Eco-conscious outdoor clothing retailer Patagonia achieved a record-breaking US$10m in sales during its recent Black Friday event, a figure five times greater than the company had initially predicted – and every cent is to be given to environmental causes.
The business announced on Twitter that it would donate the cash to ‘hundreds of local environmental organisations working around the world’.
Organisations set to benefit include Surfers Against Sewage, People & Planet, the Coal Action Network and Reclaim The Power.
The company stated in a message to its customers: ‘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 organisations 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.’
Owned by billionaire founder Yvon Chouinard, 81, who turned his passion for rock climbing into a business, and led by CEO Rose Marcario since 2013, Patagonia has this mission statement: ‘we’re in business to save our home planet.’
The high-end retailer of outdoor and adventure clothing and equipment said: ‘The science is telling us loud and clear: We have a problem’.
It added: ‘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.’
Patagonia spokesperson Corley Kenna added: ‘We felt that these were issues that united us and I think this is a demonstration that people agree. Our customers agree with us.’
Patagonia Protects the Planet
The California-based brand’s latest commitment to the planet was inspired by the US presidential election, according to Lisa Pike Sheehy, vice president of environmental activism.
‘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,’ she explained
In September the company pledged to donate its entire profit to environmental causes
‘If we have any hope of a thriving planet – much less a thriving business – 50 years from now, it is going to take all of us doing what we can with the resources we have,’ said Chouinard.
‘This is another way we’ve found to do our part.’
Chouinard’s family has donated two per cent of all stock and all decision-making authority to a trust, which will oversee the company’s mission and values.
The other 98 per cent of the company’s stock will go to a non-profit called the Holdfast Collective, which ‘will use every dollar received to fight the environmental crisis, protect nature and biodiversity, and support thriving communities, as quickly as possible’, according to its mission statement.
Each year, the money Patagonia makes after reinvesting in the business will be distributed to the non-profit to help fight the environmental crisis.
The structure, the statement said, was designed to avoid selling the company or taking it public, which could have meant a change in its values.
‘Instead of “going public”, you could say we’re “going purpose”,’ said Chouinard. ‘Instead of extracting value from nature and transforming it into wealth for investors, we’ll use the wealth Patagonia creates to protect the source of all wealth.’