Common Ground–– Patagonia

Enabling Patagonia's growing customer base to take action

The Pitch
Common Ground is a proposal for a web platform paired with a physical product strategy for sustainable outdoor gear company Patagonia. It was a 3 week project for graduation design class.
Interaction Design
Robyn Goodridge
Chris Elawa

Grassroots Activism

Patagonia Common Ground is a web platform paired with a physical product strategy that enables Patagonia’s growing customer base to take action on environmental fights for public land in their region through petitions.

By bringing their “Patagucci” market on board to help in these fights, Patagonia could ensure that the growth they are experiencing aligns with their brand mission.
Local environmental grassroots activism is based on or in defense of a shared place identity; it is submerged in residents’ everyday lives and interpersonal networks within a place.”
– Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute Study
Instead of the typical wall of text at the top of a petition, customers could learn about the issue at a highlevel by swiping through and engage with specifics when desired

Tangible Action

In order to engage customers who may not necessarily be aligned with Patagonia’s values we targeted the point of sale, a touchpoint that includes every customer not just those that already embody Patagonia’s environmental protection ambitions. Buying new Patagonia gear is exciting, period.
Visitors to the Common Ground platform would be able to use their garment tag, if they have one, to complete petitions
New gear would have a name tag as well as a sticker that prompts a visit to the Common Ground platform. Putting ones name on something connotes longevity –one wouldn't necessarily put ones name on a piece of fast fashion. Thus customers could actually snap a picture of their ownership label to autofill some information when signing a petitions.

In doing this a customer is not only aligning themselves with Patagonia’s environmental protection values by signing a petition, they are also labeling their gear using the garment tag – a tangible artifact of Patagonia’s brand that embodies their values of longevity and reuse.
Petitions require a name, address and in some cases a signature – this information could be autofilled by taking a picture of the ownership label or entered manually

Extending Engagement

While the experience of signing a single petition to protect a piece of public land in ones community is limited in scope. The act can serve as a stepping stone for previously apathetic or unaware customers into more conscious consumers who at the very least are more curious about Patagonia’s environmental stance and other initiatives.
After signing the first petition, customers could explore the larger Common Ground platform, learning more about various environmental fights and even sign others that relate to land in their area
Even low-threshold online collective actions such as “liking” a Facebook page [or signing an e-petition] can be identity constructing, steering the group's activities towards a common goal and accounting for group enhancement.”
– Sandy Schumann, European Journal of Social Psychology
Customers could be presented with a Patagonia repare guide for their new gear, highlighting the idea that their gear can be repaired long before the moment of damage


While the primary audience of Common Ground are Patagonia’s growing customer base, the platform itself offers value to grassroots environmental activists and activist groups.