Yvon Chouinard, the wealthy creator of fashion brand Patagonia, is donating his entire business to a nonprofit to fight climate change. Inspired by his enthusiasm for rock climbing, the 83-year-old philanthropist built the company into an internationally successful sportswear brand. The company’s current net worth is $3 billion, according to The New York Times. Yvon Chouinard made the statement on Patagonia on the brand’s website on September 14. In 2018, the company’s mission statement was changed to “We are working to preserve our home planet,” according to the website.
The post went on to say:
“While we are doing everything we can to resolve the environmental situation, it is not enough.” We had to figure out how to invest more money in fighting the problem while preserving the company’s ideals. One possibility was to sell Patagonia and donate the proceeds. But we couldn’t be sure that a new owner would uphold our ideals or keep our global team of employees employed.”
The message continued:
“Another option was to go public with the company. That would have been a tragedy. Even well-meaning public companies are under too much pressure to maximize short-term profits at the expense of long-term vitality and accountability. Frankly, there were no viable alternatives. So we made it ourselves.”
Yvon Chouinard is considering setting up a method for the sportswear company to generate revenues that benefit its environmental activities. The benefactor works with his wife, Malinda Pennoyer, and his two children, Claire Chouinard and Fletcher Chouinard, as well as a group of corporate lawyers.
Patagonia was founded in 1973 by millionaire Yvon Chouinard.
Born in Maine on November 9, 1938, Yvon Chouinard founded Patagonia in 1973. The company has annual retail sales of $1 billion and Yvon Chouinard’s net worth is $100 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Chouinard revealed that the Patagonia Purpose Trust and the Holdfast Collective would hold the fashion apparel stock in its statement about giving the company away. The first is a climate-focused non-profit, while the second is a coalition of non-governmental organizations.
This is amazing. Rather than sell his company, Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard is giving the company away. Valued at $3 billion, it will go to trusts and nonprofits that will ensure that all of their $100 million a year profit goes toward fighting climate change. pic.twitter.com/yQnD2Nav7d
— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) September 14, 2022
The company’s board members will not be affected by the September 14 transfer. Ryan Gellert will continue as CEO of Patagonia, while the Chouinard family will remain on the board, following the founder’s increasingly altruistic stance. Yvon Chouinard and his organization are known for their commitment to environmental concerns and worker well-being. In the 1980s, the company began donating 1% of its profits to environmental organizations. According to the organization, the campaign has raised $140 million in contributions to environmental conservation and restoration.
The company currently supplies new and used outdoor clothing, camping and fishing equipment, as well as food and drinks made from sustainable sources. He married Malinda Pennoyer in 1971 when she was a student at California State University, Fresno. They have two children, Clair and Fletcher, as previously mentioned.