REI will once again be closed on Black Friday, but it’s going one step further

Instead of opening before sunrise on Black Friday, REI is once again opting out of the biggest shopping day of the year and is instead encouraging its customers to go outside by participating in a day of action.

The company has participated in #OptOutside since 2015, letting its 13,000-plus employees have both Thanksgiving and Black Friday off. The store’s new slogan this year, Opt to Act, encourages its 18 million members to sign up for various cleanup events happening around the country on Black Friday, November 29. 

Leading up to and on Black Friday, there are 11 events being held in eight states where people can sign up to help clean up trash in parks. The nationwide cleanups are in partnership with the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics and United by Blue. REI is encouraging those who don’t have an official cleanup event in their city to still get outside and pick up trash in outside spaces. 

REI Co-op Quarter Dome Air Hammock

You will still be able to buy your favorite outdoor gear online for Black Friday, but REI CEO Eric Artz is encouraging REI customers to head outside and do something good instead of spending money.

“We’re still going to go outside and play — but this time we’re bringing our work gloves. And we’re inviting you to join us,” Artz wrote in a letter to the company’s members. “It’s time to fight for life outdoors — and life on this planet.”

The Opt to Act initiative goes even further, with a 52-week plan to help REI customers take small steps in 2020 to reduce their environmental footprint and create better eco-conscious habits. The plan includes simple things like going meatless for one day a week and switching to electronic bills instead of paper ones. 

REI is also committing to operating as a zero-waste company and reducing the use of poly bags by the end of 2020. 

“As a single company, our impact is limited, but as a community, we can drive change that powers meaningful action beyond our walls. As a co-op, we know that many people taking many small steps together can add up to big changes,” Artz said. 

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