The Christian Science Monitor

Outdoor gear with a side of politics: More retailers embrace activism

When Columbia Sportswear took out a full-page ad in The Washington Post denouncing the government shutdown last month, it wasn’t the result of a long deliberation.

“That one came more from the heart,” says Peter Bragdon, Columbia’s chief administrative officer and general counsel. The “Make America’s parks open again” ad came together in a few hours, as the result of what he describes as “strong feelings about something that needed to be addressed.”

Columbia was just the latest outdoor-gear company to speak out on issues such as public lands and climate change, in some cases taking on President Trump directly.

While environmental advocacy is hardly new to many of these companies, the industry as a whole is becoming an increasingly

‘The president stole your land’But will customers respond?

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