Black Friday is going Green
by Anakarin Petersen
Days away from one of the biggest consumer shopping days in America, retailers across the country announce their sales, promotions, and specials for Black Friday but one particular retailer caught my eye this year, Patagonia. This retailer announced that it would be donating 100 percent of their global Black Friday Sales online and in-stores to grassroots organizations that work in local communities to protect the air, water, and soil for the future of our planet.
Patagonia has been consistently demonstrating that caring for the planet is not in conflict for running a successful business (Patagonia, 2106). To this date, Patagonia has donated over $74 million to grassroots environmental organizations by giving away 1 percent of their sales daily. This year it seems as they took notes from REI’s “opt outside” successful campaign where they closed all stores and urged customers to spend their Black Friday outside enjoying what our beautiful planet has to offer. REI’s #optoutside campaign became a model for the future of Marketing because on the holiest day of retail it closed its doors and paid its employees to #optoutside. This move signaled a massive shift in the way companies do business and marketing. When brands operate with empathy and use it to fuel every decision, action, message, product, service, and experience, they are both more agile and more successful (Adage.com, 2015).
Patagonia’s announcement was not a surprise to many since in the past the brand has even urged its customers to buy fewer jackets to combat the fashion industry’s wasteful culture (Huffington Post, 2016). According to Patagonia’s Vice President of Environmental activism at Patagonia the company came up with the idea after the tumultuous election, she mentioned how it is a “difficult and divisive time for the country and believes the environments is something everyone can come together”.
Patagonia is expected to make over $2 million on Black Friday, and I hope that more brands take fashion or other types of retailers take notes from their playbooks at least once a year to make a difference in the environment.