Immigration and terrorism might be front and center of the United States presidential election campaign, but Patagonia wants to remind people that the environment is a top issue, too.
The outdoor lifestyle brand has launched Vote Our Planet, a non-partisan campaign urging people to vote up and down the ballot to elect officials and support referendums that will defend our planet’s air, water and soil as well as protect the health and well-being of American families.
Patagonia has committed about $1 million to the campaign, which is designed to encourage constituents to vote purposefully when they head to the polls in November.
“We can’t let the ugliness of our politics turn people away from voting when the future of our planet is at stake,” Lisa Pike Sheehy, Patagonia’s vice president of environmental activism, said in a statement on Patagonia Works. “We’re giving voters resources that will inspire and empower them to take action and voice their support for a healthy planet—whether we’re fighting to protect our own backyards or electing leaders who will fight for the future of our planet at the international level.”
Getting people registered, informed and inspired is the goal of Vote Our Planet and Patagonia’s investment includes $200,000 in support of the League of Conservation Voters and Headcount, among others.
The brand’s 29 U.S. retail stores will each host two Vote Our Planet in-store events—one on Sept. 27 to celebrate National Voter Registration Day and another in October featuring voting resources, partners and educational materials to empower and educate voters. In addition, the campaign will highlight 13 regional environmental issues, such as solar power initiatives, pollution regulations and pipelines.
“In the United States, only 60 percent of eligible citizens voted in the 2012 presidential election and of those, many voted only for president and left the rest of the ballot blank,” said Yvon Chouinard, founder and owner of Patagonia. “Many young voters feel disenfranchised and disillusioned by politics. But if they voted in full force, and voiced the urgency of the environmental crisis, politicians would have to take their issues seriously.”
Patagonia will also spread the campaign’s message in its catalogs, email newsletters, blog posts, store displays and social channels. People interested in learning more are invited to check out the Vote Our Planet page on Patagonia’s website.
“Voting is the simplest form of direct action—and now, more than ever, it’s crucial that American citizens exercise their power to vote for leaders who are committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, defending clean water, and protecting our country’s most precious natural resources,” Sheehy said.