Patagonia's New Site Connects You To Local Causes That Need Your Help

The company wants to show that they don't just talk about environmental responsibility and sustainable production—they live it.


May 18 2019, Updated 9:58 a.m. ET

Patagonia is a company that makes every effort to source their materials sustainably and account for every step of their production process. Their values are reflected in what they do with their profit margin. For example, one former CEO donated one million acres of land to the Chilean government, the largest land donation in history.

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Then in late 2017, the company announced they were suing the Trump administration for their decision to rescind protections for 85 percent of Bears Ears National Monument and almost half of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, putting it at risk for destruction.

Now, Patagonia is pushing even further into the realm of activism, revealing their new platform that connects activists to environmental causes. Patagonia Action Works promises to connect people to events, petitions, and organizations near to them so that they can easily get involved with groups vetted by the company.

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The platform also explains where Patagonia's self-imposed one percent tax goes. All of their sales receive this tax and that money is distributed to grantees who work on land, water, climate, biodiversity, and community issues. Grassroot campaigns can apply to the company for some of this money to support their work.

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The network is spearheaded by Patagonia Inc. founder Yvon Chouinard. Chouinard spoke with Forbes about the decision; he basically feels that things are bad for the planet right now and it's leading to a general malaise amongst the population. He believes the cure is taking action.

In the video announcing Patagonia Action Works, he says, “Patagonia’s reason for existence is to force government and corporations to take action in solving our environmental problems."

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The platform is also a place where people can donate money, some of which will continue to go towards fighting the Trump administration's move against public land by supporting Utah Diné Bikéyah, a Native American nonprofit dedicated to protecting Bears Ears National Monument. Their communications coordinator, Braidan Weeks, says the platform is extremely important in keeping national attention on the issue.

“When we’re needing help or we’re needing voices, Action Works will really help us get that word out and amplify what the community is asking or and encourage others to participate with us,”  said Weeks.

And the platform will extend beyond the Internet. Patagonia is planning a national tour to connect with groups on site in nine cities: Santa Monica, Burlington, Portland, Washington, D.C., Reno, Austin, Boulder, Chicago and New York City. But people not living in those cities can likely find local groups to connect with where they are through the network, or suggest some to be added to the group. Or start one of your own. Every town deserves environmental protection, and that starts in the community that lives there.

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