American outdoor retailer Patagonia, Inc. made $10 million in Black Friday sales, which isn't just a lot—it's a whopping five times more than the $2 million the company expected to earn. As CNN reports, 100 percent of those proceeds will now be donated to environmental causes, just as the brand pledged a week prior to the year’s biggest holiday shopping extravaganza.
According to Patagonia, the money will benefit “grassroots organizations working in local communities to protect our air, water, and soil for future generations. These are small groups, often underfunded and under the radar, who work on the front lines. The support we can give is more important now than ever.”
Patagonia’s commitment to environmental causes has been a hallmark of the brand since 1985. The company donates one percent of its sales to nature and conservation organizations, and last year, it partnered with Portland, Oregon’s Hopworks Urban Brewery to create a beer made from sustainable ingredients. This year's massive Black Friday giveaway, however, was spurred by current political events.
“During a difficult and divisive time, we felt it was important to go further and connect more of our customers, who love wild places, with those who are fighting tirelessly to protect them,” Patagonia explained on their blog. “... The threats facing our planet affect people of every political stripe, of every demographic, in every part of the country.”
As CNN reports, the company claims that more than 800 environmental groups received a Patagonia grant over the past fiscal year, totaling more than $7 million in donations. Past recipients have included the Wildlife Conservation Society and the New York Botanical Garden.
“These groups often have less than five paid staffers; some are run entirely by volunteers," Patagonia explains on its website. "Instead of giving large sums to a handful of causes, we give modest grants—which typically range between $2500 to $15,000—to hundreds of groups every year for whom this money makes a world of difference." You can view the full list of grantees online.