Patagonia Founder Gives His Company Away

Stu Nettle picture
Stu Nettle (stunet)
Swellnet Dispatch

Yvon Chouinard, the elderly founder of Patagonia has decided against selling his company to enjoy his dotage. Instead, he's giving it to a charitable trust to fund environmental campaigns in perpetuity.

Chouinard, who's 83 years old and founded Patagonia 50 years ago, said that under a new ownership structure, any profit not reinvested in running the business would go to fighting climate change.

The following letter was written by Chouinard and appeared on Patagonia's website overnight.

By Yvon Chouinard

I never wanted to be a businessman. I started as a craftsman, making climbing gear for my friends and myself, then got into apparel. As we began to witness the extent of global warming and ecological destruction, and our own contribution to it, Patagonia committed to using our company to change the way business was done. If we could do the right thing while making enough to pay the bills, we could influence customers and other businesses, and maybe change the system along the way.

We started with our products, using materials that caused less harm to the environment. We gave away 1% of sales each year. We became a certified B Corp and a California benefit corporation, writing our values into our corporate charter so they would be preserved. More recently, in 2018, we changed the company’s purpose to: We’re in business to save our home planet.

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.

“Truth be told, there were no good options available. So, we created our own.”

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.

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.

It’s been nearly 50 years since we began our experiment in responsible business, and we are just getting started. If we have any hope of a thriving planet—much less a thriving business—50 years from now, it is going to take all of us doing what we can with the resources we have. This is another way we’ve found to do our part.

Despite its immensity, the Earth’s resources are not infinite, and it’s clear we’ve exceeded its limits. But it’s also resilient. We can save our planet if we commit to it.

Comments

brownie48's picture
brownie48's picture
brownie48 Thursday, 15 Sep 2022 at 3:37pm

Such a great benchmark and I love their gear event though its expensive I would rather buy that and see any profits go this way than any other corporate greedy shits who are only looking after themselves "and the shareholders"...

Great news indeed!

PeteH's picture
PeteH's picture
PeteH Thursday, 15 Sep 2022 at 3:52pm

This is an extreme rarity in the Corporate world these days and hats off to Patagonia for doing so and setting an example. I have also bought a fair bit of their gear over the years including wetties and it is well made, fit for purpose and goes the distance. I will continue to buy with this latest announcement.

radiationrules's picture
radiationrules's picture
radiationrules Thursday, 15 Sep 2022 at 4:15pm

"Instead of “going public,” you could say we’re “going purpose.” > what a great idea > I'm a little cynical that it's green-washing - but will watch & buy with hope - coz' the 3 majors are profit-driven public companies, built-on products with built-in obsolescence.

DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet Thursday, 15 Sep 2022 at 4:26pm

Alternative headline :

“Billionaire octogenarian, who’s inter generational wealth means his descendants never need or want for money again, preserves his legacy with a very public pseudo-philanthropic announcement.”

Key quote : “I never wanted to be a businessman…….. then got into apparel.”

Seduced by cash and now laundering his name with the usual corporate greenwash.

No one made him create demand for products by advertising his wares for decades. Now he’s looking at the final event horizon, he's taken his hands off the business wheel. Worth $1.8B Australian dollars at 83 years old he’s now saying he’s got enough cash and walking away. Whacko cobber!

As long as punters are still able to buy Patagonia jumpers, with their discrete virtue signalling logo of course- not too flashy but you want your peers to know you really, really care for the planet - the Earth will be a much better place!

What we need is the woke corporate equivalent of a knighthood so that crew like this can buy their accolades behind the scenes rather than having to get Big Ups from their own press releases.

Here’s a genuine philanthropic environmental option : Use your personal wealth to buy $1.8 billion worth of planet earth and protect it from rape. Like the hundreds of thousands of unsung environmentalists are doing everyday without massaging their own egos vis press release.

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout Thursday, 15 Sep 2022 at 5:01pm

You'd find a way to whinge about cancer being cured. Go wet a line Blowy, hope you're well mate.

DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet Thursday, 15 Sep 2022 at 6:05pm

Pffft

Call it as I see it. I’ve got all the time in the world for those who do good deeds without issuing cult of personality promos about their own doubtful net contributions to worthy causes.

And thanks for the good thoughts. They mean a lot. Focused Positive thought in itself is an unquantifiable, yet very powerful gift. Same back atcha! I applaud Yvon for his thoughts…the rest ….meh.

conrico's picture
conrico's picture
conrico Thursday, 15 Sep 2022 at 8:28pm

Cmon mate. I get where you’re coming from but still very generous

GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 7:55am

If my memory serves me right blowin he has done exactly what you want him to do years ago, that is, buying up a large chunk of Patagonia for environmental protection!

JackStance's picture
JackStance's picture
JackStance Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 9:12am

100% DSDS.

