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Patagonia Founder Donates Billion-Dollar Company To Save The Planet

Founded in 1973, the company now has a net worth of USD3 billion (RM13.6 billion).

Cover image via Forbes & Patagonia (Facebook)

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Yvon Chouinard, rock climber and founder of Patagonia, announced that he is donating the billion-dollar company

On Wednesday, 15 September, Chouinard announced, in a letter posted on the company's website, that he is donating Patagonia, the billion-dollar outdoor apparel company, to a non-profit organisation aimed at saving the planet.

In the letter, he wrote, "We needed to find a way to put more money into fighting the crisis while keeping the company's values intact."

Patagonia, that had started as a way for Chouinard to make climbing gears for himself and his friends, is the world's leading sustainable company. In 1993, Patagonia collaborated with the world's largest plastic company to produce jackets made from soda bottles.

True to Patagonia's mission towards sustainability, Chouinard decided that selling the company or going public just isn't the right choice

Selling Patagonia and donating all the money from it was one of the options he had considered. However, doubts about a new owner's ability to maintain Patagonia's values and the risk of job loss for the global team had deterred the idea.

On the option to take Patagonia public, Chouinard said, "Even public companies with good intentions are under too much pressure to create short-term gain at the expense of long-term vitality and responsibility."

"Instead of extracting value from nature and transforming it into wealth for investors, we'll use the wealth Patagonia creates to protect the source for all wealth"

All of the company's voting stock will be transferred to the Patagonia Purpose Trust that was created in line with the company's vision and mission. Holdfast Collective, a non-profit organisation dedicated to fighting climate crisis, were transferred all of Patagonia's non-voting stock

"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," Chouinard clarified.

As the ending to the letter, the philanthropist said that in 50 years, it will take all of our resources to ensure that the planet thrives.

As of now, Patagonia will continue to operate as a private, non-profit company, but Chouinard and his family no longer own Patagonia

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