Patagonia on Monday launched “Vote Our Planet,” a major nonpartisan environmental campaign urging Americans to vote up and down the ballot to elect officials and support referendums in favor of air, water and soil protection and conservation and protect the health and well-being of American families.
Patagonia said Vote Our Planet is designed to rally people across the country to set aside potential frustration with the divisive political atmosphere and vote purposefully with the environment as their top issue when they head to the polls in November.
“We can’t let the ugliness of our politics turn people away from voting when the future of our planet is at stake,” stated Lisa Pike Sheehy, Patagonia’s vice president of environmental activism. “We’re giving voters resources that will inspire and empower them to take action and voice their support for a healthy planet, whether we’re fighting to protect our own backyard or electing leaders who will fight for the future of our planet at the international level.”
The goal of the campaign includes getting people registered to vote, informed about local and national issues, and inspired to vote for environmental priorities up and down the ballot. This investment includes $200,000 in support of partners like the League of Conservation Voters and Headcount to help in their efforts to get out the vote.
In the coming weeks, Patagonia’s 29 U.S. stores will each be hosting two in-store Vote Our Planet events: one on Sept. 27 to celebrate National Voter Registration Day and another in October featuring voting resources, partners and educational materials to empower and educate voters. The stores will provide voter guides for customers outlining each region’s candidates and ballot measures. These events will allow people to discuss, unite and take action around common values tied to local and regional elections.
“In the United States, only 60 percent of eligible citizens voted in the 2012 presidential election and of those, many voted only for president and left the rest of the ballot blank,” said Patagonia founder and owner Yvon Chouinard. “Many young voters feel disenfranchised and disillusioned by politics. But if they voted in full force and voiced the urgency of the environmental crisis, politicians would have to take their issues seriously.”
In addition to national messaging, Vote Our Planet will highlight 13 specific, regional environmental issues that voters will confront in this election — decisions such as solar power initiatives, pollution regulations and preventing new pipelines, as well as grassroots organizations working to find solutions to existing environmental problems. Patagonia has long supported organizations working at the ground level on each of these ongoing, local campaigns — and now Vote Our Planet will provide a platform to build awareness through Patagonia sales and marketing channels. Over the years, the groups engaged in these 13 local fights have received a combined $900,000 through Patagonia’s environmental grants program.
As part of Patagonia’s total investment in Vote Our Planet, the campaign took over The New York Times mobile web site and the entire Tumblr web site — on Monday and will do so again on Nov. 7 and 8 — with images, videos and statistics that describe the threats facing the planet’s air, water and soil and show how change can be made. Patagonia is also dedicating catalogue space, e-mail newsletters, blog posts, store display, and all of its social channels to help spread the Vote Our Planet message.
The Vote Our Planet page on Patagonia.com serves as a hub where guests can register to vote, sign up to receive local election information and get voting updates and reminders via e-mail or text. Voters can educate themselves through links to nine organizations and web sites — League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, Ballot Ready, Next Gen Climate, Change Politics, Grist, Headcount, TurboVote and Politico — that provide materials about candidates and ballot measures so that they can cast informed votes on Election Day.
Founded by Chouinard in 1973, Patagonia has contributed more than $78 million in grants and in-kind donations to date for environmental causes.