Earth: The New Owner of Patagonia


Zelda Fishman, Editor-in-Chief

The Founder of Patagonia, the outdoor apparel company, just made history as he gave away his company and all future proceeds. Yvon Chouinard was the owner who’s an avid mountaineer, skier, kayaker, and hiker. He always felt uncomfortable being labeled as a “billionaire”. It wasn’t in line with his values as an environmental activist. 

Patagonia was founded in 1973 in Ventura California and started as Chouinard selling hand-made outdoor equipment to his friends and family. The company is notorious for donating 1% of its profits to “the preservation and restoration of natural environment”  since 1985. Forbes released an article last year stating that Chouinard was a “billionaire” which made him wholeheartedly uncomfortable and guilty in a sense of having so much money and not doing something more constructive with it. The Holdfast Collective is the organization to which Patagonia donated its profits. The company mainly focuses on the conservation of land and fighting the environmental crisis. 

As he announced he was giving away his company, he also released a letter saying, “If we have any hope of a thriving planet 50 years from now, it demands all of us doing all we can with the resources we have. As the business leader I never wanted to be, I am doing my part.” He hopes to set an example for other businesses, big or small, to care about the environment and instead of taking, giving back. He concludes the letter with what has become somewhat of a famous quote, “Earth is now our only shareholder”.