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Patagonia donates company to help fight for the Environment

By Emmanuel Rivera, Staff Writer

During this past week, owner of the premium outerwear brand, Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard and family donated 98 percent of the shares from the $3 billion dollar company into a trust and 501(c)(4) not for profit organization called the Holdfast Collective. The Holdfast Collective is an organization whose main goal is ​​“to fight the environmental crisis, protect nature and biodiversity, and support thriving communities.” The organization achieves this by making grants and investments to people, organizations and other companies that help fight for the protection of global environments and natural spaces. 

The remaining 2 percent of the company’s profits are being put into a separate trust called, The Patagonia Purpose Trust, whose main goal is to take the 2 percent and reinvest it back into Patagonia. The Patagonia Purpose Trust is focused on making the company as successful as possible and continuing to make the highest quality products and outerwear, so that they can ensure the company can continue giving back the 98 percent of the excess profits to the environment. 

The Holdfast Collective will have no power of decision making over Patagonia and the company’s direction or main mission. The Collective is strictly there to give back to the environment and help fight for environmental causes. The Patagonia Purpose Trust which is made up of the owning family and their advisors, will be incharge of who sits on the board of the trust, what direction the company wants to go in the future, and key decisions to protect the values and main goals of Patagonia. 

Fans of the brand praised Patagonia’s changes and hope to see other brands follow in their footsteps.

“I think what Yvon Chouinard and his family are doing is a great step forward not only for the environment but for business as well. Patagonia is setting a great example to other major corporations and organizations on how large well off companies can give back to the community and the World, while still maintaining their position in a competitive environment. It’s great to see a company whose main goal is exactly as stated unlike other companies who say one thing and do another. We see time and time again billionaires donating tiny fractions of wealth while maintaining the majority and basically doing nothing for the cause in which they so righteously boast about helping. Patagonia is paving the way for how business is done and what it means to be a socially responsible and competitive organization,” said alumni business major Chase Diliberto.

Yvon Chouinard in the past has been known to have a blasé approche business and has in the past given back to the environment and the outdoor community in many ways. This new direction for Patagonia has created a buzz all around the world and many people are tuned in to see what happens to Patagonia in the coming months after this major step forward. 

“Patagonia’s new direction has definitely gotten the attention of the outdoor and business communities across the globe, and will be in the spotlight for some time while this new and monumental move for not only the environment but big business plays out. Patagonia is at the forefront of Organizations taking causes into their own hands to help innovate and make outstanding long lasting changes in areas that need attention and funding. These billion dollar companies have the ability to change the world and make it a better place for everyone, and it’s great to see a company like Patagonia get the ball rolling in such a tremendous way,” said Diliberto.

In an exclusive interview with the New York Times, Chouinard had this to say about the company’s new direction.

 “Hopefully this will influence a new form of capitalism that doesn’t end up with a few rich people and a bunch of poor people. We are going to give away the maximum amount of money to people who are actively working on saving this planet.”

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