Wednesday, August 14, 2013

How much is Patagonia profiting off of World Trout conservation t-shirt sales?

Something is fishy about the Patagonia world trout conservation effort.  I'm not doubting that the money goes to good causes or the good intentions behind the idea but something is just not adding up.  I saw the link years ago for the World trout golden trout t-shirt.  I really wanted to help so I clicked and saw that the t-shirt was $35 and $5 goes to support golden trout conservation efforts.  I thought that was a little steep for a t-shirt and decided to donate to Caltrout instead.  I don't need another t-shirt and that way they get more than $5.  I let it slide didn't think too much about why the t-shirt from Patagonia was $35.  Again, another link to the same conservation t-shirts and I was reminded again that the shirt was $35.  Okay, now I was a little confused.  It sunk in and I started wondering where the other $30 goes????  I looked up organic cotton t-shirts in bulk maybe $5 probably less with the order size Patagonia can make.  Printing with environmentally responsible inks maybe another $5? I really have no idea but I bet that is an overestimation.  Then there is warehousing and design etc per shirt- who knows- I bet Patagonia pays their people pretty well so maybe add another $5 a per shirt?  So now we have a shirt that costs Patagonia about $15 to make, market (blogs probably do most of the marketing on the conservation t-shirt for free) and design.  I really don't know much about the business but that seems like a lot per shirt I bet its actually around $7 or so but who knows I'll round up.  $5 for conservation, $15 for production costs for a $35 shirt.  That leaves $15 for pure Patagonia profit.  Should a company make 3x the profit off a shirt they are marketing as a conservation t-shirt?  I hope someone at Patagonia explains this to me and it makes sense but that is absolutely not okay if they are making that much money off a t-shirt that I am buying to support a cause.  My advice is to skip their Patagucci t-shirt and just give money directly to the cause you support until they have some answers about how much they are making off of their "conservation effort."