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CALIFORNIA – In an unprecedented move for the global apparel industry, US outdoor brand Patagonia is to launch a new digital platform connecting the general public with local grassroots environmental organisations. Patagonia Action Works aims to help consumers learn more about local environmental issues and how to get involved with events, petitions, fundraising and volunteering.

The move is the latest chapter in the company’s 40-year history of activism and its giving programme, 1% for the planet. Patagonia’s support of grassroots environmental organisations around the world has totalled nearly US$90m, reaching thousands of community-based groups. Of late, the company has been particularly outspoken on President Trump and his rollback of federal land protection.

Supporting the new platform, Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard suggested that at a time of unprecedented threats to the planet, “it has never been more important to take action.” He said: “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.”

“The biggest question I get from our community and customers is, ‘What can I do to save the planet?’” added Patagonia President and CEO Rose Marcario. “This platform makes it easy to connect with organisations in your neighbourhood who are working every day on local issues. We have decades of experience with these groups, and our collective grassroots actions can add up to the change we need to make a better world. With the threats we face, we need everyone in this fight.”

Specifically, Patagonia Action Works allows people to find environmental nonprofits based on issue and location. It also provides links for grassroots organisations who are new to Patagonia to apply for funding.

“If we could connect our community, friends and customers directly with local groups working on issues they are passionate about, suddenly these organisations would have the capacity to achieve even more,” said Lisa Pike Sheehy, vice president of environmental activism at Patagonia. “Everybody has a role to play in this movement.”

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