Not every predator is a billionaire, but every billionaire is a predator. Capitalism will let you starve to death while sitting meters away from food.

Me, a naive idiot: "The world can be saved by a mass-scale shift in human consciousness into a healthy relationship with mental narrative."

Smart, realistic person: "No that’s stupid and impractical. The world will be saved by monopolistic profit-chasing tech oligarchs."

Billionaires and billionaire corporations own our media, influence our thinking, manipulate our economies, interfere in our politics, determine the fate of our ecosystem, and shape our world. And they are the very LEAST qualified among us to be doing so.

credit: Caitlin Johnston.

philosurphizingkerching's picture
philosurphizingkerching's picture
philosurphizing... Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 9:34am

Bill Gates owns 270,000 acres of American farmland.
Chinese companies own 192,000 acres of American farmland.
https://www.newsweek.com/bill-gates-north-dakota-land-purchase-sparks-qu...

JackStance's picture
JackStance's picture
JackStance Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 9:54am

I think they've got some kind of inkling of a vision for humanity.

And given the immense coordination of that entire class, say for example via the WEF administering values and a general direction to the Elite class, I'd say that the era of rugged individualism for 'the people' needs to come to an end.

IMV there the most dangerous conspiracies are those that happen in broad daylight. They are openly spoken about on major forums.

Most importantly is that we've got to unite along class/economic lines. That is the number threat. The response to which is the continual propaganda assault on 'the people' aimed at dividing us along any line other than economic/class. Be it race, gender, left v right politic, vaccination status.. you name it.. anything but economics.

So whenever we find ourselves hating liberal voters, labour voters, greens, First Nations supporters or haters, LGBTI supporters or haters, vaccination supporters or haters, Russia supporters or haters, China supporters or haters, State of origin supporters or haters.... just remember we are bein propagandised along any line other than economic/class.

Farrrrk, could you imagine us, 'the people' respecting one another and putting all of our differences aside and looking at who owns all the wealth?

Rome was not built in a day, but it was destroyed in three.

Johan Wohlleben's picture
Johan Wohlleben's picture
Johan Wohlleben Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 9:53pm

That makes a lot of sense! Create division through peripheral issues at all costs to avoid the unwashed masses from being able to have any perception of their economic manipulation.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno Thursday, 22 Sep 2022 at 7:10pm

Top stuff there JS, absolutely superb..

(shift topic, one thing about the Bill Gates 270,000acres of farmland trope - that really isn't all that much land. Everyone goes on as if it is much of the country, but I married into a farming family with 14,000 acres or so, and it's not an easy life. Bill only has 20 times this amount, not like 2000 times or so).

wavie's picture
wavie's picture
wavie Saturday, 17 Sep 2022 at 4:29am

who owns even more farmland then bill gates and china? the roman catholic church

bdp's picture
bdp's picture
bdp Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 3:27pm

As soon as you use the terms 'virtue-signalling' and 'woke' you know how this rant is going to go. He's been 'waking' since 1973 mate. You went on this little tantrum without even doing any research. Come on. you are better than this.

FrothVonHog's picture
FrothVonHog's picture
FrothVonHog Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 7:02pm

Well said this man ! could not have said it better myself.

andy-mac's picture
andy-mac's picture
andy-mac Saturday, 17 Sep 2022 at 12:14pm

Have you read his biography and know his story?
Thought not....

calk's picture
calk's picture
calk Thursday, 15 Sep 2022 at 4:22pm

This is pretty bloody inspiring.

A perfect example of putting your money where your mouth is.

The company is worth $3billion USD ($4.44billion AUD).

DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet Thursday, 15 Sep 2022 at 4:37pm

I don’t get how it’s inspiring?

His family and himself have no need for more money, so at a very, very advanced age he relinquishes control and turns his rag trade business over to self sustaining mode?

Wow

The world is brimming with unwanted clothes because they aren’t fashionable. How about promoting clothing recycling instead of releasing new seasons lines for half a century and buying ads in pulped paper print magazines in order to create demand to sell it?

I’ve personally encountered half a dozen people, all from the same tiny town , just in the last day, who’ve done far more to further both the reality and the spirit of practical environmentalism than this bloke. Too bad they don’t have their own promo teams to get the message of their good deeds out into the celebrity recognition sphere.

calk's picture
calk's picture
calk Thursday, 15 Sep 2022 at 4:55pm

He’s handed his company over to a trust where profits that aren’t reinvested into the company will be distributed as dividends to a not for profit.

What else would you have him do?

Yes, the company sells clothes and clothes make up a ridiculous amount of our land fill but far as these businesses go his is (and has been) one of the most kind to our earth.

I’m pretty sure Patagonia have a ‘free repair’ setup to promote people fixing their existing clothes rather than buying more…

What’s inspiring about it? He’s clearly happy and content enough that he’s effectively given his life’s work away.

DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet Thursday, 15 Sep 2022 at 5:58pm

Huh?

