab, Arc’Teryx, Cotopaxi and Mountain Hardwear offer their own programs to help their customers repair gear. Even though we do not have a brick and mortar repair shop in Summit County, we have many talented residents who can be part of the solution. If you’ve got an item that could use a repair, post a question on local Facebook groups, and see if the community has any recommendations for you. I know several locals who get their clothing, tents and even sailboat sails repaired by talented locals. You never know what you’ll find out if you don’t ask.

We may have limited repair options compared to France’s government-funded repair program, but all the local options are worth the effort. Not only do you get to keep enjoying your favorite gear, but you’ll also spend less money than you would buying brand new, and most importantly, our planet wins!

Ask Eartha Steward is written by the staff at the High Country Conservation Center, a nonprofit dedicated to waste reduction and resource conservation. Submit questions to Eartha at

Strong Future Grants are Live

These grants are designed to help local entities and government agencies prevent and reduce waste. Recieve up to $70k to make your waste diversion projects a reality!