New Patagonia initiative charges customers 25 cents for bag with purchase, with proceeds going to nebulous charity, and one columnist feels "fleeced".
"I was in Patagonia recently to buy a fleece neck warmer and the sales clerk asked if I’d like a bag, a reasonable question for an item I could easily stuff into my pocket. When I said yes he told me it would cost 25 cents, but that the money goes to an environmental charity – he couldn’t recall the name.A floor manager overheard and chimed in that the proceeds are sent to Waves for Water, a non-profit that helps people in impoverished areas gain access to clean drinking water. Of course, I support helping communities obtain safe drinking water and 25 cents hardly dents my wallet, especially after I’d just purchased a fabric accessory for $29. By attaching the contribution to a simple transaction, I added to the global good with nothing more than a nod. It probably helped Waves for Water that there were other people in line watching my response. And yet, I can’t help feeling I was double-fleeced by the exchange and that Patagonia had gotten the better of me. For starters, why make the request for a bag the basis of a charitable donation?" -- Allan Ripp, Forbes.com