Patagonian founder donates his company to defend the planet

Patagonian founder donates his company to defend the planet

Patagonian founder donates his company to defend the planet

The company, which specializes in outdoor clothing, will now be owned by a trust and its profits will be donated to an ecological association.

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The founder of the outdoor clothing brand Patagonia, known for its pro-environmental stance, wants to do even more for the planet and has decided, at 83, to simply donate his business. Yvon Chouinard could have sold the brand, valued at three billion dollars according to the New York Timesor make it public.

In agreement with his wife and two children, he decided instead to transfer 100% of their shares in the company to a fund dedicated to respecting its values, and to an association that fights against the environmental crisis and the protection of nature. , to which the proceeds will be donated. “The Earth is now our only shareholder”he wrote in a letter posted on the Patagonian website.

“I never wanted to be a businessman. I started out as a craftsman, making climbing gear for me and my friends before moving on to clothing.”, remember. Founded almost fifty years ago, the Patagonia brand immediately committed itself to protecting nature, carefully choosing its raw materials or donating 1% of its sales each year to environmental NGOs.

But that was not enough, judged its founder. “One option was to sell Patagonia and give all the money away. But we couldn’t be sure that a new owner would keep our values ​​or keep all of our employees.”, he says in his letter. And taking public Patagonia would have been “a disaster”provides: “Even well-intentioned listed companies are under too much pressure to create short-term gains at the expense of long-term vitality and responsibility”.

Patagonia will remain a company with a focus on its financial health and will operate with a board of directors and a general manager. The Chouinard family will continue to do so “guide” the work of the trust and the association.

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