Outdoor clothing manufacturer Patagonia announced Tuesday a new initiative to promote environmental causes through the sale of popular music. Backed by bands Pearl Jam, The Bad Plus and Toad the West Sprocket along with performers Jack Johnson and Brett Dennen, the company aims to let customers support conservation efforts for every $.99 download from iTunes through the Patagonia Music Collective
“Musicians have been interested in partnering with Patagonia on our environmental work for years, but we didn’t have the right platform to work together effectively,” said Rob BonDurant, Patagonia’s vice president of marketing in a press release, “The Music Collective provides us with a way to partner directly with enviro-minded artists and to engage their fans in environmental efforts. It’s truly a new model for green giving.”
The Music Collective launches with 22 tracks. One new benefit track, dedicated to a specific organization such as Honor the Earth, Defenders of Wildlife or the Environmental Justice Foundation, will be added each week. The line-up will also include three tracks from emerging artists. The Collective with include music genres that include pop, reggae, indie rock, jazz and country. Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard hopes to engage an equally diverse audience of listeners who support environment-saving causes.
“My hope is that fans see their favorite artists supporting the environment and want to get involved themselves,” Chouinard said. “The groups these musicians are supporting are the ones that are ultimately going to save the planet.”
A quick look at the new web site and iPhone application revealed no clear way for customers to discriminate between musicians they prefer and causes they’d rather support. Hopefully fans will share their favorite artist’s preference in the support of one environmental organization over another. But those performers involved in the program say they’re pleased to link their work directly with the conservation groups who share their values.
“Any endeavor that combines great music with fund raising for quality environmental organizations gets my attention,” said singer song writer Bonnie Raitt. “When Patagonia approached us to be involved we were excited to team up. I’ve been a supporter of Earth Justice for almost a decade, because, as their slogan states, ‘the Earth needs a good lawyer.’”
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