Patagonia is, without a doubt, Boulder’s favorite brand. Stroll through campus, along Pearl Street or the 28th Street mall and you’ll see their recognizable blue and purple logo everywhere: on backpacks, shorts, jackets, pants, shoes, all over people, all over town. That company is beloved for the quality of their outdoor gear, the style their clothing is crafted with, and the company’s unyielding dedication to sustainability and environmental protection.
And a recent feature printed on the tags inside Patagonia’s “Road to Regenerative” shorts, just earned them a lot more love. Their design team decided (in a rogue stroke of genius) to tuck a simple, but very meaningful message under the shorts’ tag: “Vote the assholes out.”
It’s the kind of move that surprised many and amused even more. What better message to send during the height of a controversial election year, than “vote the assholes out”? Vote the Red assholes out, vote the Blue assholes out, vote the Purple assholes out — just vote all of the assholes out…
Who can argue with that?
“The November elections are an opportunity for voters to change [climate policies],” Corley Kenna, Patagonia’s brand director of global communications and public relations, told Esquire in an interview. “The House has passed a lot of legislation that would offer climate policies to address what's going on.”
She says that “Vote the assholes out” has been a common phrase internally at Patagonia for some time now. In a 2019 letter written from the founder and CEO of Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard, to the “1% for the Planet” Chouinard signed off with the same phrase in a postscript: “Remember, vote the assholes out.”
Shortly thereafter, the company printed shirts that said the same thing — but, sadly, which never actually made it to the sales floor.
Now, the phrase is back again! And just in time for what is shaping up to be the most divisive and decisive presidential election in recent history. Patagonia decided to step up to the activist plate and get their message out. So they put it on pants.
Pants, that sold out faster than you could say “Road to Regenerative.” The shorts were extremely limited edition and Patagonia’s customers gobbled them up — they had already become collector’s items.
“Hopefully we don't have to keep making a tags like this,” says Kenna, “Because hopefully this November, we will elect some real climate leaders and fewer assholes, and can do something about what's going on with one of the crises facing our country and our world.”