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how patagonia is changing the world

yesterday, september 14th, 2022, founder of patagonia yvon chouinard gave away his 3 billion dollar company stating the soon-to-be iconic phrase "earth is now our only shareholder."

the self-proclaimed "reluctant businessman" started patagonia in 1973, after making climbing gear and apparel for him and his friends. realizing how much the fashion industry spoon feeds the global climate crisis, once he entered into it, he knew that patagonia had to be built in a way that would help combat climate change. and that's exactly what he did, and will continue to do.

yvon chouinard's open letter

how patagonia is helping the earth:

this doesn't even include all their future plans to continue to combat climate change.

so what does this recent news mean for the company & the earth?

despite their historical efforts to help save the planet, yvon claims "it’s not enough."..."each year, the money we make after reinvesting in the business will be distributed as a dividend to help fight the crisis," says yvon, in his open letter

though making the company public, or selling it, would make the founder and his family exorbitant amounts of money, he chose to take a different route. like chouinard said, "i never wanted to be a businessman".

the holdfast collective

this not-for-profit is being funded by 100% of the nonvoting stocks of patagonia. they "will use every dollar received to fight the environmental crisis, protect nature and biodiversity, and support thriving communities, as quickly as possible", as stated on patagonia's site.

patagonia purpose trust

"the patagonia purpose trust was created solely to protect our company’s values and mission. It owns all of the voting stock of the company." this trust, along with the companies ceo, will be running the business moving forward. patagonia's values will be maintained through this initiative. 

what we can learn from patagonia

patagonia's mission was to change the way business was done, in a way that didn't hurt people, or the environment. in chouinard's book titled "let my people go surfing", his goal was to “use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” 

the book was aptly named after patagonia's policy that allowed employees to enjoy their life outside work with a flexible work schedule. "when the waves are good, surf. when there’s powder on the mountains, ski."

surfing

this historical decision will undoubtedly change the business world. hopefully it will encourage other billion-dollar companies to pursue earth-saving endeavours. 

if you're not a business owner, and just a person, hopefully this will inspire you to create positive change in your everyday life. hopefully it will prove to you that supporting a sustainable business can make a difference. hopefully, changes like this will help us and our ecosystems live a little bit longer and happier.

“at patagonia, making a profit is not the goal because the zen master would say profits happen 'when you do everything else right'.” - yvon chouinard

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