Shield the children's eyes.
Mere days ago, the world was stunned when Patagonia founder and chief Yvon Chouinard transferred his family’s ownership of the company into a trust and no-for-profit, “created to preserve the company’s independence and ensure that all of its profits — some $100 million a year — are used to combat climate change and protect undeveloped land around the globe.”
Patagonia, a multi-billion dollar darling, could have been sold, transferred to a child, taken public all generating hundreds of millions for Chouinard or his kin but he has always been vocally against the hoarding of riches and put his money where his mouth was.
Pressure immediately built on sustainability activist and iconic surfer Kelly Slater who, himself, owns and operates the environmentally-conscious label Outerknown. Would he, too, put his money where his mouth is and gift the brand to causes near and dear his heart?
Though, just today, Outerknown’s mass-mailed catalogue landed in the mailboxes of those who asked for it and also those who didn’t. Flipping through images of light green flannels, sustainable denim, home, small business and apartment owners were assaulted with the shocking words, “The coziest damn shirt ever made. 100% organic cotton and buttons made from nuts.” laid over the image of a man named “Andy” with pronounced Adam’s apple turning away from the camera.
I’d imagine many horrified that children were near enough to read both “damn” and “nuts.” Parents and guardians scrambling to pretend they were not looking at that page and/or breaking down in tears. Others attempting to have too-early conversations about naughty words and/or anatomy.
Marketing is, of course, a rough gig in an ever-saturated landscape. How to draw attention? How to make the otherwise inundated stop and look?
Swearing and crude language one way but the proper one?
Furthermore, will buttons made from testicles, however sustainable, actually hold?
Currently more questions than answers.