I am sure many of us saw Patagonia in the recent headlines for their changes in ownership. For those who didn’t or may not know what this means, let’s recap.
Patagonia is known for its strong stance on environmental activism, helmed by founder Yvon Chouinard. Yvon Chouinard and spouse Malinda Pennoyer and their two kids have given up ownership of their family-owned outdoor gear and apparel company, which they ran and operated for over 50 years. The family will remain in the wings to ensure their true vision is being executed.
The family has since transferred all ownership to two new entities: Patagonia Purpose Trust and the Holdfast Collective. They designated every profit made to contribute to projects and organizations that will protect wild land and biodiversity and fight the climate crisis.
This information was made public on September 14, 2022, via a press release from Patagonia found here.
The New York Times estimated the company to be worth around $3 billion. Patagonia projects that they will now be donating roughly $100 million annually to said charities.
The Holdfast Collective, a non-profit organization, aiming to fight environmental crises, protect nature and biodiversity and support thriving communities, owns the remainder of the non-voting stock of Patagonia, or 98%. The Patagonia Purpose Trust, which now holds all of the company’s voting stock, or 2%, serves the purpose of legally backing this follow-through of the company’s true core values and purpose. This trust will be evaluated and overseen by the founding family and many of the late advisors.
Patagonia was already donating 1% of sales benefits annually to environmental activists and will continue to do this as a certified B-Corp and California Benefit Corporation. The new trust envisions a world where capitalism contributes positively to preserving our planet.
The CEO, Ryan Gellert, will remain the same and work alongside the Chouinard family, along with Patagonia’s board, to serve their new business philanthropy. Patagonia.com has updated to state that “Earth is now our only shareholder” and shares a letter directly from founder Yvon Chouinard.
Patagonia is a company truly dedicated to executing its purpose of saving this planet and should inspire other companies and organizations to consider if they are serving their own core values as a company.
Eleni Sterious, PRowl Secretary