No, I’m not some Wall Street finance bro with a Patagonia branded vest and I’m hardly a ‘frat star’ either.
For those who know me, I’m probably one of the least conforming people that you’ll meet, which puts me at odds with a lot of the people currently repping Patagonia in 2019.
What I am is someone who cares about the planet. Someone who believes companies should look outwardly and towards the future. And someone who puts their money where their mouth is.
You know who else is doing this?
Making a difference
For the last 34 years, the apparel company has donated nearly $90 million dollars as part of their ‘1% for the Planet‘ initiative which donates one-percent of their sales to “domestic and international grassroots environmental groups making a difference in their local communities.”
It’s not just money their donating. They’re fighting back for the good of the outdoors community.
In 2018, Patagonia founder, Yvon Chouinard, took a risk by taking on the White House when President Trump reduced the size of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase National Monuments in Utah.
Not just taking on. They went to war.
With lawsuits still pending in the District of Columbia, we likely won’t know the result until the middle of 2019. But the fact a private company, with profits on the line, would take on the United States government over what is a pretty small chunk of land in the middle of Utah, shows what Patagonia stands for.
On top of the lawsuit, Patagonia set new activism levels by actively supporting Senatorial candidates in 2018 – Jon Tester (Montana) and Jacky Rosen (Nevada). This was the first year the company endorsed candidates.
Chouinard said about backing Tester, “We are supporting Jon Tester because he gives a damn about protecting public lands—and, like us, he’s committed to fight back against anyone who doesn’t.” They also actively pushed for voting participation, with a “Democracy Requires Showing Up” messages being displayed to all visitors to their website.
Both candidates Patagonia backed were victorious.
The Tax Law
When the new tax law went into place a couple of years back, many companies were understandably pleased they’d be getting a huge windfall thanks to the cutting of the corporate rate. Patagonia, knowing that taxes are crucial to a functioning country, basically gave the Trump Administration the middle finger, and said they would donate $10M, their tax break difference, to environmental organizations.
Their CEO also added, “Taxes protect the most vulnerable in our society, our public lands and other life-giving resources.”
“Being a responsible company means paying your taxes in proportion to your success and supporting your state and federal governments, which in turn contribute to the health and well-being of civil society.”
When it comes down to it, how can you not be even more amped to support an organization that understands good policy and when bad policy happens, has the decency to say, ‘no, we don’t deserve this money, we’ll donate it to groups that are being shut out.’
Sales Sales Sales
I know if you go look on Patagonia’s website, their prices might make you take a step backward. Don’t worry, I do the same thing. But this is where strategic shopping takes hold.
Buy. During. Sales.
Patagonia recently had a 50% off sale and Backcountry had a 30%-40% sale of their goods as well. This is the time to jump at their products. Their puffy’s or vests will never go out of style (nor should they, as they’re amazing) so buying last year’s gear – or this year’s – should be a no brainer.
Going forward, when you are planning to buy some new gear or clothes, consider the companies that have more than their bottom line in mind. Consider those that follow through on their word. Consider those who stand up for our only planet.
With a mission statement that says “We’re in business to save our home planet,” it’s pretty hard to not be on Team Patagonia.
Until next time adventurers, take care and be safe.
You can follow along the journey on Facebook and Instagram or shoot me any questions and comments about places to go. And don’t forget to subscribe to the blog to get notified when new posts come out!