He’s worth $1.8 billion Australian.

Earned by shipping branded merchandise around the planet after creating demand through advertising.

What’s he given up besides a slot through the Panama Canal otherwise taken up by a container ship full of Patagonia merchandise? Oh wait….the container ships are still going to traverse the globe burning oil but….the money earned will go to saving the planet!*

So selfless!

* After corporate overheads such as advertising the brand’s green credentials have been deducted.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Thursday, 15 Sep 2022 at 5:02pm

Think your cynicism has blinded you to the main gist of the story. It's not really about Yvon Chouinard but the many enviro campaigns that'll now be financially armed to fight battles where the advantage heavily falls to the other side.

Many people in your town able to do that?

Also, not that it matters, but Pata promote clothing recycling.

DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet Thursday, 15 Sep 2022 at 5:51pm

Fuck yeah. Battles being fought with very limited means. Crew on the razor’s edge of financial oblivion doing every thing their power to secure a chunk of Earth in order to protect it from destruction. Money up front instead of skimming the minimal layer off the profit margin. Not some billionaire who’s reached a post- money stage of life who’s only now giving over the non-direct slice of his wealth to create a perpetual branding niche as champions of the environment.

Excuse me for not swallowing the octogenarian billionaire’s line about prioritising the planet over material wealth. How can I not be cynical about a company spewing out constantly updated fashion lines so as to generate profit which then gets spun into an “Earth care” marketing niche?

You reckon I should shirt front the hippies a few properties down the street and tell them that the best way to save the planet is to create an international supply chain of fashion-cycle obsolescent leisure wear, and to mitigate reality by donating a massive, huge 1% of sales towards counteracting the globalised business model of shipping a jumper thousands of kilometres from source to manufacture to retail?

You think the hippies are on the wrong path with their unheralded purchasing of environmentally desecrated land with funds earned amongst the local community, and their consequent sequestration of that wealth back into saving the remaining vestiges of natural habitat?

This Patagonia bloke was apparently shoehorned into establishing an extremely profitable global empire ( lol) , the net environmental benefits of which are highly touted whilst also highly dubious , and here we have a press release stating that he’s content to walk away with $1.8 billion at the fag end of life….and we are supposed to applaud?

Seriously….if this fella has a plot of land that he’s rewilded then I will stand up and salute him. Until then it’s just more corpo greenwashing of the type “ Look how much restraint I showed chasing profit after my first $500 million”.

BTW…..the hippies a couple of blocks over made their yurts by hand out of clay they dug up on site. And there’s thousands and thousands of crew just like them around the world. Where’s their international corpo press release seeking post humous sainthood ?

And that’s what this press release is about. Maintaining the faux environmental credentials of a corporation that sends branded T-Shirts around the globe in order to generate profit which can be used to exculpate the act of sending branded T Shirtd around the globe.

It’s the type of press release that deserves both a yawn and a primal scream of frustration. The pure fucken cynicism of their behaviour!

The best solution , the only solution which allows for a hint of sanity is to pretend not to see it I guess. Do as Kurt suggested and just shrug it off …..” Whatever, nevermind”

As you were . All take the knee for the billionaire rag tradesman, shipping containers full of branded merchandise around the planet, with a heart of environmental gold….

mugofsunshine's picture
mugofsunshine's picture
mugofsunshine Thursday, 15 Sep 2022 at 6:05pm

Have you read "Let my people go fishing" Blowin? It's a good read.
Are you aware that after Trump got in and cut taxes for business that at the end of the first year Patagonia calculated how much they'd saved ($13.7m US) and donated it to non-profit environmental groups?

DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet Thursday, 15 Sep 2022 at 6:14pm

Haven’t read it.

Does it address the fact that the best way a billionaire international fashion-driven rag trader can protect the planet is by ceasing to be an international fashion-driven rag trader?

Cause everything beyond that is marketing spin.

geek's picture
geek's picture
geek Thursday, 15 Sep 2022 at 7:18pm

No clothing (or wetsuit) brand comes close to to the quality and environmental creds as Patagonia. So you would prefer they go away and we make our own clothes or something?

I have a few long sleeve tees and a couple jackets and jumpers I literally wear all day every day for years now and they still look like new. The couple of patagonia wetsuits I’ve had have outlasted any other brand too. He’s a billionaire because he makes damn good product

JackStance's picture
JackStance's picture
JackStance Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 9:42am

Stu, in my view, DSDS is raising really important points about greenwashing, because it speaks directly to propaganda that we agree with.

Propaganda that we agree with is the hardest to isolate and minimise it influence on our thinking. See covid hooha for example.

In my view, the issue of the uncritical acceptance of a press release from any billionaire, and this one in particular, is the assumed narrative that accompanies it.

Given the environment trajectory of the world, where are the key solutions going to come from? Governments? Big Tech oligarchs? The billionaire class aka the beneficiaries of capitalism, which is premised on propaganda?

