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Patagonia attire firm has hidden voting message for patrons

Tourists exit the Patagonia outdoor clothing store in Vail, Colorado.

Robert Alexander | Getty Images

Outdoor apparel company Patagonia has developed a unique way to encourage its customers to express their environmental concerns: a label called "Vote the a – hole out" is woven into some of its new shorts.

Outlander Magazine was the first to cover the news and posted a weekend tweet highlighting the activist message. A Patagonia spokeswoman, Tessa Byers, confirmed to NBC News that the 2020 organic stand-up shorts "Men and Women On the Path to Regeneration" have the message under the inside label.

"We've been fighting climate deniers for almost as long as we've been making these shorts," Byers said. The message is not explicitly aimed at the current government, but is one that Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard has used for years, according to Byers.

"It refers to politicians from any party who deny or ignore the climate crisis and ignore science, not because they are ignorant of it, but because their pockets are filled with money from oil and gas interests," Byers said.

The move from the California-based activist brand stems from nearly 100 wildfires burning millions of acres on the west coast and amid a string of lawsuits from cities across the country alleging the oil and gas industry misleading its role in climate change .

It's not the first time Patagonia has hit the headlines for trying to hold politicians accountable for their actions. In 2017, the company sued President Donald Trump after he issued a proclamation to reduce the size of Utah's bear ears and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments.

While Trump argued that he would undo the federal reach, tribal leaders and environmentalists said the president's move would endanger an abundance of Native American artifacts, dinosaur fossils, and harsh spaces.

Patagonia's New Day has received mixed reviews, with some dismissing it as a marketing ploy while others thanking the company for its longstanding social activism and hoping the day will spark positive change.

"With parts of our country literally on fire and being destroyed by the effects of climate change, this couldn't be more welcome," tweeted Senator Jen Jordan, D-Ga. "It is long past listening to the experts and doing something. Vote like your planet is on fire!"

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