Patagonia’s billionaire owner Yvon Chouinard has donated his entire company to a charitable trust fighting the ongoing climate crisis.
The 83-year-old, who founded Patagonia in 1973, has decided to allow the fashion brand to operate from now on as a not-for-profit company.
Having worked with his wife, two children, and company lawyers to create the new structure, all profits not reinvested in running the business will now go straight to environmental efforts.
“Earth is now our only shareholder. If we have any hope of a thriving planet–much less a business–it is going to take all of us doing what we can with the resources we have,” Chouinard said in a statement.
“Despite its immensity, the Earth’s resources are not infinite, and it’s clear we’ve exceeded its limits. But it’s also resilient. We can save our planet if we commit to it,” he continued.
Chouinard admitted himself he “never wanted to be a businessman,” and now he will be stepping back while helping what he loves most – the outdoor planet.
As well as founding and leading Patagonia for nearly five decades, the American-born businessman has always been an avid rock climber and environmentalist.
He was one of the leading climbers in the ‘Golden Age of Yosemite Climbing’ and was one of the protagonists in the 2014 film ‘Valley Uprising’.
Chouinard hopes his decision can have a positive impact on Patagonia’s priorities going forward. He said: “We need to find a way to put more money into fighting the crisis while keeping the company’s values intact.
“Instead of ‘going public,’ you could say we’re ‘going purpose’. Truth be told, there were no good options available. So we created our own.”