In my view it is utterly deluded to think the real solutions will come of any section go this conglomerate, otherwise known as corporatism: where regulatory bodies, and the State are captured by corporate/elite interests.

So sure, maybe the billionaires greenwashing which plays deeply into our hopes and cultural biases is legit, and pata one good apple on a rotten tree, but be cognisant and defensive of the value package it imports into our psyche.

That value package colonises our psyche.

It's a corporate psychic colonisation.

The 'corporate entity' of which is the archetype. It sits in the centre of the collective psyche of any corporation, and any society whose practical overlord is a class of large corporations. In some ways pretty much all of us face it, and serve it, just as we are colonised to do so.

And it serves one thing: profit.

In my view, we should take great care to no automatically reject DSDS's resistance to the cheering on of a billionaire and his empire. DSDS has made factual critiques of the environmental harm required to build such an empire, and also appears to be commenting on the structure of capitalism that is destroying the world.

It's a finite world. And for capitalism to continue indefinitely, it requires infinite resources. That is a fact.

SO any press release by any billionaire that doesn't denounce capitalism must surely serve as a red flag to our propaganda detectors, no matter our biases.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 10:24am

Bit of a stretch..?

DSDS isn't denouncing capitalism.

He's shown himself to be well on the side of the capitalists, and even spoken about enjoying the fruits of his toil working for mining capitalists, and also for investing on the sharemarket.

A common theme of DSDS' posts are personal restraint, and, knowing the story of Yvon Chouinard, I would've thought he'd be right on board with him as Chouinard has bucked the capitalist system by steering the company, not with Smith's invisible hand, but by his own principles. At all times he's been more stringent with regulations, more generous with workers, and more charitable with money. Many times he's taken on campaigns that make no sense according to business laws, but they abide by his belief system.

Understand that the US biz establishment celebrates people who abide by the rapacious precepts of US capitalism and here's someone who showed restraint and principle in taking the hard road.

Basically what DSDS has drawn is a big blunt instrument to put every rich businessman in the same basket without knowing anything about the company or the man. He's shown that with a few statements made. I'd advise him to read a bit and not assume all business = bad. Especially when the profits have been, and will now forever, be used to improve the environment.

JackStance's picture
JackStance's picture
JackStance Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 10:36am

Reconstructing the meaning of my words "... and also appears to be commenting on the structure of capitalism that is destroying the world." to equate your construction of my words as "DSDS isn't denouncing capitalism."

is intellectually dishonest in my opinion.

Of course I am not across the history of everything DSDS has ever said on SW.

However, my understanding of the relevant quote by DSDS that is the subject of this discourse, is an understanding that DSDS also "APPEARS to be commenting on the structure of capitalism that is destroying the world."

Which, is very different to DSDS denouncing capitalism.

Please fight cleanly.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 10:44am

No, I said you denounced capitalism:

"SO any press release by any billionaire that doesn't denounce capitalism must surely serve as a red flag to our propaganda detectors, no matter our biases."

You are, he isn't.

Ergo you're arguing from a false position of consensus.

JackStance's picture
JackStance's picture
JackStance Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 11:07am

It is plain as day that I am denouncing capitalism. because it is killing the world.

But getting back to what I perceive as a misconstruction:

Your comment reads to me like you are saying that I, in effect, said that DSDS is denouncing capitalism. presumably on the basis of this: "... and also appears to be commenting on the structure of capitalism that is destroying the world."

Now, to me, you APPEAR to be saying that you meant to say that I am denouncing capitalism by stating the following quote:

[START QUOTE]
"Bit of a stretch..?

DSDS isn't denouncing capitalism.

He's shown himself to be well on the side of the capitalists, and even spoken about enjoying the fruits of his toil working for mining capitalists, and also for investing on the sharemarket.

A common theme of DSDS' posts are personal restraint, and, knowing the story of Yvon Chouinard, I would've thought he'd be right on board with him as Chouinard has bucked the capitalist system by steering the company, not with Smith's invisible hand, but by his own principles. At all times he's been more stringent with regulations, more generous with workers, and more charitable with money. Many times he's taken on campaigns that make no sense according to business laws, but they abide by his belief system.

Understand that the US biz establishment celebrates people who abide by the rapacious precepts of US capitalism and here's someone who showed restraint and principle in taking the hard road.

Basically what DSDS has drawn is a big blunt instrument to put every rich businessman in the same basket without knowing anything about the company or the man. He's shown that with a few statements made. I'd advise him to read a bit and not assume all business = bad. Especially when the profits have been, and will now forever, be used to improve the environment."
[END QUOTE]

Within this quote, including it context, I fail to see you expressing that I am denouncing capitalism.

Of the 7 paragraphs of your response that is under the microscope, paragraphs 2,3,4 and 6 concern DSDS views.

