The founder of the outdoor clothing company Patagonia announced Wednesday that he is giving away the company and transferring it to a specially designed trust so its profits will be used to fight the climate crisis.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Yvon Chouinard, 83, said that rather than “going public,” the company is “going purpose.” The news was first reported by the New York Times.
“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,” the statement reads.
The trust, named the Patagonia Purpose Trust, will hold all the company’s voting shares. The nonvoting stock “will be given to the Holdfast Collective, a nonprofit dedicated to fighting the environmental crisis and defending nature,” per the statement.
Chouinard explained that he didn’t want to sell the $3 billion company to another owner as he “couldn’t be sure a new owner would maintain our values or keep our team of people around the world employed.”
The Patagonia Purpose Trust will be funded by Patagonia, per the announcement, and each year the profits will be distributed to help fight the climate crisis. Chouinard told the New York Times the effort would be focused on preserving wildlands and other nature-based climate solutions. The Holdfast Collective will also be able to lobby and donate to political campaigns as a 501(c)(4) organization.
“Despite its immensity, the Earth’s resources are not infinite, and it’s clear that we’ve exceeded its limits,” Chouinard said in his statement. “But it’s also resilient. We can save our planet if we commit to it.”