5 Dec 2013
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Patagonia film celebrates the stories we wear

We all have that one item of clothing that we refuse to get rid of. The one we've had for years which has probably seen better days but we love too much to part with. It might be a hand-me-down, a patched-up rag or an item of clothing that has travelled the world with you, now Patagonia has launched a campaign to pay tribute to those items of clothing and push the brand's sustainability message. 

‘Worn Wear’, is a film about the stories we wear. It is a celebration of the brand’s clothing and an ode to the quality of Patagonia’s products.  

The film takes the viewer on a trip across the US moving backwards and forwards in time to showcase the life of its products and the stories of its items as told by the brand’s customers. 

The 27-minute film travels to a surf camp in Baja, Mexico; a family’s maple syrup harvest in Contocook, New Hampshire; an organic farm in Ojai, California and into the lives of a champion skier, a National Geographic photographer, and a legendary alpinist. 

The film also features exclusive interviews with the founder of Patagonia Yvon Chouinard and his sustainability soundbites punctuate the stories of the clothing. 

In a further unique twist many of the beloved long-lasting items came to the storytellers second hand and had already had at least one other owner. 

Released as an antidote to the US shopping and spending frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, 'Worn Wear' is more than a film it's also a major initiative from Patagonia and is an invitation for people to celebrate the stuff you already own and the clothing that has stood the test of time. 

The campaign also includes a partnership with peer-editied repair manual iFixit, which will see it publish Patagonia Repair Guides. Patagonia is also selling ‘Expedition Sewing Kits’ for $30, which includes needles, threads and materials to extend the life of Patagonia products. 

  • REVIEW
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This has to be one of the smartest strategies I have ever seen. It’s probably because there is such a genuine insight and philosophy behind the campaign. 

Patagonia’s founder is a strong believer in sustainability and has long championed this very notion of encouraging people to repair and reuse rather than throwing items away. 

Patagonia has form in this area too, in 2005 it launched the Common Threads Initiative, which invited customers to pledge to only buy what they needed and reuse what they didn’t. 

The company went one further by buying back its used products from customers to resell in store and encouraging consumers to recycle. Launching a repair guide and sewing kit was the logical next step for the company. 

As Chouinard says in ‘Worn Wear’: “We can’t be a society that is based on consuming and discarding endlessly. What we are trying to do is to make clothes that can be handed down, that can last forever. “

So what kind of a company encourages its customers not to buy more of its products but to repair what they have? A very, very smart one. 

At a time where every brand is trying to flex its sustainability message, along with all its other CSR credentials, it’s getting harder for consumers to distinguish between the genuine and the spin. 

For a brand like Patagonia, which really does try to live and breathe a sustainable message this is a statement of proof. They are standing apart from all of their competitors and fellow retailers at the biggest spending frenzy of the year and saying stop buying things that you don't need - even if that's our products. 

It’s brave and it’s brilliant. More than ever people want to buy into brands and companies that stand for something and truly demonstrate a culture. Patagonia are sending a message to the marketplace that they are so serious about sustainability they don’t want you to buy a new jacket, they want you to mend your existing one. 

It's not the first time the brand has done this either, in 2011 they launched the "Don't buy this jacket' campaign - again to coincide with Black Friday. The 

Obviously there is still a commercial element to this message and to Patagonia. This is concious capitalism at its best. 

This philosophy and positioning aims to win over people and will encourage them to spend money with the brand because they believe in it. Also those sewing kits cost $30 and you have to go instore to get them and that also raises the likelihood of you picking up a thing or two whilst you are there. 

And of course coming up with such a strong message against the backdrop of the shopping extravaganza, which coincides with Thanksgiving, means media outlets are on the hunt for stories on traditionally slow news-days meaning there are excellent PR opportunities. 

For Patagonia though, this is about much more than just PR, this is a company that sells outdoor gear, climbing, trekking, camping etc. it's very business model relies of people getting out and exploring the world, It is inexplicantly linked to the outdoors, to the environment and to the earth. So, for them sustainability is more than a buzz word it really is a way of life. It has to be their very business depends on it. 

This isn't pushing sustainable models for distributing soft drinks or toilet rolls, this is saving the earth so that people can still enjoy it - albeit while wearing Patagonia gear. No matter how cynically you look at it, Patagonia is fundamentally doing a good thing, even if it is gaining commercially from it. 

Obviously this whole idea also rests very heavily on your product being good enough quality that you can stand by your claims and people will believer you. Enter our brand advocates. 

There’s nothing new about turning your customers into advocates, we all know the best way to showcase your brand is through the real stories from owners of Patagonia gear. 

The people in 'Worn Wear' are superb, as far as brand advocacy and brand champions go, you couldn’t have scripted it better. They display genuine emotion and affection for the items of clothing and the adventures they’ve had in them. 

The message that comes through loud and clear in the film is a message of quality. As Chouinard says: “The number one part of our mission statement is to make the best quality clothing – not among the best, but the best.” 

