View Full Version : Patagonia #optingforoutside

Just Bill
11-29-2016, 10:33
On this past Black Friday Patagonia opted to run a campaign that came to be called a "fundraiser for the earth".

Rather than a sale Patagonia ran a one day promotion where 100% of gross sales would be donated to grassroots environmental organizations.

They had hoped to have two million dollars in sales on this day but instead posted $10,000,000 dollars in sales, 100% of which will be donated to the many charities and activism groups that Patagonia regularly works with.

As most of you business minded folks might put together, this is in addition to the cost of the products themselves that were sold, meaning that the actual cost of this donation is closer to $13-16 million for Patagonia.

Patagonia (Yvon Chouinard) is also the founding partner of the "1% for the planet" movement which now has over 1,200 companies around the world donating 1% of annual net sales to environmental causes.

This is in addition to the dozens or even hundreds of projects from Bluesign approved fabrics, organic cottons, natural neoprene, industry leading childcare/employee benefits, and even food and beer that Patagonia spends their profits on to make the world a better place.

Every company deserves to make a profit from what they sell, but not every company does something useful with the profit they make.

On a personal level; this past year Patagonia, in partnership with Primaloft, developed a new 55% recycled content 'Primaloft Gold Eco' line of synthetic insulations and switched their entire line to this material. Rather than the typical partnership between a brand and supplier where these innovations are kept exclusive; Patagonia has opened this material up to any vendor using Primaloft products. So that means everyone from little ol me on up to the biggest names in the industry can also use this product in their lines as soon as possible. Without a large vendor like Patagonia making the investment and creating a demand for this product, it would not exist.
This is only one of the many materials they have impacted in the industry by using their muscle and size not to make things better for their bottom line, but for the industry and the earth as a whole.

"Patagucci" as some of us joke is expensive, on par with any high end retailer in the outdoors to be sure. Many folks feel the products are overpriced.
Though as I have pointed out before, there are many sales through the year if one is patient... and even at 50% off you are still helping clear inventory and saving money for you and the retailer both if the standard price is out of reach. All the products are generally good, have a lifetime warranty and gear reconditioning services to extend that lifetime, but like any piece of gear we don't necessarily need the latest, greatest, or most expensive to enjoy the outdoors.

But at some point we all spend a few bucks someplace and choose to purchase something from somewhere... and it's about that time that folks will be stopping by as they plan this coming year's hikes and are looking for recommendations from some of us here.

When you find yourself next making a purchase, or encouraging another to do so and you've sorted out the apples to apples comparisons or perhaps realized there isn't a huge difference between this merino top or that... one down vest or the other... That at the end of the day gear is just gear. It's getting out to use it, and having a place to do so, that really counts.

Consider strongly that beyond the spec sheet or price tag there is a huge difference between Patagonia and other brands.
Even if the only difference is simply what they do with the money you give them.

As a side note:
If you own, or manage a company (or are trying like hell to start one :D )... I'd highly recommend reading Yvon's book, "Let my people go surfing". Recently updated too, though haven't personally read the new one.

11-29-2016, 10:38
Thanks for posting that. I didn't know Patagonia has made those commitments.

11-29-2016, 11:15
Very useful information to have on hand. Thanks for sharing and educating those of us in the dark. This is the kind of thing I like to know when making decisions on stuff I need to buy

11-29-2016, 12:33
Great post....for years I've gladly paid a premium for their quality and enviromental commitment! Top notch company and gear......you get what you pay for...

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

11-29-2016, 13:16
I just wish their gear fit us fat boys a little better...

Water Rat
11-29-2016, 13:41
Kudos to Patagonia! Last week I read of their intentions for their Black Friday dollars and that did influence some of my decisions. So very happy there are large companies out there who make the decision to give back. :)

Just Bill
11-30-2016, 18:22

Just Bill
11-30-2016, 18:26
Saw something odd on FB... somebody shared a news story about this and in general internet fashion folks complained about why not donate the money to Standing Rock or other causes...
If you go to the link in the blog post you can see which organizations the money has gone to in your area in recent years.

As an aside... several Patagonia employees chimed in at a few locations that Patagonia has been quietly sending warm clothes and food (provisions line) to the Standing Rock camp... they just didn't make a big deal about it.