Patagonia Hid a Secret, R-Rated Message On Some of Its Clothing Tags
Patagonia hasn’t officially made any political or campaign merchandise, but it’s certainly making its voice heard.
If you happened to have purchased Patagonia’s Road to Regenerative Stand Up Shorts, you might have noticed a tiny little message on a tag. Or, maybe you didn't notice it. To tie in with the shorts’ purpose of rehabilitating farmland through a partnership with organic farmers, Patagonia slipped a little message in on the tag:
Patagonia hid a message on some of its clothing tags: 'Vote the Assholes Out' https://t.co/ZUIZiLRWIw
— Mashable (@mashable) September 15, 2020
The image surfaced on Reddit, and everyone immediately started wondering whether it was real. Patagonia didn’t leave much room for rumors before speaking out and saying, “Yep. It’s real.”
“They were added to our 2020 Men’s and Women’s Regenerative Organic Stand-Up Shorts because we have been standing up to climate deniers for almost as long as we’ve been making these shorts,” Patagonia spokesperson Corley Kenna told Mashable. “[Patagonia founder] Yvon Chouinard has been saying ‘vote the assholes out’ for several years, 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 or gas interests.”
OK, so maybe it’s less of a political statement, and more of an environmental one.
Patagonia has always been active in ethical business and environmental stewardship, going as far as suing a company that was using its iconic logo to promote oil drilling. It also said it would reserve its immensely popular vests, which became synonymous with big-business culture, for companies with ethical values.
This tag is a subtle and original way to add personality and voice to a garment, rather than a big message across the front of a T-shirt, too. At this point, the phrase is almost a trademark of Chouinard, who used it in a letter for 1% for the Planet, the organization he founded to rally businesses to help the planet.
“Remember, vote the assholes out—all of those politicians who don’t believe we should do anything about climate change,” the letter said. “Vote for the planet and against those who would do nothing. We have the power and now is the time to use it.”
Environmentally-aware customers were already into Patagonia, but this little touch might give them a push to spend a few more dollars this week. Also, as opposed to a lot of more specific political messaging, this is pretty evergreen. (That’s an unintended environmental pun, but we’re keeping it.) Since it pertains to climate action, rather than any particular politicians or even which party is in power, the message is applicable for as long as the shorts hold together.