Why Patagonia is leading the charge to fight Trump and save the country’s national monuments

climate march
A Patagonia poster at the
People’s Climate March in Washington DC.


On April 26, President Trump
an executive order that would potentially affect the
status of national monuments. Rose Marcario, the CEO
of outdoor clothing and gear retailer Patagonia
to the order in no uncertain terms.

We’re watching the Trump administration’s actions very
closely and preparing to take
 step necessary, including legal
action, to defend our most treasured public landscapes from coast
to coast,”
she said in a statement

The executive order would specifically put 25 national
monuments — named protected lands under the 1906 Antiquities Act
— under review, in danger of losing their status. A national
monument has never had its protected status rescinded before, and
it’s unclear if the laws allow such a maneuver.

For anyone familiar with Patagonia, it shouldn’t be all that
surprising that the company would go to these lengths to
defend national monuments. According to Hans Cole,
Patagonia’s director of environmental campaigns and advocacy, the
work is integral to Patagonia’s mission.

“I would characterize this as some of our most important work,
and really core to what Patagonia is all about,” Cole told
Business Insider.

The company’s advocacy in protecting lands across America is not
only charitable work for the company, but it has become essential
to its business as well. After all, a company that sells gear
meant to be used outdoors needs an attractive — and accessible —

“If we want to have incredible places to go climbing and running
and surfing and fishing, we’re going to have to get active, and
be part of the public discourse and the effort to protect places
out there where these things happen,” Cole said.

Bears Ears


Bears Ears is a 1.3 million-acre piece of land in Utah that was
named a national monument by former President Obama in December.
It has become symbolic in the fight to save national
monuments from losing their special status.

Patagonia has spearheaded and buoyed campaigns, both grassroots
and larger, to protect the more than one million acres of land
named after Bears Ears’ two signature mesas. It does this through
a “1% for the planet” campaign, which entails donating 1% of
total sales to these efforts. The company also produced an
interactive short film about the land. 

Patagonia says that the threat of the review triggered by Trump’s
order is “real.”

“These are places that we rely on as a business and that our
people truly love and have dedicated their lives to helping
protect,” Corley Kenna, Patagonia’s director of communications,
told Business Insider. “It’s a threat to those places. It’s a
threat to this heritage we have as a nation.”

public lands is integral to Patagonia’s


Kenna added that Patagonia’s advocacy is neither “partisan”
nor “political.”

“We’ve never been shy about [our
commitment to the environment], and we’re not going to be shy
about it now,” she said.

Positive customer feedback has
been pouring into Patagonia, including from both longtime
customers and from those who have never shopped the brand before,
but will in response to its support of public land, Kenna

“That’s what keeps us going and
we feel really good about our decision to be engaged in this
particular fight to defend this very special space,” she