Black Friday is awkward. We can’t precisely pinpoint if it’s the odd spotlight of ultra-consumerism at it’s finest, the flood of marketing, promotional emails and sponsored Instagram post at every turn, or the evident lack of social responsibility from 99% of brands looking to make a buck. The entire thing continues to feel pretty not normal.
So when we read on Monday that Patagonia had decided to donate 100% of all Black Friday sales, we felt significantly less uncomfortable and a little more inspired that there are brands that “get it” and understand the role they play in shifting a mindset around the country.
We had the opportunity to ask Patagonia five questions about their Black Friday initiative and the thinking behind the idea.
This is a big deal. But for those not familiar, why would Patagonia decide to donate 100% of all in store and online sales on Black Friday to grassroots environmental groups?
The idea was generated internally as a way to demonstrate our deep commitment to environmental issues following our Vote Our Planet initiative. During this difficult and divisive time, we felt it was important to go further and connect more of our customers, who love wild places, with those fighting tirelessly to protect them. If we don’t act boldly, severe changes in climate, water and air pollution, extinction of species, and erosion of topsoil are certain outcomes.
By getting active in communities, we can affect local change to protect the food we and our children eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe and the treasured places we love the most. We do a lot more than fund enviro groups. For example, we host a Tools for Grassroots Activist Conference, employees can leave their job for two months to intern with an environmental group of their choice and we foot the bill, and we have always used our marketing and communication channels to talk about issues of importance such as dams and protection of public lands and wild places (such as Bears Ears).
What is the projected sales for Black Friday from Patagonia?
Based on previous years and forecasting, we anticipate this will raise well over $2M.
Does the Black Friday sale donations include sales from the new Yulex wetsuit? Hint: This is what the surfer in your life would like.
Yes—all sales at global Patagonia retailers and Patagonia.com.
This blog post from Rose Marcario, Patagonia CEO, sets the tone for doing business in 2016 and beyond. What are some other brands that Patagonia sees doing things in a similar regard that you might recommend?
A great place to start is looking at the 1% for the Planet network of brands.
Where could readers go to find out more about some of the local grassroot organizations that Patagonia is donating proceeds from Black Friday sales towards?