The countdown is on. With the 2018 midterm elections just one day away, many footwear and fashion companies are helping to encourage voter participation.
Without a doubt, this election season has been one of the most supercharged in recent history and is poised to attract a record turnout. But companies like Walmart, Patagonia and New Balance aren’t taking any chances and have launched initiatives to help get employees and consumers to the polls.
Here is how nine fashion firms are making an impact:
The company is among the members of the Time to Vote movement, even working with Rock the Vote to register employees and get them educated about the democratic process. Along with employee engagement programs, Levi’s is offering a T-shirt that supports the cause, retailing for $25 on its website, with all proceeds going to the Rock the Vote nonpartisan organization.
The athletic company has teamed up with digital outfit Betches on a social media campaign to excite and engage young female voters. And together, they will be driving New York City residents to the polls on Nov. 6 in their double-decker party bus. Find out how to catch a ride here.
The Seattle-based retail company sent a statement to employees this month, offering schedule flexibility to facilitate turnout at the polls. “Voting is an important civic responsibility, and we encourage all employees to take the time to vote,” a Nordstrom spokesperson told FN. “If employees aren’t able to vote either before or after their regularly assigned work hours, we ask that they work with their manager on any necessary schedule adjustments.”
The outdoor brand has taken a strong stance on politics this year in regard to the Trump administration’s reduction of public lands and monuments. So on Election Day, Patagonia plans to close its headquarters and retail stores to provide employees a full paid day off to vote. The company also enlisted friends like snowboarder Jeremy Jones to share messages about voting on social media.
The designer has teamed up with progressive political organizations SwingLeft and Downtown for Democracy ahead of the midterms. Meeting up with New York voters, Comey is going door to door to canvas swing districts near the Soho neighborhood where her boutique is located. She also helped mobilize members of the fashion industry for last year’s Women’s March.
The one-for-one brand is known for its generosity, but lately, it’s been donating more than shoes. Toms has been hosting events for community members to discuss political action and ways to create change. Yara Shahidi helped spearhead an event at the brand’s HQ recently. And its latest panel talk, on Nov. 1 at its Brooklyn, N.Y., store, featured New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and New Jersey Secretary of State Tahesha Way.
The brand released a limited-edition T-shirt emblazoned with the word “vote” as part of the #OwnYourVote campaign to urge participation in the election. All proceeds of the $68 shirt are directed to Shahidi’s Eighteen x 18 initiative and its upcoming summit. “Voting is an issue I care passionately about. It is a pillar of our democracy and something we can never take for granted,” Burch said in a statement. “We need to do what we can to ensure that everyone registers and makes it to the polls.”
The parent of Timberland, Vans and The North Face is giving its roughly 25,000 U.S. employees up to three hours of paid time off to ensure they can get to the polls. In a statement sent to employees last week, CEO Steve Rendle wrote, “One of our guiding principles is to ‘persevere.’ In local communities, states and across the country, our democracy will only persevere if it includes representation from all individuals.”
The retail behemoth launched its Walmart Community Votes website as a resource tool for employees looking to download registration forms, find election deadlines and learn about the candidates who are running for office. “As every election matters, we’re empowering our associates and customers with voting information to more easily exercise this great privilege and responsibility,” the company said in a statement to FN.
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