For Black Friday, the outdoor clothing company Patagonia ran an ad in the New York Times that I'm sure caused many readers to do a double-take. Probably to only ad to encourage readers to spend less on Black Friday, the Patagonia New York Times ad asked people not to buy the brand's R2 jacket, which is one of Patagonia's best-selling products.
The Patagonia New York Times ad is part of the company's Common Threads campaign, a sustainability initiative that asks its customers to reuse, recycle, repair or reduce their clothing and equipment. According to the company, each article of clothing -- organic or not -- will emit several times its weight in greenhouse gases, generate half a garment's worth of scrap and reduce amounts of freshwater. For example, the R2 jacket shown in the Patagonia New York Times ad requires 135 liters of water to make and generates 20 pounds of carbon dioxide from its origin to the company's warehouse in Reno.
In response to the ad, Patagonia stated in its blog, "It would be hypocritical for us to work for environmental change without encouraging customers to think before they buy. To reduce environmental damage, we all have to reduce consumption as well as make products in more environmentally sensitive, less harmful ways. It’s not hypocrisy for us to address the need to reduce consumption."