Patagonia, the outdoor clothing and apparel company, has long been a world leader in sustainable business and environmental advocacy. Now it has launched the Patagonia Music Collective, a powerful platform that allows artists to easily support environmental causes. For its new service, Patagonia partnered with GIST Lab, a Seattlebased company led by Geoff Stanfield and Theo Lanuly, which combines music and marketing while garnering positive social results. Playback spoke with Geoff to gainmore insight on Patagonia Music.
How did GIST Lab come to be?
GIST Lab was born out of two Seattleites with very different backgrounds, toomuch espresso and distaste for the status quo. Theo has experience in brand and partnered sponsorships as well as a background in environmental consulting. Recently, he co-produced the documentary series Icons Among Us: Jazz in the Present Tense. I come fromthemusic space as a recording and performing artist (Sun Kil Moon, Dick Dale) and as a producer and studio owner. I also led the music team at Mongo Music, a Bay Area start up which was acquired by Microsoft in 2000 and became MSN Music.
You partnered with Patagonia to create their new music platform, which launched March 1st. What are its mission and goals?
GS: The mission of Patagonia Music is to generate revenue and awareness for grass roots environmental non-profits through the sale of music. We also seek to engage and educate music fans on the environmental issues that we face as a community. Let's face it, with current budget cuts that affect the EPA and other organizations, there is no more crucial a time for people to learn the issues and support organizations working in the environmental space.
What is the structure of Patagonia Music?
GS: An artist donates or licenses an exclusive track to Patagonia for a 12-month term. Patagonia sells this music via iTunes. Profits are then directed to the environmental organization of the artist's choice.
What does the music platform achieve for such organizations?
GS: From early on, Patagonia has made enviro- giving a core element of its business practice. PatagoniaMusic is both easy for the artist to use and a great way for fans to hear new music. One artist and his or her fan base focused on a single issue is powerful on its own, but when that equation is multiplied by many artists and many fans, it has an even greater impact. Patagonia may be a collection of climbers and outdoor enthusiasts, but they are about as punk rock and DIY as they come. The independent spirit is alive and well there and it runs through all the employees from front desk to CEO.
What does the platform achieve for the artists?
GS: I believe that at the core of every artist is the desire to have an effect on something. That may be a person, an idea, a cause, or a movement. Artists are leaders and have a great deal of influence, able to provide direction to the people who choose to listen. Giving is not solely for the established rock star. If Patagonia Music can provide an opportunity for an artist, large or small, to do the right thing while making it reasonably streamlined for them to do so, then we have done our job.
ASCAP Members and Patagonia
In engaging artists' fan bases directly, The Patagonia Music Collective brings new people to both the concept of environmental giving and to the Patagonia brand. The following ASCAP artists have donated all proceeds from the sale of their exclusive tracks to their personally endorsed environmental organizations.
Bonnie Raitt - Earthjustice, a nonprofit public interest law firm dedicated to protecting the environment, including fighting in federal court to stop mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia and appearing in front of Congress to defend the Clean Water Protection Act.
Jack Johnson - K kua Hawaii Foundation, supporting environmental education in the schools and communities of Hawai'i
Philip Glass - Raincoast Conservation Foundation, a British Columbia-based team of conservationists and scientists that aim to protect the province's lands, waters, and wildlife by bringing science to decision makers and communities
Pearl Jam - Conservation International Marine Programs
Brandi Carlile - Honor the Earth
Ziggy Marley - Jamaica Environment Trust
Umphrey's McGee - Climate Cycle
Ra Ra Riot - The Conservation Alliance
Toad the Wet Sprocket - South Coast Habitat Restoration
Kingsley - Surfrider Foundation, O'ahu Chapter
moe. - Rainforest Action Network
Abigail Washburn - China branch of the Jane Goodall Institute's Roots & Shoots