Why We're Going to #OptOutside on Black Friday

How to participate: We're launching an Instagram campaign to raise money for the adaptive sports nonprofit Paradox Sports. For three days—Black Friday and the Saturday and Sunday after—tag Instagram photos of your outdoor adventure with #OptOutside and #OutdoorResearch and we'll donate $10.00 to Paradox Sports—up to $5,000; each hashtagged Instagram photo you post is worth $10.00.

Black Friday has become a holiday in itself; millions of Americans get a 3 a.m. alpine start to begin the long climb toward the summit of their family’s holiday wish list. Retailers welcome Black Friday as the day of their fiscal year that they finally begin turning a profit and go in the black.

So why are we closing our doors on Black Friday? Because it’s in our DNA and on Monday, when REI announced that it will close all of its 143 retail stores, its headquarters, and two distributions centers on Black Friday, to support its employees and its customers in getting outside, we thought to join them in celebrating the idea of #optoutside! To that end, Outdoor Research will join REI in encouraging our employees and customers to get outside on November 27. We're closing our offices, distribution center, and Seattle factory and retail store.

“The REI campaign resonated powerfully for us because it aligns with our own values," Outdoor Research CEO Dan Nordstrom said this week. "Our core purpose at Outdoor Research has always been to inspire more people to get outdoors and through that experience better understand themselves and our planet. It’s an easy decision to join with REI employees and get outside on Black Friday."

Since its founding in 1981, Outdoor Research has been guided by the belief that the more time people spend outside, the happier and healthier they—and the world—become, a sentiment echoed in REI President and CEO Jerry Stritzke’s letter to members, “life outside is better for us as individuals, better for society and ultimately, better for the planet.” With the technology we have at our fingertips today, we can shop anytime, and if we can take a day off of shopping and use it to get outside (and give back), we think that’s a good thing—especially if we can help Paradox Sports in its mission to create more opportunities for disabled outdoor athletes.

We’ll be back at work November 30 to help you get all the gear you need for the holidays. Have a great holiday weekend, however you choose to #OptOutside.