On Tuesday, Patagonia announced plans to use Black Friday as a springboard for donating to the charitable causes Trump has indicated he would defund.
According to the company’s statement, it will donate 100 percent of its global Black Friday sales in stores and online to grassroots organizations—specifically, those focused on environmental protection efforts in local communities across the country. In the statement, Patagonia president and CEO Rose Marcario urged the importance of giving back “during a difficult and divisive time,” alluding to pending challenges to environmental policies as a result of the election.
“If we don’t act boldly, severe changes in climate, water and air pollution, extinction of species, and erosion of topsoil are certain outcomes,” Marcario wrote. “The threats facing our planet affect people of every political stripe, of every demographic, in every part of the country. We all stand to benefit from a healthy environment—and our children and grandchildren do, too.”
LoveOurPlanet. This year Patagonia will donate 100% of its global Black Friday sales to grassroots organizations working in local communities to protect our air, water and soil for future generations. These are small groups, often underfunded and under the radar, who work on the frontlines. The support we can provide is more important now than ever. For decades, Patagonia has demonstrated that caring for our planet is not in conflict with running a successful business. We are always looking for ways to reduce our manufacturing footprint, including our company’s reliance on fossil fuels. We also fund grassroots environmental organizations by giving away one percent of our sales. To date that amount is $74 million. But during a 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. This we know: if we don’t act boldly, severe changes in climate, water and air pollution, extinction of species, and erosion of topsoil are certain outcomes. The threats facing our planet affect people of every political stripe, in every part of the country, of every demographic. We all stand to benefit from a healthy environment – and our children and grandchildren do, too. 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. And we can impact global priorities, too, by raising our voices to defend policies and regulations that will 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 Climate Agreement. At Patagonia, we will grow and deepen our resolve to protect what we love. We will fight harder and smarter, and use every means at our disposal to prevail for the sake of the country, the planet and the wild places and creatures that need our voice. We are here and we’ll keep fighting.
Part of this concern stems from Trump’s appointment of Jeff Sessions to attorney general—the Alabama senator has been a vocal skeptic of climate change. His appointment to the presidential cabinet suggests he will be supporting Trump’s plans to scale back on environmental policies established under the Obama Administration, which Patagonia has supported.
“These are small groups, often underfunded and under the radar, who work on the front lines,” Marcario continued. “The support we can give is more important now than ever,” Rose Marcario, president and CEO of Patagonia wrote in a letter about the effort.
The company has long supported grassroots environmental organizations, consistently donating one percent of its sales to these groups, totaling $74 million to date.
The response on Twitter regarding its Black Friday plans—while fairly small thus far—has been largely positive, with consumers are voicing support of Patagonia’s decision to fund environmental groups.
Patagonia is donating 100% of sales on Black Friday to environmental groups so definitely buy yourself a jacket on Friday
— Leanna Rybacki (@leannarybacki) November 22, 2016
ON BLACK FRIDAY PATAGONIA IS DONATING 100% OF THIER SALES TO ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS!!!!
— Shane Skelcy (@SSkelcy) November 21, 2016
Patagonia is known for bucking tradition when it comes to marketing. It’s best known for its provocative “Don’t Buy This Jacket” campaign in 2012, which urged consumers to avoid overconsumption and to think twice before buying something that may be superfluous. In June, it shared a note with its consumers, asking them to delete their mobile app and instead use Patagonia’s website to browse items.
Patagonia isn’t the only retailer funneling sales to philanthropic causes this Black Friday — companies including Net-a-Porter are also donating proceeds to charitable organizations. Net-a-Porter announced that it will donate 15 percent of sales from regularly priced items to the White Ribbon Alliance, an organization that supports maternal health before, during and after childbirth. REI has for the last two years closed stores on Black Friday as part of a campaign called #OptOutside.
While Net-A-Porter didn’t explicitly say its decision was tied to the election, women’s health is another area expected to come under fire under the Trump administration—Trump has claimed he’ll repeal Obamacare, which provided affordable contraception, and also defund Planned Parenthood.
“The initiative further establishes Net-a-porter’s commitment to supporting and empowering women around the globe, and we hugely value WRA’s dedication to ensuring women’s rights to safe and dignified maternity care,” Alison Loehnis, president of Net-a-porter and Mr. Porter told WWD.