If you are not familiar with this face, please allow me to introduce one of my long time heroes, Yvon Chouinard. He is the creator of Patagonia, one of the most environmentally motivated and responsible product based businesses in the world.
Yvon considers himself an “accidental business man.” He was, and still is, an avid outdoor enthusiast. He didn’t set out to create Patagonia. He began by creating outdoor gear and clothing for himself and friends. Demand for his practical, high quality gear spread…and 50 years later, Patagonia is a commonly known brand.
As Patagonia has grown, Yvon’s love for nature has guided its evolution. At this point in time, Patagonia is truly an exemplary business model. Their principals are taking care of employees, customers, and above all else, planet. “There’s no business, if there’s no planet.” Make a quick google search of their advocacy for any of the above topics, and you will see they don’t do business as usual.
Patagonia encourages and accommodates employees recreation and outdoor advocacy. After an employee has worked for them for 1 year, they can take up to 2 months off (paid) to volunteer with an environmental organization or project. They have on sight child care, and they work 4 day work weeks, every other week. Their employee turn over rate is 4%.
For customers, Patagonia is a complete win. Their products are durable, effective, ethical and as sustainable as currently available. I’ve had some Patagonia pieces for over 15 years and they are still kicking! Patagonia will fix broken gear for you, and buy back quality used gear for credit. Used gear is available for purchase on their sight under Worn Wear. They will also send you parts and instructions for self repair. A few years back, they ran a year long gear fixing tour. They traveled the U.S. fixing Patagonia gear for customers.
As an Earth ally, Yvon and Patagonia are unmatched. Truly. In addition to reselling used gear, they are re-purposing used goods into new, unique pieces. They are continually pursuing more environmentally sound clothing production practices, and they encourage their customers to be conscious consumers. Patagonia has purchased large swaths of land for conservation, and taken legal action to protect public lands. They use their platform spread the word about environmental concerns and educate about ways to take action.
We all need heroes, examples, people to inspire and embolden us towards our dreams. Yvon is one of my heroes. He is an Earth revolutionary. He leads by example, and he has done so again.
In mid September, Yvon re-imagined capitalism and made Earth the only shareholder of Patagonia, a 1 billion dollar a year business.
“Truth be told, there were no good options available. So, we created our own.”
“Instead of ‘going public,’ you could say we’re ‘going purpose.'”
“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.”
“Here’s how it works: 100% of the company’s voting stock transfers to the Patagonia Purpose Trust, created to protect the company’s values; and 100% of the nonvoting stock had been given to the Holdfast Collective, a nonprofit dedicated to fighting the environmental crisis and defending nature. The funding will come from Patagonia: Each year, the money we make after reinvesting in the business will be distributed as a dividend to help fight the crisis.”
I truly believe that what we envision determines what we create.
I’ve envisioned Living Earth Naturals following in the path of businesses like Patagonia since it’s inception. I believe we can use our creativity and ingenuity to be kinder and more conscious. I believe we can make choices daily that have a positive impact for ourselves and all living things. I believe we can connect our personal and planetary care.
I highly recommend taking a few minutes to read Yvon Chouinard’s letter regarding this revolutionary move to protect our planet. It provides inspiration and hope in an unprecedented way. And if you need “new” gear, be sure to consider Patagonia. Your dollar is your vote, and just like your skincare, your clothing can do so much more.
Peace and Love, Brandi