Patagonia Goes Anti-Cyber Monday to Drive Sales
The results are in and Cyber Monday was the biggest day in e-tail history with sales up 22 percent over last year to bring total revenues to $1.25 billion, according to comScore. Pretty heady stuff, but Patagonia wanted no part of it.
The sportswear outdoor apparel manufacturer and retailer launched its "Don’t Buy This Jacket" ad campaign asking consumers to refrain from shopping on Monday.
According to Patagonia, Cyber Monday is a manifestation of a "culture of consumption" that "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."
The jacket in question, Patagonia’s R2, is one of its best sellers. According to the company, making the jacket requires "135 liters of water, enough to meet the daily needs (three glasses a day) of 45 people. Its journey from its origin as 60 percent 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."
Patagonia is asking customers to join it in taking the Common Threads pledge (Reduce, Repair, Reuse, Recycle, Reimagine) designed to reduce individuals’ environmental footprint.
"We can’t solve the environmental problem on our own," Christina Speed, Patagonia’s marketing director, told International Business Times. "We are a business. We want to grow. The awareness level of what everything really costs is really our goal."
A request made to Patagonia by RetailWire asking for a statement on the percentage increase in its Cyber Monday sales for this year versus last was not returned at the time this article was posted.
- Don’t Buy This Jacket – Patagonia
- Common Threads Initiative – Patagonia
- ‘Don’t buy this jacket’ ad: Sanctimonious or eco-friendly? – Seattle Post-Intelligencer
- Patagonia’s Cyber-Monday Mailer: ‘Don’t Buy This Jacket’ – Advertising Age
- Patagonia Tells Customers ‘Don’t Buy This Jacket’ in Unconventional Black Friday, Cyber Monday Ad – International Business Times
- Cyber Monday Spending Hits $1.25 Billion to Rank as Heaviest U.S. Online Spending Day in History – comScore
Discussion Question: What is your reaction to Patagonia’s “Don’t Buy This Jacket” ad campaign? Will the campaign, if widely received, result in more, not fewer, sales?