Paragraphs 1 and 2
"Bit of a stretch..?

DSDS isn't denouncing capitalism."

are the paragraphs I've taken issue with by highlighting the inconsistency.

but I'm happy to offer an olive branch and offer for us to deem it a mutual miscommunication.

gsco's picture
gsco's picture
gsco Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 11:16am

Just wondering JackStance, what are you doing - what actions are you taking - right now in your life to denounce capitalism?

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 11:12am

Oh mate, I'm not even following it now.

JackStance's picture
JackStance's picture
JackStance Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 11:18am

so just shove the olive branch back in the face...
thanks.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 11:19am

I'm being serious, mate. I don't follow what you're talking about.

JackStance's picture
JackStance's picture
JackStance Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 11:40am

After deconstructing and explaining the issue, I offered you an olive branch by saying:

"...but I'm happy to offer an olive branch and offer for us to deem it a mutual miscommunication."

your response to someone else responding was:

"Oh mate, I'm not even following it now."

....

Maybe the cognitive dissonance that results from having your inconsistency spelt out is too much to accept a sincere olive branch.

I dunno. not my shit. I just spelt out the inconsistency, offered that perhaps there was a mutual miscommunication, and offered olive branch.

But if you're above that, then perhaps your not fit to be a role model or a thought leader on here.

JackStance's picture
JackStance's picture
JackStance Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 11:45am

I retract what I've said here. But i'l leave it up in the name of transparency.

JackStance's picture
JackStance's picture
JackStance Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 11:48am

The reason I retract, particularly the last para, is if Stu is sincere about "I'm being serious, mate. I don't follow what you're talking about."
Which on third reading, he appears to be so.

JackStance's picture
JackStance's picture
JackStance Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 11:51am

Stu, in that case, take the time to read it, because it is pretty straight forward, and the olive branch remains on offer.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 11:52am

Reconstructing, deconstructing, discourses, denunciations, psychic colonisation, thought leaders, intellectual dishonesty, [START QUOTE], [END QUOTE], numbered paragraphs.

Maybe your uni studies have spilled over into daily life, but you have a strange way of expressing yourself and it ain't easy to follow. Perhaps I could, if I took the time to slow down and follow, but you're also very hostile about it so it's a waste of time.

JackStance's picture
JackStance's picture
JackStance Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 11:57am

Because I take issue with very perceivably being misrepresented?

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 11:57am

EDIT: Who cares about transparency? Transparency to who..? The readers to whom you're just an anonymous commenter? Stop taking yourself so seriously, and stop hijacking threads.

JackStance's picture
JackStance's picture
JackStance Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 12:14pm

I care about transparency.

I don't think anyone would bother reading this, however if someone did, then the very least I can do is be transparent about my mistake. I mis-read,and based on that I posited on your fitness. So instead of deleting, I left my mistake up, because in my view, that is the proper thing to to do, regardless if anyone read it or not.

Anyway, we are a long way form your very perceivable misrepresentation of my words.

And even further from the olive branch offer of a mutual miscommunication.

back beach's picture
back beach's picture
back beach Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 7:36am

Oops foot in mouth yeah they do recycle in their range.

John booth's picture
John booth's picture
John booth Saturday, 17 Sep 2022 at 10:56am

Blah blah blah blah. The majority of the worlds wealth is controlled by a very small percentage of people. I don’t see to many of this select crew digging as deep as Patagonia

gsco's picture
gsco's picture
gsco Thursday, 15 Sep 2022 at 5:08pm

Seems like a great cause. I read somewhere that Warren Buffett advised them on the new ownership structure.

DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet Thursday, 15 Sep 2022 at 6:20pm

Yeah, I’ve got a business burning unwanted tyres on the edge of town. 1% of my tyre burning business goes towards rehabilitating my brand….whoops I mean it goes towards saving the Earth!

Think of how much Earth I can selflessly preserve for you if I keep charging you to get rid of your old tyres !

Cost only!*

*Expenses may vary according to executive remuneration.

frog's picture
frog's picture
frog Thursday, 15 Sep 2022 at 6:21pm

If the trust fund works to fight climate change I hope the pick the right battles.

Some are good, some are just feel good and some are counterproductive.

Apparently many mass tree planting efforts sucked up millions of dollars and planted trees on massive scales then left them to die due to lack of water. Or in Africa they used eucalypts that have become a monoculture pest they are now trying to eradicate.

Not easy to get right.

wax-on-danielson's picture
wax-on-danielson's picture
wax-on-danielson Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 9:08am

Yeah ironically on this issue most of the scientist are saying science and tech is what is going to get us out - Geo-engineering and energy technology. Growing seaweed and all that will help but we have kind of gone past that point of it being enough. Need to get some type of artificial cloud cover over the poles in summer and figure out fusion. Apparently there is a crazy amount of research and money being spent on fusion tech with collaboration across 15 countries - Russia, China, US, France etc all working together. Free 100% green energy.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno Thursday, 22 Sep 2022 at 7:23pm

Synthetic trees.

DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet Thursday, 15 Sep 2022 at 6:25pm

Bottom line….until a company is telling you to ignore what they’re selling and buy whatever is at hand to keep you warm and decent, as opposed to shipping their latest release to global retail outlets….take their environmental concerns with a dose of salt.

OHBILLY's picture
OHBILLY's picture
OHBILLY Thursday, 15 Sep 2022 at 6:43pm

Serious questions here;
What have you built to give fellow citizens a chance to earn a living? What positive work have you done for the planet? What have you done for the society that propels it in a positive direction? Do you have a better idea as to what he should do with the company? Should he give it to you, if so, what would you do with it?

DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet Thursday, 15 Sep 2022 at 7:16pm

Me? I’ve devoted years of labour to regenerate a 25 acre block of land bought with my own money. Taken it from a denuded and chemically contaminated remnant commercial enterprise and rewilded 80% -including consciously planting habitat for native species - whilst trying to generate a sustainable organic food source for locals in the other 20%. I employ crew to assist me in my endeavours when scale of work exceeds personal ability.

Also rewilding a 1000m block on one coast whilst wanting to rewild another block on the opposite coast but the local council keeps threatening to fine me if I don’t keep it trimmed for fire….despite the area being surrounded by towering eucalyptus.

Cohabiting in an inter generational abode. Caring for multiple dependent elders whilst respecting their remaining agency. Barter for foods and produce with skills and produce amongst local community.

You think I should issue a press release?

Photo taken today….mangoes coming on. Joboticaba and sapote pumping. Plums waiting Foreground is lemonades, cutting raised olives. Old avocado and more. Non profit. Supplying local communities. Self serve or barter.

I go to the tip to get materials to fix my old house. I catch my own fish within walking distance or a couple of litres boat fuel from my house. Boat ramp 400m away. Give fish to others. Compost scraps. Minimise waste. Clothes from Op Shops.

I do what I can. I just want to surf, fish and enjoy a happy and natural as possible, quiet life.

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot Thursday, 15 Sep 2022 at 8:09pm

Thats all well and good but it probably only offsets about 1% of the damage you did to the earth all those years working in the mining industry.... ;-)

herp's picture
herp's picture
herp Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 7:36am

Reeowww

OHBILLY's picture
OHBILLY's picture
OHBILLY Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 9:55am

Oof.

billie's picture
billie's picture
billie Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 1:16am

Good onya mate!

GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 10:10am

That’s a mighty effort blowin but no different to what thousands of others are doing or have done +/- on scale including members of my own family. Next time you’re out west check out Wooleen Station to see what they’re doing for e.g.

But what I’m not going to praise you for is your seemingly total intolerance to alternative views ….

rj-davey's picture
rj-davey's picture
rj-davey Sunday, 18 Sep 2022 at 10:55pm

that's pretty epic. Good onya DSDS

DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet Monday, 19 Sep 2022 at 3:10pm

Cheers mate.

Pretty damn satisfying when you find a koala sitting up in a tree you specifically planted as koala habitat.

morg's picture
morg's picture
morg Thursday, 15 Sep 2022 at 6:59pm

So do you actually do anything that can be remotely regarded as selfless, philanthropic, and beneficial to the environment? Or are you just an oxygen thief?

DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet Thursday, 15 Sep 2022 at 7:07pm

I’m a carer for a couple of old people who I accomodate in my house. Wiping arses morning and night. I also built a house for my elderly parents on other land I bought and am regenerating. I give money to friends in need. What the fuck do you do?

Roadkill's picture
Roadkill's picture
Roadkill Thursday, 15 Sep 2022 at 7:10pm

Tells everyone again and again and again and again and again how awesome you are…might as well issue a press release, bloke.

DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet Thursday, 15 Sep 2022 at 7:14pm

On yer bike dickhead. I get asked a direct question relating to credibility and I answer it.

benjis babe's picture
benjis babe's picture
benjis babe Sunday, 18 Sep 2022 at 1:14pm

actually I think u are the dickhead...and you were a dickhead as blowin, changing the name does not change the dickhead behind the name

morg's picture
morg's picture
morg Thursday, 15 Sep 2022 at 9:02pm

Well Dude that depends. I generally avoid cynics and hypercritical people, particularly those who take delight in telling everyone how great they are. I also have a fascination with their need to put other people down and to have the last word . . . .

