US clothing firm launches voting campaign to place environment back on the ballot

American outdoor clothing company Patagonia has launched a major non-partisan environmental campaign in preparation for the upcoming Presidential election, calling on voters to elect sustainability-conscious candidates.

The Vote Our Planet campaign is looking to put climate on the agenda for this year’s upcoming 8 November election, suggesting Americans vote “up and down the ballot” with the environment as their top issue – electing officials that pledge to protect the planet and the health and well-being of American families.

“We can’t let the ugliness of our politics turn people away from voting when the future of our planet is at stake,” Patagonia’s vice president of environmental activism Lisa Pike Sheehy said. “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 backyards or electing leaders who will fight for the future of our planet at the international level.”

Patagonia has committed an estimated $1m to the campaign – including $200,000 to support various partners such as the environmental organisation Sierra Club, the League of Conservation Voters and Headcount – to help get more disenfranchised voters in the voting cubicles.

Vote Our Planet has highlighted 13 key regional environmental issues for voters to confront, including issues surrounding solar power, pollution regulations and preventing new pipelines construction.

Setting the stage

According to Patagonia, the company has long been in support of organisations providing on-the-ground local campaigns. The company now pledges to provide a heightened platform in which to build awareness through its own marketing and sales channels.

The first of the campaign action was held earlier this week across the New York Times’ mobile website as well as Tumblr. Over coming weeks, Patagonia will host two Vote Our Planet events across its 29 U.S. retail stores – one on 27 September in celebration of National Voter Registration Day and the next in October – which will provide voting resources and educational materials to attendees. Another part of the campaign has also been scheduled for 7-8 November.

“Voting is the simplest form of direct action – and now, more than ever, it’s crucial that American citizens exercise their power to vote for leaders who are committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, defending clean water, and protecting our country’s most precious natural resources.” Sheehy added.

With the stage set for the upcoming Presidential election, the paradigm of Trump or Clinton will be the main decision facing environmentally-conscious American voters. With trump suggesting a potential cancelation of America’s COP21 agreements and Hilary promising to transform America into a “clean energy super power”, both leading campaigners sit on very different sides of the climate policy scale.

Alex Baldwin

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie