Patagonia wants to ‘Vote the a**holes out’
Patagonia, known for its environmental roots, added the message “Vote the a**holes out” to the back of label tags on some products as a statement against climate change.
In an interview with the Adventure Journal, Patagonia’s media team said the phrase was only used on a limited edition of shorts and explained as “having some fun in these dark days.” But its use drew major attention on social media and media outlets in the midst of election season.
Founder Yvon Chouinard has long used the phrase. Patagonia said in a media statement, “It refers to politicians from any party who deny or disregard the climate crisis and ignore science, not because they aren’t aware of it, but because their pockets are lined with money from oil and gas interests.”
Patagonia followed the controversial tags with an email sent on Friday linking to its new microsite that likewise broadcast a “Vote Climate Deniers Out of Office” message. According to the Los Angeles Times, Patagonia this year will be making 22 “recommendations” for the 35 Senate seats available in November based on the candidates’ stances on climate change, public lands and environmental justice.
Patagonia has become increasingly involved in politics as the Trump administration has aggressively weakened federal environmental regulations. The company’s moves included suing the administration, endorsing senatorial candidates for the first time and leading the move of Outdoor Retailer, the outdoor industry’s largest show, out of Salt Lake City.
Like others, Patagonia is implementing measures to support voting in the upcoming presidential election, including closing its doors on Nov. 3 and for the first time and providing up to four days of paid time off for employees who volunteer as poll workers.
Most retailers and brands appear to be staying non-partisan in their get-out-the-vote pushes. Nike and Starbucks both referenced the racial injustice protests in calling out the importance of voting.
One partisan effort is the launch of the “Believe in Better” collection by 19 prominent American designers, including Vera Wang, Joseph Altuzarra, Victor Glemaud and Tory Burch, to support Joe Biden’s bid for president. It’s available at joebiden.com.
- Patagonia Elections
- Patagonia’s Commitment To Making Democracy More Accessible – Patagonia
- ‘Vote the a-holes out’: Patagonia’s new tag wants to stand up to climate deniers – USA Today
- Yes, Those Viral Patagonia Tags Are Real – Vogue
- That Patagonia A-Hole Label Is Real and We Have the Story – Adventure Journal
- Patagonia’s Commitment To Making Democracy More Accessible – Patagonia Works
- The story behind that Patagonia tag, and how the Trump era changed outdoor recreation – Los Angeles Times
- U.S. Designers Show Support of Biden/Harris With Believe in Better Collection – WWD
- Believe In Better – Joebiden.com
- Should retailers get their workers and customers out to vote? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see more risks than benefits to Patagonia’s move to elevate its political messaging amid the election cycle? What factors should determine whether a brand can take a stand in an election?