Patagonia’s Black Friday Strategy: Use More, Shop Less

Patagonia is asking customers to observe Black Friday by "celebrating what they already own." Photo: Patagonia

Patagonia is asking customers to observe Black Friday by celebrating what they already own. Photo: Patagonia

While most retailers are working to lure shoppers to buy more this year, Patagonia is taking a completely different approach. The company is asking people to celebrate what they already own instead of buying new gear.

Already known for launching campaigns to promote a more “responsible economy” by curbing consumption, the outdoor apparel brand is celebrating Black Friday by offering free screenings of a new short film, Worn Wear, at all 15 of its stores nationwide. The film tells the story of eight people and their well-loved (and well-worn) pieces of Patagonia clothing.

In addition to the screenings, the stores will offer repair clinics with guides to show fans of the apparel how to repair their worn or torn clothing. Patagonia recently announced an unprecedented partnership with iFixit, which is known for its peer-reviewed repair manuals for such things as tablets, smartphones, printers, computers, appliances and cameras. Now, iFixit has created repair guides for the clothing brand, and Patagonia is selling Expedition Sewing Kits meant to encourage repair.

As part of the Black Friday celebration, the stores also will have live music, food and “super-secret limited edition beer” on hand.

The latest sustainability-focused campaign comes just months after the company announced that it would begin selling used Patagonia clothing in its retail outlets. Two years ago, as part of its Black Friday campaign, the company took out a full-page ad in The New York Times with the headline “Don’t Buy This Jacket.”

In the accompanying text, the company asked shoppers to rethink their consumption and look at the real cost of all the things they buy. To illustrate their point, they explained how much water, carbon dioxide and waste was involved in making the jacket featured in their ad. The message was an extension of their Common Threads Initiative, launched in 2005, which asks customers to pledge to only buy what they need and reuse what they don’t.

Sneak a peek at Worn Wear below.

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