Last week, Patagonia announced endorsements for two candidates that are running for U.S. Senate in the upcoming midterm elections Nov. 6 – Jacky Rosen of Nevada and Senator Jon Tester of Montana. In line with the brand’s mission for environmental conservation, Patagonia believes that if elected, both candidates will ensure that public lands are protected for future generations.
This is the first time Patagonia has publicly endorsed politicians, although the company has been active in encouraging supporters of the brand (and the outdoors) to turn out and vote, according to Director of Global Communications and Public Relations of Patagonia, Corley Kenna.
“Because these candidates fall in line with what Patagonia believes in, we feel it is important to support them this way,” Kenna tells TransWorld Business. “For us, it’s not about throwing money at politicians behind the scenes. Instead, it’s about standing with Americans who want to see wild places protected for future generations. That’s something we will always do, regardless of political party.”
Patagonia’s distribution center is located in Nevada, and its 1% For The Planet program – which donates 1% of all sales to grassroots environmental activist groups – originated in Montana. Both states have strong connections to the outdoors, and as a result, the company felt it was imperative to highlight representatives in these two regions.
Patagonia’s website touts the endorsements front and center, and the company is making every effort to arm its customers with information before the upcoming midterms.
“We are supporting Jon Tester because he gives a damn about protecting public lands – and, like us, he’s committed to fight back against anyone who doesn’t,”Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard said. “He also knows something about living off the land – the only organic farmer in the Senate, and the only one bringing the beef he butchers through airport security when he has to travel to DC. Jon is a real advocate for hunters, hikers and Montana’s thriving outdoor economy at a time when threats to clean air, clean water and public land are worse than we’ve ever seen.”
“We are proud to support Jacky Rosen because she will fight to protect Nevada’s public lands and the vibrant outdoor industry that depends on them,” said Patagonia CEO and President Rose Marcario. “Jacky has a strong record of defending public lands in Congress and protecting our access to clean air and clean waters. We need her leadership to protect Nevada’s economy and the basic health of its people, so the business community can thrive and so Nevadans can prosper.”
Patagonia has been transparent about reducing its ecological footprint as a company, and hopes its recent efforts will be another step in that direction. “We don’t want to simply give money behind the scenes and hide when we do it,” Kenna said. “In fact, that’s the last thing we want to do because it falls in line with the dark money scheme that’s taken over our political system.”
So far, Patagonia says the response to the campaign has been positive. When asked what we can expect from the brand in future elections, Kenna told us, “Since 2004, we’ve encouraged our customers to vote – and with the planet in mind. We’re a company that’s willing to do what it takes, so who knows what’s in store for future elections.”
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