Patagonia calls out climate deniers with blunt message on label
This undated handout image courtesy of outdoor retailer Patagonia shows the label of limited-edition pair of shorts reading "Vote the assholes out". - Patagonia/AFP

Outdoor retailer Patagonia, known for championing environmental causes, has put it bluntly to voters in a label on a limited-edition pair of shorts that says "VOTE THE ASSHOLES OUT."

The company said the message, printed on the underside of a clothing tag, was added to its 2020 men's and women's "regenerative organic stand-up shorts" in defiance of climate change deniers.

"Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard has been saying 'vote the assholes out' for several years," company spokesperson Tessa Byars told AFP via email. "And it refers to politicians from any party who deny or disregard the climate crisis and ignore science, not because they aren't aware of it, but because their pockets are lined with money from oil and gas interests."

The label, which has gone viral on Twitter, marks the latest push by the company for action against climate deniers during the Trump presidency.

In 2017, the company changed its website's homepage, posting a message in giant white letters against a black background that read "The President Stole Your Land."

The move was aimed at raising awareness on environmental rollbacks by the Trump administration.

The company's political activism this year also includes shutting down its doors on Election Day November 3 and offering employees up to four days off to train and serve as poll workers to help offset a nationwide shortage because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Patagonia is doing our part to ensure this November's elections are accessible for all eligible voters," Hilary Dessouky, Patagonia's general counsel, said in a statement.

"Already this election has been marred by misinformation about voting, roadblocks to accessible voting and threats to cut essential voting services like the US Postal Service, which allow people to vote safely and securely," she added. "Patagonia is prioritizing time off to vote, and we encourage others to vote, serve as poll workers and share localized information to help make sure all voices are heard this November."

Other retailers like Under Armour and Nike have also launched voter turnout initiatives amid the global pandemic and racial unrest in the US.

Under Armour has launched a "Run To Vote" campaign while Nike has joined the non-partisan "Time To Vote" initiative to also get people to vote.

Hundreds of companies across the United States are also giving their employees the day off on Election Day so that they can vote.