In mid November, US-based outdoor gear and apparel brand Patagonia announced it would give 100 percent of its global retail and online Black Friday sales to environmental causes.
Traditionally, Black Friday is a US shopping tradition whereby the day after Thanksgiving Day is dedicated to shopping for last minute Christmas presents. (American retailers generate huge amounts of shopping traffic with coupons and special promotions, which often results in shopping pandemonium on a level unheard of in Australia.)
Instead of promoting based on price, Patagonia instead committed to a giving attitude to promote its products, an initiative that aligns with the brand’s strong social and environmental responsibility philosophy, championed by its founder, Yvon Chouinard.
President and CEO of Patagonia, Rose Marcario penned a blog addressing the result of the Black Friday sales (the day fell on the 25th of November this year), in which she expressed surprise and gratitude for the level of support the brand received.
‘We’re humbled to report the response was beyond expectations: With your help, Patagonia reached a record-breaking $10 million in sales,’ Marcario wrote. ‘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 the sales came from customers new to the Patagonia brand, proving the power of environmental causes in the retail market and potentially providing strong reason for other companies to pursue similar strategies.
The US$10 million raised is now placed via Patagonia’s environmental grants, into the hands of a variety of groups and their causes with an aim to create positive change. In the last year, US$7.1 million was donated to 824 projects in 22 countries, including the Bob Brown Foundation, the Climate Council, the Australian Marine Conservation Foundation and the Friends of Scott Creek Conservation Park.
‘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,’ Marcario wrote.