Patagonia to customers: Don’t buy from us

The clothing and outdoor equipment company is boosting its environmental message, even if that means fewer sales.

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Head over to clothing and equipment retailer Patagonia’s website, and the first thing you’ll see is a message you’d almost never expect a company to communicate, especially as the holiday shopping season kicks into high gear: “Don’t buy this jacket.”

On Monday, the company sent an email to customers explaining why, on Cyber Monday, Patagonia was asking them to really think hard about their purchases. “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 email is part of the company’s larger Common Threads Initiative, which asks customers to take a pledge: “I agree to buy only what I need (and will last), repair what breaks, reuse (share) what I no longer need and recycle everything else.” So far, about 8,500 people have taken that pledge.

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