American retailer Patagonia will, for the first time, close its headquarters, retail stores, and distribution center on election day in the US (Nov. 8). The outdoor clothing company hopes that by giving its 2,000 employees the day off, they will encourage others to “head to the polls” and vote.
The retailer has not endorsed any candidate or political party. Instead, Patagonia launched the “Vote Our Planet” campaign, urging voters to back candidates that express explicit support for clean water, clean air, and renewable energy. The campaign provides local voter guides in a number of states with details on pressing environmental issues up for a vote, such as California’s plastic bag ban referendum, known as proposition 67.
“During a time of catastrophic environmental crisis, when America needs strong leadership to confront the fundamental threat of climate change, voter turnout threatens to reach historic lows as people are turned off by the ugliness of politics,” Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario said in a statement. “As a business, we have a unique ability to take a stand and choose to prioritize the health of the planet over profit, and I think it’s important we take that opportunity when it truly matters.”
Over the years, Patagonia has become well known for its environmental activism. It donates 1% of its revenue to environmental causes and openly supports “provocative direct-action agendas, working on multi-pronged campaigns to preserve and protect our environment.” The clothing company even regularly calls on customers to buy less, keep using what they have, and repair items when necessary. Marcario wrote for Quartz last year, “As individual consumers, the single best thing we can do for the planet is to keep our stuff in use longer.”
For its Vote Our Planet campaign, Patagonia focuses on three issues; air, soil, and water. The company claims to have spent more than $1 million on the campaign this year alone, hosting almost 60 events in its stores across the US.