Billionaire boss Yvon Chouinard is giving away ownership of their outdoor apparel company to fight the climate crisis, but what is the Patagonia brand?

It was confirmed today that the Patagonia brand founder and his family are giving away ownership in the outdoor apparel company he created almost fifty years ago to a trust and a non-profit devoted to fighting the environmental crisis.

What is Patagonia brand?

Founded by Yvon Chouinard in 1973, Patagonia is an American clothing company that markets and sells outdoor clothing. The first store opened in 1973 in Ventura, selling bespoke mountain climbing gear before expanding its product line to include apparel created for other outdoor sports such as surfing.

American outdoor clothing brand company Patagonia store seen...
Photo by Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

In an effort to be a sustainable company, Patagonia introduced the ‘Worn Wear’ concept in 2017 allowing customers to return particular Patagonia items in good condition in exchange for new merchandise credit.

Patagonia has additionally been involved in a number of environmental and political activist campaigns, including 1% of its total sales to environmental groups and 100% of sales from Black Friday to environmental organisations (that has totalled $10 million).

Patagonia given up for climate change

In a company announcement the 83-year-old founder said: ‘As of now, Earth is our only shareholder. ALL profits, in perpetuity, will go to our mission to “save our home planet”.’

It was confirmed the family will make a new structure for the company to allow it to go forward as a for-profit company, with proceeds will go to benefit environmental efforts.

‘If we have any hope of a thriving planet – much less a thriving business – 50 years from now, it is going to take all of us doing what we can with the resources we have,” said Chouinard continued. ‘This is another way we’ve found to do our part.’

Currently, the family has donated 2% of all stock and all decision-making authority to a trust, which will oversee the company’s mission and values.

The remaining 98% of the company’s stock will go to a nonprofit called the Holdfast Collective. The collective aims to “use every dollar received to fight the environmental crisis, protect nature and biodiversity, and support thriving communities, as quickly as possible” according to the statement.

Related Topics