The film demonstrates this brilliantly and with authenticity. We can see for ourselves that these products really do stand the test of time – some are “33 years old and still going strong”. For any brand that’s just a very powerful message.  

Strategy aside this is also a really beautiful piece of storytelling. The film’s artistry is superb, being an outdoorsy company it's full of rich, colourful and breathtaking scenery. It splices old footage and new footage together seemlessly to tell the stories of the items continuing to build a collection of sweeping shots of the landscapes and lands where these people play. 

The film's tone is warm, engaging, entertaining, and very, very authentic. The characters are real and genuine and this shines through loud and clear, there is nothing forced or staged. The music choices are wonderful and help give the film a real sense of home and belonging. 

Patagonia are a brand that has excelled in the space of branded arts, when brands were first getting their heads around content they launched their blog called 'The Cleanest Line' which focuses on the environment and the sports people do in them, such as climbing, hiking etc as well as showcasing the adventures there products can help you take, rather than focusing on the products. 

I personally think this film is another stand out execution from a brand that really truly understands its audience as well as its place in the world. 

My favourite quote from the film is when we see Patagonia’s founder Yvon Chouinard cheekily laugh to camera and say: “My favourite quote is from David Theroux who said, "beware of any endeavour that requires new clothes”.”

  • VERDICT
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I think Patagonia has absolutely nailed this. The strategy and artistry of this piece is superb and dare I say near perfect. 

Brilliant work. 5 stars. 


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Janie

16 Sep 2014

This article shoewd that consumers need to think about what they are buying and what is more sustainable. I believe that this company will not lose money due to the fact that they are advertising against their products, but will instead help people open their eyes. It will encourage buyers to think about what they are going to purchase and how our current manufacturing processes are affecting the world quicker than we expect. As mentioned in the article, companies use a vast amount of water to make their products; adding to that, companies emit a large amount of air pollution during the process of manufacturing. Even if these jackets include recycled material, I feel like that is not enough in becoming sustainable because energy and water is still used in remaking the product and gases are still emitted as a result. The best way to becoming more environmentally friendly is to reduce, or in this case, buy less jackets. Also, referring to the ad, hypocrisy added an extra element that I feel was a great way to encourage readers because they are saying that even their own product is bad for the environment and we can change our ways starting with acknowledgment of the problem. http://hubrjol.com [url=http://pyuudxht.com]pyuudxht[/url] [link=http://qzkpixdxwfs.com]qzkpixdxwfs[/link]
Malke

16 Sep 2014

Honestly, after buying my first jaekct from them, the only gear I wear for real weather or water resistance is from NAU. The fits are incredible, the details insane, the materials sustainable and the lines so clean and modern.Although if you're less concerned about the coin, you should go Aether, Arcteryx or at the top of the line, Allegri. http://xfkvyq.com [url=http://sqkxmcvuys.com]sqkxmcvuys[/url] [link=http://oavxetotg.com]oavxetotg[/link]
Alexia

16 Sep 2014

What?! When I started raenidg this article I was completely taken aback. Since when did companies want to discourage people from buying their products? It took a lot of guts for this company to basically tell all they're wrond doings, something most companies aren't willing do. Those statistics that they shared were astonishing! 135 liters of water for one jacket?! I'm assuming they had used fresh water, water that people could have drank. Unless I had missed it, there was nothing in the article that had mentioned that they were going to change they're ways. I was hoping to come to the end to read that they were going to start making these jackets sustainably, but instead I learned it was pretty much a stunt. I can see how by doing this you must get a lot of publicity. This makes me wonder whether the company really did this to attract more people to their product or if they sincerely care about the environment. The risks this company takes are just admirable. What if people actually listen and not buy they're products? If this is how harmful it is to produce a jacket, what about the rest of the clothes we buy? How would we balance the economy and the environment? Should I just completely stop shopping to become an environmental activist? I think most people will reflect on the damage they do by buying clothes, but just end up buying clothes anyway. I also have to mention just how much I love the layout and design of the ad; simple.
John Ford

16 Sep 2014

Danielle I agree this film talks to the quality and authenticity of Patagonia clothing. But what I think it does best is talk to the quality and authenticity of the adventurers who wear it. Who could not be drawn to wearing something that says I am a veteran of real adventure. It makes a sad looking old pullover a trophy with history and mystery. 5 stars.

A big idea in its positioning not just execution.
Jeremy Garling

16 Sep 2014

Simply done and totally agree...you would feel proud wearing Patagonia.

Nice read.
Evelyn

16 Sep 2014

Pataponia's sizing has bemcoe very strange. I've worn their stuff for 25 years and have ALWAYS been a Medium. The last two pieces of gear I bought from them are smalls and there is even a shell that I need an XS. Yet, other pieces I am still a medium. I mention all of this just to say that I wouldn't buy anything from them without trying it on. I mean, c'mon, - 6'1", 175 is a small?? Crazy...
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