Even if you're like me and are heavily critical of the role consumerism plays in modern, especially American, society, it's hard not to get caught up in the holiday shopping frenzy that kicks off each year with Black Friday. Beginning in early November, we're absolutely bombarded with advertisements which detail supposedly too-good-to-be-true deals on everything from clothing to toys to electronics. There's only one problem: we hardly need any of it. Sure, if you're in the market for a large ticket item or are hoping to save on your holiday gift giving, taking advantage of Black Friday sales can be prudent. But retailers that beat the Black Friday drum aren't hoping to ease the hit to your wallet this season, they're hoping you'll buy, and do so excessively.
As a fly fishing publication, we deal with both the consumer and advertiser end of the industry. And thankfully, from our perspective, the fly fishing industry largely ignores the Black Friday fiasco. One retailer, Patagonia, is taking things a step further and is urging customers to do the opposite of what most retailers are doing this time of year. Patagonia is urging customers to exercise restraint, to not buy. In a film released today titled Worn Wear, Patagonia highlights the enjoyment we get from the things we already own. Patagonia is hoping that it will serve as an "antidote to the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping frenzy."
According to Patagonia, Worn Wear is "a short film to share the stories of Patagonia customers and their beloved Patagonia gear that has stood the test of time. Worn Wear is an exploration of quality — in the things we own and the lives we live. This short film takes you to an off-the-grid surf camp in Baja, Mexico, a family's maple syrup harvest in Contoocook, Vermont, an organic farm in Ojai, California and into the lives of a champion skier, a National Geographic photographer, and a legendary alpinist. It also features exclusive interviews with Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard."
In addition to releasing the film, Patagonia is reaching out to customers to help them keep their existing Patagonia gear in top shape. Teaming up with iFixit, Patagonia will co-publish a series of free repair guides for Patagonia clothing. The program is the first of its kind and seeks to encourage customers to repair old products instead of buying new ones. Patagonia will also sell an Expedition Sewing Kit (MSRP $30) in its retail stores and online, complete with a machined awl made of high-quality aluminum, heavy-duty needles, various selections of thread, and patch material.
Be sure to check out the Worn Wear trailer below. You can also view the full film here.