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Posts Tagged ‘Patagonia’

Patagonia’s Dam Movie Is an Unbranded PSA for Raze Awareness


Outdoor gear and apparel brand Patagonia made a damn movie.

Never content with its own sterling position in corporate sustainability, the privately held company is releasing “DamNation,” a documentary to raise awareness for the environmental consequences of the nation’s 80,000 dams.

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Patagonia Claims to Sacrifice Profits for Social Responsibility

Crunchy.Granola clothing brand Patagonia‘s success tells the tale of a company that turned corporate social responsibility into big profits, but now they’ve launched a campaign called “The Responsible Economy“ designed to convince anyone who’ll listen that they care more about the former than the latter.

Oh, really?

The ad on the left appeared in The New York Times during Fashion Week, and it’s just the latest step in Patagonia’s ongoing drive to define itself as the very antithesis of what it really is—a big, popular company that recently celebrated its 40th year spent selling pricey outdoor wear.

The point of this ad was to highlight a new initiative that fits within the larger campaign by giving customers store credit to trade in old clothes before the company “reconditions” them and sells them as used or “worn ware.”

Here’s proof they’re not messing around:

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Garment Industry Opts for Makeover After Bangladesh Disaster

The factory collapse that killed more than 1,100 people in Bangladesh this April is by no means the first tragedy to strike the garment industry in recent years—but it does look like the culmination of an ongoing PR challenge that could reshape the way major clothing brands market their products. The earliest evidence of this change comes on social media, where companies that had operations in the factory have already begun responding to the demands of consumers and labor activists.

The New York Times reports that many businesses and industry groups now plan to follow the food industry’s example by offering the public more detailed information about how and where their clothes are made. H&M and Zara have agreed to sign a new “factory safety accord,” and major names like Disney, Nike, and Walmart may follow with campaigns designed to appropriate the “green,” “organic,” and “fair trade” themes favored by food and household goods marketers in recent years. The purpose of this material, of course, will be to highlight the brands’ corporate social responsibility efforts and distance them from horrific accidents like the one in Bangladesh.

It’s nothing new for fashion: upstarts like American Apparel began using their own “fair trade” practices as key selling points some time ago. Yet, despite AA’s success, retailers like Maggie’s Organics and Everlane (tagline “Luxury Basics. Radical Transparency.”) remain few and far between.

Not for long.

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‘Like’ This Post and We’ll Donate Money to Charity!

Just kidding; we would never condescend to you like that. But quite a few brands would and do–and it seems to work on some level. Here, for example, is an update posted on the Papa John’s timeline yesterday:

Everyone agrees that charity is a good thing and that no child in a developed nation like the United States should face the prospect of going to bed hungry. Also: We understand that this post fits within the “social media best practices” guidelines by featuring a positive message, an aggressive call to action and an emotionally manipulative stock photograph. But it won’t win Papa John’s any “responsible citizen” awards.

And as you can see from the thousands of comments on the post, many users see it as an act of shameless self-promotion. Quite a bit of the thread consists of bickering over the health care controversy sparked by CEO John Schnatter‘s earlier comments.

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