Black Friday sales are huge boons to retailers and make up a significant portion of their income. But Patagonia has decided to forgo any profits this year and instead donate 100 percent of the money it brings in on this one day (through both its stores and website) to grassroots environmental organizations working on conservation issues related to climate change and soil, water, and air quality.
Patagonia estimates sales on Black Friday to reach more than $2 million, which will make this one of the company’s largest one-time donations. The list of potential grant recipients is long and varied and includes places like the Grand Canyon Wildlands Council, the California Coastkeeper Alliance, Winter Wildlands Alliance, 350.org, Access Fund, Surfrider Foundation, and many more.
“These are small groups, often underfunded and under the radar, who work on the front lines,” Rose Marcario, CEO and president of Patagonia, wrote in a statement. “The support we can give is more important now than ever.”
Patagonia, a founding member of 1% for the Planet (a coalition of companies that give at least one percent of their annual net revenues to environmental organizations), has stuck to this cause and donated more than $74 million since 1985.
Durango, Colorado–based Conservation Lands Foundation, which works to protect public lands, has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from Patagonia over the past five years and could be on the list to receive more from this week’s Black Friday sales. “Right now, we’re losing open space at a rapid pace, and we’re seeing a huge decline in wildlife across the globe,” says Brian O’Donnell, executive director for the foundation.
Patagonia isn’t the only outdoor company rethinking Black Friday. REI will again be closing all of its 149 stores and shutting down its website to encourage customers and employees to head outside. Outdoor Research will also be closing its Seattle headquarters and retail store on Friday and plans to donate up to $5,000 to an adaptive sports nonprofit. And for the third year, Arcade Belts is promoting White Friday and will donate $5 for every belt sold through Thanksgiving weekend to the nonprofit organization Protect Our Winters.
“We have made so much progress on climate recently, but with the recent election results, we stand a good chance to losing much of that progress,” says Chris Steinkamp, executive director of Protect Our Winters, which also receives funding from Patagonia. “The companies that are standing up and sacrificing profits this week are making a bold statement that the planet comes first. And we truly appreciate that.”
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