REI chooses to #OptOutside

REI co-op is an outdoor clothing, gear, and footwear retailer, with more than 150 locations across the nation. REI wanted to change the experiences people have outdoors because they believe that “a life outdoors is a well-lived life.”

The company has taken it upon themselves to live up to their mission. They are set on being socially responsible, both in their sustainable clothing and with how they treat their staff and employees.

Photo via AdWeek

The #OptOutside campaign started in 2015 as a way to encourage customers and employees to spend time outside with family and friends.

They released a statement to help customers understand what they were doing.

“For 77 years, our co-op has been dedicated to one thing and one
thing only: a life outdoors. We believe that being outside makes
our lives better. And Black Friday is the perfect time to remind
ourselves of this essential truth.

While the rest of the world is fighting it out in the aisles, we’ll be
spending our day a little differently. We’re closing to opt outside,
and want you to come with us. If you don’t know where, we can
help with that too. Visit to find out more.

Join us.


Quote Via

REI closed its’ stores, including online purchasing, and forwent the biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday. They paid their 12,000 employees to spend the day outside, instead of coming into work.

Video from Bigumigu on Youtube.

This campaign was very successful. It reached over 2 billion impressions in the first 24 hours. People loved REI’s social responsibility; over 1.4 million people decided to opt outside with them.

The global initiative they have has expanded to other companies as well. Several other stores have since decided to follow REI’s example and #OptOutside as well.

“The point wasn’t to reject Black Friday but to embrace something that mattered to REI.”

Paul Birks-Hay,

#OptOutside was widely spread through social media, large print ads and of course, the hashtag that became the center of the campaign. Overall, the campaign was a huge success.

Diagram via

The company has continued with its’ #OptOutside campaign every year since 2015 on Black Friday.

REI prides itself on supporting its staff, employees, and customers. The way they employ CSR in their brand makes them stand out as an organization. It has won them major media coverage, positive customer reactions and brand awareness.

Check out this story by AdWeek to learn more!

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