Outdoor clothing retailer goes for environmental politics

Companies generally hide their political leanings for fear of alienating customers who support other political parties but Patagonia, Inc., a California-based high-end outdoor clothing company with 28 stores across the US and one in Canada, has decided to participate openly, though a little gently, in the 2012 US election.

Patagonia has announced the launch of its Vote the Environment campaign – a campaign that asks customers to register to vote, learn about candidates’ environmental records and vote for the world they want to live in.  The Company has partnered with the League of Conservation Voters, the rock band, Wilco, and the non-profit voter registration advocate HeadCount to achieve the campaign’s objectives. It has also launched a Twitter campaign around the hashtag #becauseilove. People in Patagonia retail stores, at Wilco shows, and online will be encouraged to tweet messages and images that complete the sentence “I vote the environment because I love …”.

A Patagonia press release quotes Patagonia’s founder and owner Yvon Chouinard as saying “It’s time to hold our candidates accountable to environmental issues: if you care about clean air and water, how do the candidates on the national, state and local levels measure up on those topics? Get informed before casting your vote.”

GallonDaily sees the Patagonia campaign as bold. Although Patagonia has traditionally supported the environmental movement a foray into public politics is a big step beyond that. The campaign is ostensibly non-partisan but the environment is clearly not a strength of the Republican campaign. It will be interesting to see whether Patagonia’s high-end customers appreciate the Company’s foray into the political arena.

The Patagonia press release is at http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/patagonia-launches-vote-the-environment-campaign-in-advance-of-presidential-election-159688695.html

The campaign is presented on a Company website at http://www.patagonia.com/us/vote-the-environment/

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