In the true spirit of both Thanksgiving AND Black Friday, the outdoor company Patagonia solved quite the conundrum: shopping that gives back. On Black Friday, Patagonia pledged to up their 1% For The Planet donation to 100% both in Patagonia stores and online.
They were predicting $2 million in sales and ended up donating $10 million to environmental activist groups around the world.
Now what does that mean? As this company is oriented toward outside clothing/gear the environment is no joke to these people. (Learn more about their initiatives in one of our earlier blog posts ‘Patagonia Making Big Step to keep our Earth Clean’) When Patagonia took its roots in 1973, creator Yvon Chouinard promised to donate 1% of all net sales to the preservation and restoration of the natural environment. Since then, Patagonia has joined forces with Craig Mattews, owner of the Blue Ribbon Files, and together they have created a stand alone non-profit organization called 1% For The Planet. These companies have tallied an incredible $74 million donated to non-profit grassroots environmental groups worldwide. They urge companies to join this progressive movement, making leaps toward environmental growth and rehabilitation – always a true sign of passion is encouraging others to join! Their mission statement even says, “For us at Patagonia, a love of wild and beautiful places demands participation in the fight to save them, and to help reverse the steep decline in the overall environmental health of our planet.”
Movements like this have been promoted by Patagonia on Black Friday’s in previous years, such as when they told their customers to “Not Buy This Jacket” if they did not need it, to promote reduced consumption. This is confirmation of their dedication and loyalty to their practices and philosophy.
This year, Patagonia pledged to donate ALL of their nets sales on the biggest shopping day of the year to 1% For the Planet. They might have had the environment in mind, but I am sure the people at Patagonia felt thankful for the positive response. People bought a whopping five times more than expected. Whether or not the intention, Patagonia pulled a tremendous PR stunt that people reacted significantly to.
Rose Marcario, Patagonia’s CEO, wrote a letter giving insight into why Patagonia took such drastic measures this Black Friday on their blog The Cleanest Line. They chose to take an even more environmental stance after this year’s election, which she said could have possible repercussions to our planet.
By getting active in communities, we can effect local change to protect the food our children and we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe and the treasured places we love the most. And we can impact global priorities, too, by raising our voices to defend policies and regulations that will reduce carbon emissions, build a modern energy economy based on investment in renewables and, most crucially, ensure the United States remains fully committed to the vital goals set forth in the Paris Climate Agreement.
She stayed very positive and promotive in her letter, an important stance to take for Patagonia’s customer base. There is reason to believe that this letter was an important building block in promoting their 100% For The Planet initiative. It resonated a lot with people’s real concerns about the environment due to the election and gave then the ability to make a difference in a new way.
This was a monumental and timely choice for Patagonia to make. They have always been known as the responsible, environmentally friendly, high-end company, but moves such as this set them apart from the rest of their competitors such as The North Face, Marmot, Arcteryx and more. This is proof that strong actions induce strong actions. Patagonia took a stance and was rewarded in numerous ways.
Although this company was started with climbing and surfing gear in mind, their current stock now exhibits a range of items from dresses, parkas, vests, hats, shoes, kid’s items and more. By making their products open to a wider variety of customers, Patagonia has increased their profit margins and their donations dramatically.
Check out this killer company and 1% For The Planet to see what they have in store for this holiday season!
And REMEMBER– 100% today, 1% EVERYday. Go make a difference.