On June 18, Patagonia will team up with local running community DarkRunners and women’s skateboarding community Todaynowave to organize a gathering at Gate M Westbund in Shanghai. Named “618 Don’t-Consume Market,” the activation aims to encourage participants to “buy less, play more” during this year’s 618 shopping festival.
Consumers can repair, exchange, and recycle old clothes via the brand’s Worn Wear program at the market, make coffee cup sleeves, watch Patagonia documentaries, as well as join outdoor activities like running and skateboarding.
Because the event was announced on June 14, online traffic is still low, though some netizens have commented that hosting anti-consumerism activities on a shopping festival sounds interesting. As outdoor sports have boomed in the post-pandemic era, Patagonia’s collaboration with China’s running and skateboarding communities appeals to outdoor sports enthusiasts. Meanwhile, the recycling services offered at the event will engage consumers who are conscious of sustainability.
Patagonia is well known for its counterintuitive ads telling consumers to buy less of its products. In 2020, the outdoor retailer’s Worn Wear recycling program was launched as an exhibition in Shanghai’s K11 shopping mall, educating consumers on the environmental footprint behind their purchases.
Over the past two years, Patagonia has opted out of participating in the 618 shopping extravaganza, urging consumers to shop less and trade in their old clothes instead. In 2022, Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard and his family even gave away all their company shares to combat climate change and protect wild land, which sparked a wave of positive feedback in China.
In line with its sustainable development philosophy, Patagonia continues to promote anti-consumerism through various campaigns and events. However, as competition in the outdoor apparel and equipment sector intensifies, the brand will need to enrich its sustainability storytelling to maintain its brand desirability in China.