When asked to name a company dedicated to corporate social responsibility, almost everyone will immediately mention Patagonia. Patagonia, an upscale apparel retailer, for years was viewed as an anomaly by both investors and industry experts. The company preaches against consumerism with their “Don’t Buy This Jacket” campaign, where they actively exposed the environmental harm of one of their products. A company that discourages people from shopping could not possibly be successful in the long run. However, over the past decade, Patagonia has defied all odds by quadrupling in profit and reaching a valuation of $1 billion dollars.
With the recent (as of the writing of this article) nationwide Black Lives Matter protests, the issues of police brutality and systemic racism against African Americans has re-emerged in the media. This resurgence has highlighted the double standard and prevalent societal inequalities which African Americans face, and has revealed the deterioration of race relations in America. According to a recent Gallup poll, “nearly 60 percent of those surveyed said that they were somewhat dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the state of race relations in America.”
Something that’s been comforting me during this pandemic has been a very specific YouTube Channel: Bon Appétit. The food and lifestyle magazine, owned by Condé Nast, was first published in 1956. In 2008, Bon Appétit started its YouTube channel, creating highly polished cooking videos in the “hands and pans” style popularized by Buzzfeed’s Tasty. The videos’ look and feel were very aligned with the sophisticated Condé Nast legacy brand.