Patagonia Doesn’t Want Your Business Today, Closes Doors to Encourage Voting

Taking a stand on environmental issues

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Don't shop, vote. That's Patagonia's motto today. The company has closed its 29 retail locations and Ventura, Calif.-based headquarters—as well as its Reno, Nevada distribution and customer centers—to motivate employees and customers to spend Election Day voting. 

The move is a first for the company, which came up with the idea in-house and plans to pay its 1,800 U.S. employees for the day, according to a spokeswoman. 

"During a time of catastrophic environmental crisis, when America needs strong leadership to confront the fundamental threat of climate change, voter turnout threatens to reach historic lows as people are turned off by the ugliness of politics," said Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario in a statement.

Marcario continued: "As a business, we have a unique ability to take a stand and choose to prioritize the health of the planet over profit, and I think it's important we take that opportunity when it truly matters. We want to do everything possible to empower citizens to make their voices heard and elect candidates up and down the ballot who will protect our planet." 

This isn't the first time that Patagonia has been vocal about environmental issues. In fact, since 2004 the company used election season to create non-partisan environmental campaigns. In September it launched this year's effort, Patagonia's 2016 Vote Our Planet, which, according to the company's release, "focuses on educating citizens on how to use their vote to defend our air, soil and water and to protect the health and well-being of American families—including strong climate action and an urgent shift to renewable energy." 

That message has been part of Patagonia's advertising. The company has famously created ads that dissuade customers from buying new jackets by laying out all the damage their creation does to the environment.

@KristinaMonllos Kristina Monllos is a senior editor for Adweek.