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WASHINGTON – Several US apparel brands, including Eileen Fisher, Patagonia, Levi Strauss and Deckers, are backing a campaign urging people to vote in the forthcoming US election. The brands are backing the Time to Vote campaign, a nonpartisan effort led by CEOs, aimed at increasing voter participation. Collectively, CEOs from across the country have expressed concern about voter participation and committed to encouraging their employees to vote in the upcoming elections.

The US has one of the lowest voter participation rates in the developed world, recently as low as 36 percent, and one of the most common reasons that people give for not voting is that they are too busy, or have work and life demands that prevent them from voting.

The Time to Vote campaign aims to increase awareness about the steps employers can take to allow time for their employees to vote. The companies joining the campaign are said to be committed to increasing voter participation through programmes such as paid time off, a day without meetings and resources for mail-in ballots and early voting.

“I believe that each of us can be a catalyst for change,” said Eileen Fisher, founder of Eileen Fisher, Inc. “When we exercise our right to vote, we can have a profound impact. As the founder of a values-based company, I want to encourage every employee – across our entire organisation – to exercise their right to create change. Any opportunity that allows us to make a difference in our communities is of vital importance.”

“People have fought and died for the right to vote in America and as business leaders we have a role to play in helping our employees participate in the democratic process,” added Levi Strauss & Co president and CEO Chip Bergh. “This campaign isn’t about any particular party or candidate or issue – it’s about encouraging more people to vote without having to make the hard choice between going to work and going to the polls.”

“Our democracy simply works better when people go vote,” said Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario. “Demonstrating your company’s commitment to voting reinforces the idea that American businesses can protect our democracy. I have been heartened to see business leaders from every corner of the country and across a range of industries prioritising the health of our democracy and I look forward to seeing this movement grow.”

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