Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard just gave away the ownership of his apparel company that he started some 50 years ago. All profits will be going directly to organizations that aim to protect wild land and biodiversity as well as fight the climate crisis.
According to the New York Times, the company is worth about $3 billion.
In a letter about the decision, published on the Patagonia website, Chouinard says:
"While we're doing our best to address the environmental crisis, it's not enough. We needed to find a way to put more money into fighting the crisis while keeping the company's values intact. One option was to sell Patagonia and donate all the money. But we couldn't be sure a new owner would maintain our values or keep our team of people around the world employed.
Another path was to take the company public. What a disaster that would have been. 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. Truth be told, there were no good options available. So, we created our own."
The privately held company's stock will now be owned by a climate-focused trust and a group of nonprofit organizations called the Patagonia Purpose Trust and the Holdfast Collective, respectively.
In a recent statement, the company said, "every dollar that is not reinvested back into Patagonia will be distributed as dividends to protect the planet."