Patagonia Gives Back

Just before Thanksgiving, the company and brand Patagonia pledged to give all of their sales from Black Friday to organizations around the world that are working to save our planet.

Patagonia is a high-end outdoor clothing retailer. The company said it had expected to draw in about $2 million in sales through its 80 global stores and Patagonia.com. However, the company blew past its own estimate - by five times to be exact. Patagonia has taken the $10 million and has put it towards grassroots environmental groups fighting to protect vital natural resources like water, air and soil.

"We're humbled to report the response was beyond expectations.... Patagonia reached a record-breaking $10 million in sales," the company said in a statement. "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."

This isn’t out of character for the company, as this isn’t the first time Patagonia has donated large sums of money. The firm already donates 1% of its daily global sales environmental organizations, which amounted to $7.1 million in its latest fiscal year. This was a pledge the company made in 1985. This new commitment tied to Black Friday, however, was inspired by current events.

"We definitely came up with the idea after the election," Lisa Pike Sheehy, vice president of environmental activism at Patagonia, told CNNMoney last week. "This is a difficult and divisive time for our country. I believe the environment is something we can all come together on. ... Environmental values are something we all embrace."

Company spokeswoman Corley Kenna said the donation would go to a large network of nearly 800 organizations in the U.S. and around the world. The company chose to give back to small, local grassroots groups and prefers direct action and public involvement. They believe this is a vital in getting people interested in the environment, and requires a real commitment. The company is encouraging others to donate or volunteer their time to help the environment.

"The company chose to give back to small, local grassroots groups and prefers direct action and public involvement."
"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…” Patagonia said.

To further their impact, the company takes a set of aggressive corporate responsibility steps, including scrutinizing its materials and supply chain, and fixing and recycling large quantities of its used products. It also launched an investment fund for environmentally responsible startups. Patagonia is at the forefront of a movement of companies that incorporate sustainability efforts and some sort of social activism into their business models.

"The threats facing our planet affect people of every political stripe, of every demographic, in every part of the country," Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario, wrote in a company blog post detailing the Black Friday effort. "We all stand to benefit from a healthy environment."

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