Eco-conscious outdoor apparel brand Patagonia has a history of setting the bar high when it comes to environmentally-friendly practices and mindset. Now, the company’s billionaire founder Yvon Chouinard has set the bar even higher by giving away the company to a trust that will allocate its earnings to fighting the climate crisis.
Chouinard, who has a net worth of $1.2 billion, could have sold the company for a massive profit. Instead, Chouinard announced last Wednesday that the company’s voting stock would be transferred to the Patagonia Purpose Trust, and the non-voting stock would be given to the Holdfast Collective, a non-profit focused on fighting the environmental crises and defending nature.
“Each year, the money we make after reinvesting in the business will be distributed as a dividend to help fight the crisis,” Chouinard wrote in an open letter published on the company website.
“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.”
As reported by the New York Times, Patagonia itself will still be operating as a private, for-profit corporation, but the Chouinard family will not retain any ownership over it.