Black Friday is the premier shopping day of the retail holiday season. Retailers promote it weeks before the actual day. Some big box retailers will start Black Friday on Thanksgiving, opening up their stores on a national holiday.
However, one clothing retailer wants to make people think before they automatically buy something new. That retailer is Patagonia, who released a film earlier this week called Worn Wear. The company bills the short film as “an antidote to the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping frenzy, Worn Wear is an invitation to celebrate the stuff you already own.”
The short film is produced by Keith, Lauren, Chris, and Dan Malloy who are Patagonia Surf Ambassadors. Surf Ambassadors are described on the retailer’s website as “field testers for our gear and storytellers for our tribe.” The film features various locales, from a surf camp in Baja, Mexico, to a maple syrup harvest in New Hampshire, to an organic farm in Ojai, California. It also features various Patagonia customers who have repurposed and repaired the company’s clothing, including a champion skier and a National Geographic photographer.
Part of the campaign is a partnership with iFixit, which produces free repair manuals and is publishing repair guides for Patagonia clothing. Patagonia is also selling an “Expedition Sewing Kit” for $30 that comes with all a person needs to repair and revamp their Patagonia clothing, including needles, thread and materials.
On November 29, Patagonia is holding a Black Friday Worn Wear Party at its stores in certain cities across the U.S. where it will screen Worn Wear and give out iFixit repair guides. The participants will be able to enjoy food and live music. A list of participating stores includes six in California (Cardiff, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Santa Monica and Ventura), five on the East Coast (Boston, Chicago Lincoln Park, New York Bowery, New York Meatpacking, and Washington, D.C.), two in the Northwest (Portland and Seattle) and also in Denver, Colorado and Austin, Texas.
Urging customers to repair and repurpose their old Patagonia clothing is not new for the clothing retailer. Founder Yvon Choinard, who is featured in the film, has “long pushed customers to embrace sustainability and favor repairing over throwing out,” as Adage put it. Patagonia has a Common Threads Partnership campaign which asks customers to pledge to “buy only what I need (and will last), repair what breaks, reuse (share) what I no longer need and recycle everything else.” The company, in return, pledges to “build useful things that last, to repair what breaks and recycle what comes to the end of its useful life.”
Even start-ups are getting in on the Worn Wear campaign. Yerdle, the iPhone and iPad app that allows people to swap used goods, is offering free Patagonia gear, including Nano-puffs, fleeces and rain jackets beginning at 9 am on November 29. The gear comes from Patagonia’s Worn Wear program, meaning it is pre-used. (Read more about yerdle here, and a guest post from yerdle Founder Adam Werbach, published last Black Friday.)
Grandmas everywhere who have always mended clothes with rips or missing buttons will rejoice in what Patagonia is doing to combat our throwaway society.
Photo: Andrew Hyde