Monday, November 28, 2011

Cyber Monday

I am a huge fan of Patagonia - they make amazing outdoor gear while being respectful of their place in society and environment. This morning I received an email from them entitled "Don't Buy This Jacket." If it was another company, I might have taken a cynical view, but I believe they are totally sincere, as they seem to be every day. Here is the email:

Today is Cyber Monday. It will likely be the biggest online shopping day ever. Cyber Monday was created by the National Retail Federation in 2005 to focus media and public attention on online shopping. But Cyber Monday, and the culture of consumption it reflects, puts the economy of natural systems that support all life firmly in the red. We're now using the resources of one-and-a-half planets on our one and only planet.

Because Patagonia wants to be in business for a good long time – and leave a world inhabitable for our kids – we want to do the opposite of every other business today. We ask you to buy less and to reflect before you spend a dime on this jacket or anything else.

Environmental bankruptcy, as with corporate bankruptcy, can happen very slowly, then all of a sudden. This is what we face unless we slow down, then reverse the damage. We're running short on fresh water, topsoil, fisheries, wetlands – all our planet's natural systems and resources that support business, and life, including our own.

The environmental cost of everything we make is astonishing. Consider the R2® Jacket shown, one of our best sellers. To make it required 135 liters of water, enough to meet the daily needs (three glasses a day) of 45 people. Its journey from its origin as 60% recycled polyester to our Reno warehouse generated nearly 20 pounds of carbon dioxide, 24 times the weight of the finished product. This jacket left behind, on its way to Reno, two-thirds its weight in waste.

And this is a 60% recycled polyester jacket, knit and sewn to a high standard; it is exceptionally durable, so you won't have to replace it as often. And when it comes to the end of its useful life we'll take it back to recycle into a product of equal value. But, as is true of all the things we can make and you can buy, this jacket comes with an environmental cost higher than its price.

There is much to be done and plenty for us all to do. Don't buy what you don't need. Think twice before you buy anything. Go to, take the Common Threads Initiative pledge and join us in the fifth “R,” to reimagine a world where we take only what nature can replace.

WE make useful gear
that lasts a long time
YOU don't buy what
you don't need

WE help you repair
your Patagonia gear
YOU pledge to fix
what's broken

WE help find a home
for Patagonia gear
you no longer need
YOU sell or pass it on*

WE will take back your Patagonia gear that
is worn out
YOU pledge to
keep your stuff out
of the landfill
and incinerator

TOGETHER we reimagine
a world where we take
only what nature
can replace



  1. I believe they are being sincere. But I also believe it is very clever and effective marketing. And that is great, good for them.

  2. Good stuff. My wife and I recycle everything we can. It is very interesting to see our trash footprint versus our neighbors on trash day.

  3. I love Patagonia....I mean, I think they are probably sincere, because it seems in line with other things they have done in the past... it is a heck of a marketing campaign too. :)

  4. Umm...will you take 85% sincere?

    Which is till fine IMHO since that puts them about 85% ahead of most.

  5. Very cool and aninteresting marketing angle. I love Patagonia.

  6. I think it's great advice - reflect before purchasing more stuff...

    I love their stuff:)

  7. While I have not bought their stuff, I know the quality is excellent. What I really love though is their way of thinking. They should be proud of themselves.

  8. Marketing or not, it's a good reminder. And people are way too easy to throw things away.

  9. i do like their message... people don't have the "use what you got" mindset these days. however, if they were so adamant about water for the poor and all, perhaps they should charge less for the jacket and encourage us to donate to charities.


Leave a comment, tell me what you are thinking!

Running, Skiing, and Endurance Sports -

REI: Gear for the Great Outdoors

UnderArmour - I WILL

Outdoor DIVAS - Adventure Gear for Active Women