Patagonia will continue its record of encouraging its workers and customers to be politically engaged by closing its doors on Election Day 2018, the Washington Post reports.
Citing low voter participation and its own history of advancing environmental causes, the outdoor retailer decided giving its workers a chance to vote was the right thing to do. Company spokeswoman Corley Kenna told the Post, “What’s the most impactful thing we can do in an election? That’s to get people to vote.”
This isn’t the first time the outdoor retailer has made Election Day a holiday for its workers. The company also closed its doors on Election Day 2016 as part of its “Vote Our Planet” campaign. Patagonia again cited low voter turnout across the country as the basis for its decision and said that “America needs strong leadership to confront the fundamental threat of climate change.”
Since 2016, the company hasn’t shied away from criticizing the Trump administration.
It famously feuded with Trump over his administration’s decision to shrink the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments by 2 million acres. It launched a website, titled “The President Stole Your Land,” and joined a lawsuit challenging the legality of the administration’s move to reduce public lands. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Republicans in Congress fought back against Patagonia, calling its efforts a “false narrative.”
And the company isn’t afraid to let its customers know where it stands, either. During the 2016 election, it hosted political events in its own stores, inviting customers to talk environmentalism and the role of politics in keeping the planet healthy.
Patagonia also used the opportunity to help customers register to vote. Its “Vote Our Planet” campaign was aimed at turning out environmentally conscious voters in races at every level of government. Spokespeople at the time told ThinkProgress, “We want people to look at their Senate races, their House races, their mayoral and gubernatorial and attorney general races.”
With their recent decision, it seems Patagonia won’t be content to stay on the sidelines in 2018. Given its pro-environmental stances and stated opposition to Trump’s policies, it shouldn’t be a big surprise that it sees the 2018 midterm elections as similarly important.