Patagonia announces first political endorsements in fight for the environment
Outdoor apparel company Patagonia has reaffirmed its position as a politically engaged brand to support environmental protection. For the first time, the company has announced its support for a political candidate by endorsing U.S. Senate nominee Jacky Rosen of Nevada and incumbent Jon Tester of Montana.
The company, which has integrated the support and creation of environmental protection projects into its business strategy since the 1980s, has previously encouraged its customers to vote in the interest of environmental protection. However, this announcement in favor of the two Democratic politicians marks the company's first partisan support.
Patagonia CEO and President Rose Marcario said Rosen, who is in the running to represent the company's home state, "will fight to protect Nevada’s public lands and the vibrant outdoor industry that depends on them." Marcario continued, "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."
In regard to Tester, a current Montana state senator running for re-election, Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard made a particularly pointed statement.
"He goes to work every day for the 95 percent of Montanans who believe recreation on public lands is a priority, unlike Republicans in Congress who only serve the fossil fuel industry," he said. "He also knows something about living off the land – the only organic farmer in the Senate[...] 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.”
Patagonia's political activity has become considerably more pronounced since the election of U.S. President Donald Trump. In 2017, the company blasted Trump's executive order privatizing land surrounding the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, later filing a lawsuit against the president in federal court. The case is currently held up in court.
In February, the company launched an environmental activism app that connects users to environmental causes, petitions and volunteering opportunities.
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