Retailer Casts Vote for the Environment

Sep 24, 2004
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Patagonia is a retailer that is passionate about the great outdoors. A report by Wired News says
its “corporate mission is to protect planet Earth.”

With so much riding on its shoulders, it’s little wonder the retailer embarked on a multimedia campaign to actively get out the vote for candidates with like-minded views on protecting the environment.

A message on the retailer’s home page ( for its Vote the Environment campaign says, “Our environment is clearly in crisis. This year, however, we have a powerful tool to fight the pollution and degradation of our natural resources. Now is the time to exercise our rights and choose environmental health for us and our children. Register to vote. Get informed. Vote the Environment on November 2nd.”

Patagonia maintains that its Vote the Environment campaign is nonpartisan in nature.

Rick Ridgeway, vice president of marketing and environmental initiatives for Patagonia said, “More and more, in both parties, candidates are emerging who recognize that the environment is not only an important issue, but perhaps the one that should trump all other issues. We would love it if the Republicans, for example, were able to reclaim what used to be their issue. Teddy Roosevelt is the one who first started the environmental movement.”

The need for protecting the environment is an obvious business issue as Mr. Ridgeway sees it. “There’s no economy on a dead planet,” he said.

Moderator’s Comment: What do you think about Patagonia’s Vote the Environment campaign? Is the retailer’s political
activism a benefit to the sales side of its business?

Patagonia says 2,500 visitors to its Web site have downloaded voter-registration forms since the end of July.
George Anderson – Moderator

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