Patagonia Is Backing Political Candidates For First Time

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Patagonia, politics, california, Nevada, Montana
Credit: Patagonia

California outdoor clothing company Patagonia is endorsing two Senate candidates in the western United States, where protecting the public land in which its customers recreate is a key concern, reports the LA Times.

  • Squaw
  • Snowshoe
  • Deer Valley
  • Mammoth
  • Steamboat

The retailer announced Friday that it is backing two Democrats: incumbent Sen. Jon Tester, who is running for reelection in Montana, and Rep. Jacky Rosen, who is seeking to unseat Republican Sen. Dean Heller in Nevada.

“Public lands are center stage there, in Montana and Nevada,” Patagonia spokeswoman Corley Kenna said. “And we felt by motivating our community to vote, we could help protect the public lands and waters in those places.”

This isn’t the first time Patagonia has dipped its toe into politics. For more than a decade, the company ran get-out-the-vote campaigns in stores and online, encouraging customers to support the deployment of renewable energy and to oppose the construction of new fossil fuel infrastructure.

Patagonia, president,
The headline on Patagonia’s homepage earlier this year.

Earlier this year, the company sued the Trump administration after the administration shrank in size two national monuments in Utah. Patagonia’s website declared, “The President Stole Your Land.” Company founder Yvon Chouinard appeared on CNN to call the government “evil.”

Here’s the press release from Patagonia, with further details:

In Nevada, home to our global distribution center, more than 650 employees and our famous Worn Wear repair center, Patagonia is supporting Jacky Rosen for U.S. Senate. Patagonia has worked with grassroots environmental nonprofits and the state’s leaders on some of the most important conservation accomplishments in the last 20 years. We have advocated for the protection of many of the Silver State’s most beautiful and important landscapes, including the Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area; Gold Butte National Monument; Basin and Range National Monument; and millions of acres of wilderness in Clark, Lincoln, White Pine, Humboldt and Lyon counties. We are confident Jacky Rosen will be a great partner to ensure Nevada’s public lands are protected for future generations.

And in Montana, where for nearly three decades we’ve had an important outlet store and supported dozens of wholesale business partners, and where we created our 1% for the Planet program, we’re backing Senator Jon Tester for re-election. Patagonia’s conservation efforts in Montana date back to the late 1980s when the company began giving grants to support the Montana Wilderness Association. Since that time, we have provided nearly $5 million in grants to the state’s grassroots groups in support of protection of lands, waters and biodiversity. Most recently, we’ve supported the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project, an effort championed by Senator Tester that proposes to expand the Bob Marshall, Mission Mountain and Scapegoat wilderness areas by close to 80,000 acres, while setting forth a collaborative vision that brings conservation, recreation, forest restoration and economic benefits.

Patagonia has fought for the protection of wild places since its founding and has been encouraging its community to vote with the planet in mind since 2004. The company is endorsing candidates for the first time this year because of the urgent and unprecedented threats to our public lands and waters. Nevada and Montana are two states where Patagonia has significant company history and a long record of conservation accomplishments, and where the stakes are too high to stay silent.

Hundreds of corporations back political candidates. The difference with our activism is that we put our logo on it.

This is not born from a desire to get into partisan politics. In fact, it’s the opposite—it’s about standing up for the millions of Americans who want to see wild places protected for future generations. That’s something we will always do, regardless of political party.

We will feature both endorsements on our website and social media, and in customer emails. Our democracy depends on showing up on Election Day, and our planet depends on leaders who will protect it.

Since you’re someone who has been covering these issues, we thought this news might be of interest to you. Please let us know if you have any further questions.

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