Anti-Consumerism is the New Consumerism

How can a brand stand out nowadays in our time of consumerism and informational overflow? By totally going against it! While a lot of big labels like H&M and Nike have been promoting a more conscious lifestyle through recycling for a few years now, more and more brands go a step further and ask consumers to unplug and completely take a break from making any purchases.Most recently, REI's #OptOutside campaign has gained a lot of traction when the brand announced that all of its retail outlets (including online) will be closed for Black Friday, while their 12,000 workers will get paid for a full day of work. The purpose is to inspire employees and customers to fully enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday and "do what they love most—be outside." Read more about the campaign in this article on Adweek. The article also mentions Patagonia's similarly advocating "Don't buy this jacket" campaign, which pointed out all the environmental costs and resources needed to make one of their bestselling, although well-noted, durable jackets and asked customers to think twice about their purchases. While this campaign initially backfired with short-term declining sales, the buzz around the message in their ads eventually yielded in a 40% growth in sales over the following two years.So is these brands' point of telling customers to take a break from today's highly inflated consumerism really just a scheme to eventually sell more? Probably yes, at least to some extent. However, it's hard to argue that it's refreshing to see brands not seemingly shoving their products down people's throats during this time of the year, when people willingly give up quality time with their families to score a good deal. Let's take them at their word and spend this holiday season somewhere else outside with our loved ones! And if you need a new jacket for the occasion, you know where to go. ;)