posted by dpm on 11/25/2011
Today, the busiest shopping day of the year, Patagonia has printed an ad in the New York Times with the headline, “Don’t Buy This Jacket.”
On their website they offer the following explanation which can be read in its entirety here:
“Why run an ad in The New York Times on Black Friday telling people, “Don’t Buy This Jacket”?
It’s time for us as a company to address the issue of consumerism and do it head on.
The most challenging, and important, element of the Common Threads Initiative is this: to lighten our environmental footprint, everyone needs to consume less. Businesses need to make fewer things but of higher quality. Customers need to think twice before they buy.
Why? Everything we make takes something from the planet we can’t give back. Each piece of Patagonia clothing, whether or not it’s organic or uses recycled materials, emits several times its weight in greenhouse gases, generates at least another half garment’s worth of scrap, and draws down copious amounts of freshwater now growing scarce everywhere on the planet.
We’re placing the ad in the Times because it’s the most important national newspaper and considered the “paper of record.” We’re running the ad on Black Friday, which launches the retail holiday season. We should be the only retailer in the country asking people to buy less on Black Friday.”
They follow with a plea for consumers to take their Common Threads Initiative pledge which is essentially a clothing-centric twist on Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Patagonia has always been an industry leader in promoting ‘green’ practices in their production and this latest ad comes on a great day for all of us to at least reflect on consumerism. Is it worth the cost to the planet to boost the economy? That question and more are addressed on the Patagonia website. Read more about the issue before you head out to tackle that old lady at Best Buy because she grabbed the last X-Box. Happy Holidays from DPM!