Patagonia to Close All Stores in the U.S. for Election Day

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Last week I posted the news that REI would once again close all of its stores – and website – for Black Friday here in the U.S. Now, we have word that another major gear manufacturer is following suit for another very important day in America. Last week, Patagonia announced that it would close all of its retail outlets, its cooperate headquarters, and important distribution centers to on November 8, which is election day in the U.S.

The move comes as part of Patagonia’s Vote Our Planet initiative, which encourages us to support candidates that take a tough stand on environmental issues, something that should be of major concern for all outdoor enthusiasts. The idea is to rally around men and women who are running for office that are looking to preserve the planet for future generations and protect wildlife and wild spaces.

“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. “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.”

Obviously the presidential election to be held next week is an important one for many reasons. I don’t often use this blog as a place to make a political statement or support any one candidate over another. But I will say that the future of the country, and perhaps the world, rests in the hands of who will be elected to the White House on November 8. While I have my own opinions on who should or should not be in charge, what is most important to me is that everyone get out to vote. Patagonia is making that a little easier, at least for its own employees and customers. 
If you care about the environment, do a little research on the candidates in your area and get out and vote for the ones that are looking at ways to make things better moving forward. We are at a critical point when it comes to climate change and other environmental factors, and now is the time to have our voices heard. Vote on November 8 to at least play a role in that process. 
Kraig Becker