Patagonia launches digital portal for environmental activism
Patagonia has launched a digital platform for environmental activism that founder Yvon Chouinard has compared to an online dating site. Patagonia Action Works links activists to environmental causes, petitions and volunteering.
In a video announcing the new Patagonia Action Works, Chouinard explains the company's desire to activate its consumers to help protect the environment. Chouinard says, "If you’ve been paying attention, you'll know that things aren't going very well for the planet. It’s pretty easy to get depressed about it. I’ve always known that the cure for depression is action.”
Users enter their city and state and can select issues they want to connect with. Patagonia Action Works then immediately offers a list of local organizations, events, and petitions which users can participate in. The platform will also function as a destination for grassroots organizations to apply for grants and funding from Patagonia.
The landing page for Patagonia Action Works explains "For almost 40 years, Patagonia has supported grassroots activists working to find solutions to the environmental crisis. But in this time of unprecedented threats, it’s often hard to know the best way to get involved."
Patagonia has been an activist company since its inception 40 years ago. Last year it began a new campaign against the federal government, protesting the removal of protection of 2 million acres of public lands in the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monuments. The campaign culminated with a lawsuit filed against the Trump Administration that is currently active in DC federal court.
Most recently, the company staged a visual protest with a light projector at the Outdoor Retailer expo. The message was a clock counting down to the time and date when the federal government authorized private drilling and mineral extraction on the previously protected lands.
CEO and President of Patagonia, Rose Marcario, said she is frequently asked by customers what they can do to help Patagonia's causes.
“This platform makes it easy to connect with organizations in your neighborhood who are working every day on local issues," she said. "Our collective grassroots actions can add up to the change we need to make a better world."
Patagonia's program, 1% for the Planet, has given $90 million in support for grassroots organizations globally. Lisa Pike Sheehy, Patagonia's VP of Environmental Activism, pointed out that the goal of the platform is to create a connection with the community that will help give grassroots organizations "the capacity to achieve even more."
Patagonia Action Works kicks off a national tour in Santa Monica, CA on February 9. The live events are meant to unite individuals with the community and establish the foundations for long-term relationships with the goal of effecting greater environmental change.
The live tour has stops scheduled in Vermont, Washington D.C., Austin, New York, Chicago and Portland, OR. Currently the last stop is Reno, NV scheduled for April.
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