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Patagonia founder gives away company

Words by Smiley Team

In a massive win for climate action, the founder of the sportswear brand, Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard has decided to donate the entire company with the express goal of funding organizations addressing climate change. 

On September 14, Chouinard announced that he would be giving the entire company and its profits over to a specially structured trust and non-profit designed to take all income and designate it to funding programs to help the planet.

“As of now, Earth is our only shareholder,” the company announced. “ALL profits, in perpetuity, will go to our mission to ‘save our home planet’.”

Patagonia will still continue to work as a for-profit company but Chouinard, 83, his wife, and two children as well as teams of company lawyers worked to create a structure where all profits will be flipped into funding for climate 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 in a statement. “This is another way we’ve found to do our part.”

Chouinard’s family donated 2% of all stock and all decision-making authority to the aforementioned trust, which will oversee the company’s mission and values. The other 98% of the company’s stock will go to a non-profit called the Holdfast Collective, which “will 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.

“Instead of ‘going public’, you could say we’re ‘going purpose’,” said Chouinard. “Instead of extracting value from nature and transforming it into wealth for investors, we’ll use the wealth Patagonia creates to protect the source of all wealth.”

Inspired to Act?

DONATE: The National Resources Defense Council is an environmental advocacy organization fighting for the climate. Consider donating. 

SUPPORT: Anything you purchase from Patagonia now will contribute to this cause, so that’s one form of support.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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