Patagonia Had $10 Million In Sales On Black Friday And Is Donating Every Cent To Save The Planet

The company's "fundraiser for the earth" proves people really do care.
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Robert Alexander via Getty Images

Patagonia saw an astounding $10 million in Black Friday sales  ― five times its own expectations ― and, as promised, will donate every cent toward helping save the environment.

The high-end outdoor apparel and gear retailer announced the record-breaking haul Monday, saying the “enormous love” its customers showed to the planet will benefit hundreds of grassroots environmental organizations around the world.

Company spokeswoman Corley Kenna told The Huffington Post that the idea ― which customers reportedly took to calling a “fundraiser for the earth” ― surfaced during an internal brainstorming meeting following the U.S. presidential election. Patagonia, she said, was looking for something to showcase the importance of the environment and climate change.

“We felt that these were issues that united us and I think this is a demonstration that people agree,” Kenna told HuffPost. “Our customers agree.”

Patagonia gear will no doubt be a common sight this winter season. But it’s possible we won’t see President-elect Donald Trump sporting one of the company’s fleece jackets anytime soon. 

Trump has repeatedly called climate change a “hoax” and is surrounding himself with like-minded deniers. He has promised to pull the U.S. out of the historic Paris climate dealcut all federal spending on the issue, increase America’s production of coal, oil and natural gas, and do away with Obama administration regulations aimed at cutting emissions.

The Republican, who prides himself on his business savvy, has received backlash from hundreds of big businesses, including Patagonia, which say failure to keep the U.S. in the Paris pact “puts American prosperity at risk.”

Patagonia said in a release that the money generated from its Black Friday initiative will go to grassroots environmental groups ― many of which are small, underfunded and under the radar ― that are “working on the front lines to protect our air, water and soil for future generations.”

“The science is telling us loud and clear: We have a problem,” the company said. “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 has been a longtime steward of protecting the environment, donating 1 percent of its daily global sales to green causes and urging its customers to buy fewer jackets to combat the fashion industry’s wasteful culture. Earlier this month, it announced its re\\\collection line of jackets and other gear, which are made of “as many recycled materials as possible.”

Kenna told HuffPost the company’s Black Friday initiative didn’t include discounted items, but still drew thousands of first-time Patagonia customers.

“We’re just really humbled and grateful to our customers for coming out,” Kenna said. 

Climate change seen from around the world
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A boy whose house was destroyed by the cyclone watches an approaching storm, some 50 kilometres southwest of the township of Kunyangon. Further storms would complicate relief efforts and leave children increasingly vulnerable to disease. In May 2008 in Myanmar, an estimated 1.5 million people are struggling to survive under increasingly desperate conditions in the wake of Cyclone Nargis, which hit the southwestern coast on 3 May, killed some 100,000 people, and displaced 1 million across five states. Up to 5,000 square kilometres of the densely populated Irrawaddy Delta, which bore the brunt of the storm, remain underwater. (credit: Unicef)
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In 2003 in Djibouti, a girl collects water from the bottom of a well in a rural area in Padjourah District. Drought has depleted much of the water supply. (credit: Unicef)
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On Sept. 11, 2011, a man carries his daughter across an expanse of flood water in the city of Digri, in Sindh Province. By Sept. 26 in Pakistan, over 5.4 million people, including 2.7 million children, had been affected by monsoon rains and flooding, and this number was expected to rise. In Sindh Province, 824,000 people have been displaced and at least 248 killed. Many government schools have been turned into temporary shelters, and countless water sources have been contaminated. More than 1.8 million people are living in makeshift camps without proper sanitation or access to safe drinking water. Over 70 per cent of standing crops and nearly 14,000 livestock have been destroyed in affected areas, where 80 per cent of the population relies on agriculture for food and income. Affected communities are also threatened by measles, acute watery diarrhoea, hepatitis and other communicable diseases. The crisis comes one year after the country�s 2010 monsoon-related flooding disaster, which covered up to one fifth of the country in flood water and affected more than 18 million people, half of them children. Many families are still recovering from the earlier emergency, which aggravated levels of chronic malnutrition and adversely affected primary school attendance, sanitation access and other child protection issues. In response to this latest crisis, UNICEF is working with Government authorities and United Nations agencies and partners to provide relief. Thus far, UNICEF-supported programmes have immunized over 153,000 children and 14,000 women; provided nutritional screenings and treatments benefiting over 2,000 children; provided daily safe drinking water to 106,700 people; and constructed 400 latrines benefiting 35,000 people. Still, additional nutrition support and safe water and sanitation services are urgently needed. A joint United Nations Rapid Response Plan seeks US$356.7 million to address the needs of affected populations over the next six months. (credit: Unicef)
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A girl carries her baby sibling through a haze of dust in Sidi Village, in Kanem Region. She is taking him to be screened for malnutrition at a mobile outpatient centre for children, operated by one nurse and four nutrition workers. The programme is new to the area. Several months ago, most children suffering from severe malnutrition had to be transported to health centres in the town of Mundo, 12 kilometres away, or in the city of Mao, some 35 kilometres away. In April 2010 in Chad, droughts have devastated local agriculture, causing chronic food shortages and leaving 2 million people in urgent need of food aid. Due to poor rainfall and low agricultural yields, malnutrition rates have hovered above emergency thresholds for a decade. But the 2009 harvest was especially poor, with the production of staple crops declining by 20 percent to 30 percent. Food stocks have since dwindled, and around 30 percent of cattle in the region have died from lack of vegetation. (credit: Unicef)
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A boy carries supplies through waist-high floodwater in Pasig City in Manila, the capital. On Sept. 30, 2009, in the Philippines, over half a million people are displaced by flooding caused by Tropical Storm Ketsana, which struck on Sept. 26. The storm dumped over a month's worth of rain on the island of Luzon in only 12 hours. The flooding has affected some 1.8 million people, and the death toll has climbed to 246. (credit: Unicef)
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