The outdoor outfitter Patagonia has announced record breaking Black Friday sales to the tune of $10 million, with 100% of total revenue going to the environment. This exceed expectations by 500%. Customers were aware that the cost of the items they purchased would be donated, and have evidently expressed support for such a motion.
Here is the official release from Patagonia:
Last week, when we announced we’d give 100 percent of our global retail and online Black Friday sales directly to grassroots nonprofits working on the frontlines to protect our air, water and soil for future generations, we heard from many of our customers calling it a “fundraiser for the earth.”
We’re humbled to report the response was beyond expectations: With your help, Patagonia reached a record-breaking $10 million in sales. We expected to reach $2 million in sales—we beat that expectation five times over. The enormous love our customers showed to the planet on Black Friday enables us to give every penny to hundreds of grassroots environmental organizations working around the world.
Many of these environmental groups are underfunded and under the radar, and they are overwhelmed with your commitment. On behalf of these activists and every Patagonia employee, we extend a heartfelt thank you to our customers, friends and community worldwide who showed up to #loveourplanet.
You can learn more about the past recipients of Patagonia environmental grants in your community here. This additional infusion of resources will go a long way toward addressing climate change and other serious environmental issues.
The science is telling us loud and clear: We have a problem. By getting active in communities, we can raise our voices to defend policies and regulations that will protect wild places and wildlife, 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 Agreement on climate change.
Along with many loyal customers, the initiative attracted thousands who have never purchased anything from Patagonia before. We’re encouraged to see the great interest from so many in making buying decisions that align with strong environmental values—and taking steps to get more directly involved as well.
It is also worth noting that Patagonia is 1% For The Planet at all other times:
Patagonia is a proud member of 1% for the Planet, an alliance of businesses that understand the necessity of protecting the natural environment, and are concerned with the social and environmental impacts of industry. If you’re a business owner, please consider becoming a member. By contributing 1% of total annual sales to grassroots environmental groups, member companies affect real change. To learn more, check out onepercentfortheplanet.org.
In the past several years, Patagonia has worked to shape their image as a steward of the environment, and has rejected flagrant consumerism. They have even reflected this in ads, including the famous “don’t buy this jacket” ad. There is a healthy debate in the comments section of the blog concerning the environmental effectiveness of this business model. The main question being; would it better for the environment if Patagonia had sold no goods, or if they sold literal tons of clothing and donated all the money?
This model has worked well for them, and sales have risen substantially. Consumers are blessed with a feel good mentality when they buy Patagonia, and pay a premium for this over other brands. At the very least, it’s good to know that there is this consumer sentiment, however confined to the rich, and that there is a financial incentive for companies to offset their impact.