The outdoor retailer hasn't been afraid to get political in the past

By Kaitlyn Frey
September 16, 2020 12:16 PM
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Patagonia's sending a message to its customers.

Inside the California-based outerwear company's Regenerative Organic Stand-Up Shorts, the backside of the label includes a very direct note: "Vote the a--holes out." Once a photo of the tag began circulating on Twitter, many wondered if the label was real. But Patagonia's spokesperson Tessa Byars confirmed to PEOPLE that the label is legit.

"They were added to our 2020 Men’s and Women’s Road to Regenerative Organic Stand-Up Shorts because we have been standing up to climate deniers for almost as long as we’ve been making those shorts," Byars tells PEOPLE.

Courtesy of Patagonia
Courtesy of Patagonia

According to Byars, Patagonia's founder Yvon Chouinard has said the phrase "vote the a--holes out" for years. "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."

Courtesy of Patagonia

So far, you'll only find the message on the tag inside the Regenerative Organic Stand-Up Shorts. But Patagonia's Director of Copy Brad Wieners tweeted that he hopes to add it to more designs. "Can you please confirm that your new season has this tags? I will buy parkas for the family," one person tweeted.

Courtesy of Patagonia

Wieners replied: "Wish all parkas had them, too. Sadly not. Agitating for more. Will let u know."

Patagonia has been vocal about reminding Americans to vote in the 2020 Senate and presidential election and dedicated hefty space on its homepage telling shoppers to "Vote climate deniers out of office," "Vote early," and "Vote now."

The company also makes it easy for people to sign up to vote, whether it is in person or by mail. On the homepage, a shopper can input their address and then they are brought to a webpage to either request a mail-in ballot or find their in-person polling dates. All the state deadlines and voting days are clearly laid out too.

At the bottom of its website, Patagonia urges customers to get even more involved with other organizations like Ballot Ready, LCV, Protect Our Winters, ACLU and Patagonia Action Works.

The outdoor retailer, which describes itself as “The Activist Company,” hasn't been afraid to get political in the past, whether it's refusing to sell vests to financial firms or suing President Donald J. Trump over his decision to reduce the size of Utah's national monuments.

Patagonia’s commitment to land preservation is actually a cause written right in the brand’s mission statement and one it has practiced diligently since its start in 1973. “Our mission is to build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis,” it reads.