Although most retailers are gleeful at the thought of Cyber Monday profits, one company has chosen to boycott Cyber Monday and tell shoppers do not buy.
Patagonia, a shop that specializes in sportswear, is telling customers Don't Buy This Jacket.
Today is Cyber Monday. It will likely be the biggest online shopping day ever. Cyber Monday was created by the National Retail Federation in 2005 to focus media and public attention on online shopping. But Cyber Monday, and the culture of consumption it reflects, 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, reads the Web site's home page.
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.
Environmental bankruptcy, as with corporate bankruptcy, can happen very slowly, then all of a sudden. This is what we face unless we slow down, then reverse the damage. We're running short on fresh water, topsoil, fisheries, wetlands - all our planet's natural systems and resources that support business, and life, including our own.
The jacket that Patagonia is telling customers don't buy is one of the company's best-selling items, the R2® Jacket, a 60 percent recycled polyester jacket.
To make it required 135 liters of water, enough to meet the daily needs (three glasses a day) of 45 people. Its journey from its origin as 60% 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 insisting that, on Cyber Monday, individuals not buy what you don't need and to think twice.
The company grew out of a small business that made tools for climbers. Today, Patagonia still makes clothes for climbers as well as skiers, snowboarders, surfers, fly fishers, paddlers and trail runners. The company emphasizes that these are silent sports that do not require motors and reveal the beauty of a true connection between athlete and nature.
Minimalism and simplicity are key, quite the opposite of a consumer-driven society.
Patagonia's mission is in synch with the Buy Nothing Day promoted by the OWS creators, AdBusters. Buy Nothing Day, taking place Nov. 25 and Nov. 26, was meant to be an all-out offensive to unseat the corporate kings on the holiday throne.
This message, which just reached its 20th anniversary, has also been coupled with Occupy Xmas.