The day before Thanksgiving I was in the supermarket with a cart full of groceries in preparation for the season’s first of feasts. I have to admit it. I absolutely love pulling together the fixings for all manner of treats both sweet and savory. My wife Shamane plans on making her recently perfected lemon meringue pie and I’m stoked to build my annual batch of spicy pork tamales. The ingredients for these wonderful things we love to prepare and share with friends and family are among the few things we’ll likely buy this holiday season. And though we can afford to indulge the frivolous purchase our buying is typically restricted to those things we actually need, items that lend value to our existence or help to bring joy into the lives of others.
When it comes to the holidays, I try to do as little shopping as possible. You won’t find me standing in line on Black Friday morning eager to save big money on a flat screen TV or a new set of socket wrenches. As much as I might like a new down jacket or a fleece pullover a quick look in my closet will reveal a fine wardrobe of essential items all in good repair. And though I can afford to buy something new – I might even deserve it – I’m grateful for what I have and plan to make the most of it.
That’s the central premise of a new film posted online this week from Patagonia. Produced and directed by Keith, Lauren, Chris and Dan Malloy the movie Worn Wear tells the story of conscientious consumers who love their well-used and experienced clothing items. Each proudly displaying their tattered yet still functional Patagonia products the characters in this inspirmercial profess their undying affection for these amazing garments that have served them well through countless years of abuse and adventure.
At almost 28 minutes in length Worn Wear is an unapologetic love letter to functional fashion that’s built to last. The common theme of each profile is the tacit understanding that these precious items need not be replaced but rather used and reused for many years to come. Rolled out just a few days before the biggest shopping event of the year this film apparently aims to defuse a bit of the buying frenzy just long enough for consumers to realize that there’s more to life than yet another purchase and perhaps they can make do with what they already have.
Patagonia doesn’t have a corner on the market when it comes to making quality products. The outdoor industry is full of manufacturers with high standards of excellence and durability. Companies like Sierra Designs, Arcteryx, The North Face and Mountain Hardware also make incredibility long-lasting clothing. What matters most is that these items are likely being used by individuals eager to spend time in nature. Hopefully having visited our national parks or wilderness areas near where they live and with a better appreciation for the fragility of the environment those who buy waterproof breathable fabrics and synthetic insulated layering pieces will extend their abiding love of the outdoors toward efforts meant to protect it.
A new piece of clothing or equipment might be on your wish list this holiday season. I know that having reached the end of its useful life even the most reliable gear has to be replaced when it cannot be repaired. After careful consideration of one’s needs and desires that purchase might be completely necessary. The gear you currently own is probably more than sufficient to venture out for a day of skiing or climbing or mountain biking. If not then by all means get yourself something new.
I confess that last weekend to celebrate by wife’s one year anniversary of her knee replacement I bought her a new pair of cross-country ski boots. But it’s important to remember that the things we buy are only as meaningful as the things they allow us to do. Shamane will compete this year in at least two ski marathon races and her days of training outdoors through a long Wisconsin winter will make her extremely happy. Like lemon meringue pie or pork tamales the things we create in life should lend value to our existence or help to bring joy into the lives of others.
The Joy Trip Project is made possible thanks to the generous support of MAKO Surgical Corp.
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