Patagonia’s Black Friday Protest of Mindless Consumerism

Patagonia’s Black Friday Protest of Mindless Consumerism

Thanksgiving is a great family holiday. It’s also become the starting gun for the holiday shopping binge. Black Friday, and even Thanksgiving day itself, has become a new quasi-holiday, a national day of deal hunting, on which Americans camp in parking lots, endure unbelievable lines, occasionally riot, and come away with screaming deals on lots and lots of stuff.

There’s something universally distasteful about watching overweight America shove its way toward a cheaper plasma TV. But most companies have no choice but to participate in the deal wheeling, lest they miss the chance to jettison aging inventory on the one-day flood-tide of cash. Even we, your faithful servants in hot new gear, feel obliged to call out the stuff we would happily queue, shove, and riot over (see, um, our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide—though we have to say we found some awesome stuff).

Patagonia is trying to set itself on higher ground. In homage to its dirtbag roots, the company has released a film extolling the virtues of not buying new gear—of using the gear you own until it shreds off your back. “Released 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 company said in a statement. On November 29, Patagonia is also hosting gear repair clinics at 15 locations around the country, along with a film screening.

Check out the trailer below, or the full version of the film here, and let us know what you think in the comments below. And in honor of Black Friday, consider wearing your most threadbare, begrimed, patched-up, story-rich puffer in solidarity. After all, there no better deal than the one on the gear you already own. —Justin Nyberg