By Michael Messina
This holiday season, Labor 411 is taking a look at what companies have been naughty or nice recently, highlighting ethical moves that make us smile and shaming the ones that put profit over people. Today we look at the outdoor clothing retailer Patagonia.
Black Friday tends to make us cringe at Labor 411 because the day is known for cheap deals that often ignore quality and the unscrupulous efforts of companies to make a buck at any cost. But this year Patagonia decided to donate all – yes ALL – of its Black Friday profits to small grassroots environmental organizations. The company expected to top $2 million, and consumers responded with an astounding $10 million in sales.
According to a report by Fortune, the company’s decision came post-election:
“Patagonia said that the decision to donate all of its Black Friday sales was inspired by the election, a sentiment shared by many others. Fortune previously reported that donations to the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and other civil liberties groups have skyrocketed since Nov. 9. Additionally, billionaire investor George Soros has pledged $10 million to help combat the recent rise in hate-crimes.”
It seems as though the post-election holiday spirit is infectious. Another outdoor company, REI, shut its doors on Thanksgiving and Black Friday for the second straight year, saying the company wanted its employees to have more time with their families – and paying them for their time off.
Seeing individuals and companies take moral stands with their pocketbooks is a great sign this country’s heart is not bound to the almighty profit.
Santa, Patagonia has definitely been nice.
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