But sometimes I just enjoy laughing at dickheads.

billie's picture
billie's picture
billie Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 1:17am

He just gave the data. He didn't say "how great he was". All I heard was him answering the question with enthusiasm and energy. You added the "how great he was".

billie's picture
billie's picture
billie Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 1:19am

I see a lot of judgement in your words. "Cynic, hypercritical, dickheads etc"

arock's picture
arock's picture
arock Tuesday, 20 Sep 2022 at 10:30am

DSDS they did EXACTLY this. In 2011 they published a full paged ad in in the New York Times urging people not to buy their new jacket instead encouraging repair, upcycling, recycling etc. It was kind of revolutionary. I know that you will probably dismiss it as cynical marketing but you're writing a class here on how it pays to understand something before you write it off. https://bettermarketing.pub/dont-buy-this-jacket-patagonia-s-daring-camp...

DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet Wednesday, 21 Sep 2022 at 12:49pm

Yep. It was a cynical marketing ploy. As evidenced by the millions of items of Patagonia clothing that were sold after that advert appeared. The advert doing everything to promote the concept of Patagonia as anything but just another superficial fashion brand.

Fact is that Patagonia is a superficial fashion brand. Whilst they do so e laudable work such as the Yule rubber wetsuits, the mainstay of their business is selling branded clothes that have a shelf life. For whilst the clothes may be made to technically withstand the passage of time, the styles are most decidedly not. No honest assessment of the garish colours and briefly-trending designs can withstand the truth that consumers will replace these clothes due to the whimsy of fashion long before they’re worn out.

You can say this is a fault of the consumer, except that the transient and shallow consumer is as much the target market of Patagonia as the true environmentally minded shopper.

You think the extensive Patagonia range of puffy jackets will be seen in a couple of years time? Lol they will be sitting at the back of closets till they become land fill.

You think that the entire world’s collections of jeans shorts, three quarter pants, cargo pants, below the knee boardies or nut hugging 80’s boardies only went away because they were worn out beyond use? Of course not. They got binned cause they went out of style just as will every mustard yellow Patagonia beanie .

Then there’s the pure branded merchandise . All with a logo requiring multitudes of coloured dyes all made from endless products sourced all over the planet. When Patagonia says that only 2% of environmental damage comes from transporting finished items, this means that 98% goes to the digging up of minerals to make dyes, the monoculture of cotton fields for their soon to be unfashionable jackets, the stitched logos that serve no purpose beyond advertising Patagonia and gifting the wearer the idea that they are broadcasting their alignment with the Enviro Tribe.

The business of fashion and the modern psychological manipulation of branding serves no virtuous purpose. This is what generates hundreds of millions of dollars. If a portion of that money is profit- after paying for the extraction of chemicals and minerals to dye clothes, the destruction of habitat and water consumption to grow cotton , the factories to make the shit, the retail outlets, the advertising offices , the buildings housing designers and business administration - then a statement is made about spending some of it to rectify damage down then big round of applause.

If Patagonia range was purely utilitarian I’d be silent. If it was still hardware and functional items. It’s very much not. It is disposable fashion with a selling point of longevity whose styling renders the point irrelevant.

Anyone still selling puffy jackets at this stage of the fashion cycle needs to be tried on charges of both environmental and fashion vandalism. They’re over, let go…..no body listens to techno.





arock's picture
arock's picture
arock Wednesday, 21 Sep 2022 at 1:02pm

I'll point to your above question.

"Bottom line….until a company is telling you to ignore what they’re selling and buy whatever is at hand to keep you warm and decent, as opposed to shipping their latest release to global retail outlets….take their environmental concerns with a dose of salt."

I have shown you EXACTLY where they have done that. They did precisely what you asked them to do (against all the sane business advice of the day) and yet it still isn't enough for you.

It's entirely predictable that you've moved the goalposts, but gotchas dont quite come as neat as this and now you just look unhinged.

We get it; you don't like the gold/platinum/diamond standard in environmental sustainability and charity in that industry. I then ask you- if such sweeping acts of largesse aren't enough to satisfy you and elicit such a visceral negative reaction, why possible motivation is there for anyone else bother improving?

DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet Wednesday, 21 Sep 2022 at 1:21pm

Everyone who’s not running an international supply chain- which involves everything from monocultural habitat degradation, unsustainable water and mineral extraction, chemical manufacture and disposal - just to sell branded fashion, is already doing a better job.

That’s been my point since my first post. First do no harm. Hippies making their house out of mud are doing more for the environment than crew who destroy environments to make fashion in order to return a portion of profits towards environmentalism. Irrespective of how large the percentage turns out to be in actual dollar terms.

The whole deal reminds me of those social charity nights of ten course meals staged in glittering ballrooms, where everyone flies in in private jet and money left over from the unnecessary excess created in the process is donated to mitigating the impacts of private jets , ten course meals and glittering ballrooms.

The buying and selling of fashion items is not the answer. It’s part of the problem. As I said….if Patagonia was purely functional, instead of fashion, I would be wrong. Every pointless Patagonia brand label sewn on the clothes , made using Earth’s resources, proves the truth in what I’m saying.

arock's picture
arock's picture
arock Wednesday, 21 Sep 2022 at 1:19pm

Everyone gets your point mate, the rag trade is nasty and should be shut down. But given it won't I will ask again. If such a sweeping act of largesse isn't enough to satisfy you and elicits such a visceral negative reaction, why possible motivation is there for anyone else in that industry to bother improving?

DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet Wednesday, 21 Sep 2022 at 1:33pm

To cut overheads? To be brutal in curbing their excess? To prove that you don’t have to be a fashion house to succeed? To show that the public will back integrity?

Needs wetsuits showed that you can get rid of the pointless swing tags and most of the excess advertising. That’s a good start. Patagonia makes positive noises but the hypocrisy of their actions used to earn the money they apportion to good deeds leaves me unimpressed. So what if they spend millions on the Earth after theyve exploiting the planet in the process of earning the millions in the first place. Many of their products are disposable items due to the inherent obsolescence of fashion. Make timeless and functional , necessary items and it’s job done. Don’t pander to the label slaves.

Mate, we all need clothes and I’m fully supportive of any endeavour to be devoted to restricting destruction of the planet, yet I don’t go near Patagonia because it’s faux sincerity gets on my tits. As soon as they stop earning money through disposable fashion it’s game on.

arock's picture
arock's picture
arock Wednesday, 21 Sep 2022 at 1:37pm

I'll ask again. Given you have viscerally written off the absolute pinnacle of the industry in sustainability and charitable largesse what possible motivation would an organisation in this industry have to follow suit?

For all you know there's a clothing CEO thinking of donating x Billions to x cause to try and keep pace with Patagonia and have read this and just said "You cant please these people, I'm not going to bother".

All you are doing at this point is tearing down a true agent of change. This is why the left tears itself to shreds on the reg, because in endless finger pointing to meet impossible standards we fail to recognise the good. It's maddening.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Wednesday, 21 Sep 2022 at 1:39pm

"As soon as they stop earning money through disposable fashion it’s game on."

Fuck mate, it's been repeated a hundred times on here that they do recycle clothes and repair garments and give lifetime warranty on some items. They also funded outside scientists to develop Yulex and then kept it open source for everyone to use and wean themselves off petrochemicals.

It's become clear that you're simply angry without knowing much about them at all.

DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet Wednesday, 21 Sep 2022 at 2:44pm

No, I reckon it’s more of the same with our usual disagreement that “perfection is the enemy of good”.

I see their recycling, repair and research as a slight compensation, even a bit of a gimmick, overlying the main game of fashion and branding. I think you’ve missed my point that yes, their items may be made for longevity but their disposable nature comes in the form of fashion obsolescence. Which is very real as evidenced by the absence of Jeans shorts on the streets despite them being able to survive a nuclear apocalypse.

There’s not a rag trader in the world who doesn’t know a puffy jacket won’t see the light of day within a couple of years. Yet Patagonia still makes puffy jackets . They are being made because they sell. They generate profit. This profit comes at an unnecessary cost to the planet. Does helping develop Yulex offset this ? Who knows. Fact is the fashion items are still getting pumped out. Patagonia is a looooong way from making bare essentials utility gear such as crampons.

I feel the same way about Twiggy Forrest’s forays much heralded forays into green energy after he’s mined , grazed and extracted Australia into the ground.

As usual, I probably read as angry but I’m a bit non-plussed about it all really. I write stuff cause I enjoy writing. I’m not tossing and turning in bed at night thinking about whether Patagonia is squaring the ledger or even if Patagonia is more or less hypocritical than myself. Just an opinion. If it comes across as angry then that’s just how I roll.

Just call it as I see it. As much as Patagonia is presented as an inspirational story of a highly motivated individual looking to prioritise the Earth, who just happened to fall into business, I see a brand being pushed to generate profits and the message being heavily compromised along the way. On one hand they’re devoting time, energy and money into good deeds but on the other they’re clogging the place up with needless consumer shit as much as anyone. Maybe not anyone…I dint see the pencil cases of the other competing brands.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno Thursday, 22 Sep 2022 at 7:41pm

"Anyone still selling puffy jackets at this stage of the fashion cycle needs to be tried on charges of both environmental and fashion vandalism. They’re over, let go…..no body listens to techno."

Amen. That was an 80's trend that should have stayed there.

Roadkill's picture
Roadkill's picture
Roadkill Thursday, 15 Sep 2022 at 7:07pm

The real problems may start in the future…the charitable trust may eventually become corrupted with power and some individuals may take control and set themselves up as the entitled none owners, nepotism will start and the whole thing will loose sight of the core values and reason for being..or not.

Plenty of examples of gifting like this going to shit.

DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet Thursday, 15 Sep 2022 at 7:09pm

Non-profit does not automatically ensure endemic rorting, corruption and bad behaviour does not occur. Quite the opposite!

tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter Thursday, 15 Sep 2022 at 7:14pm

The Patagucci Paradox

Garden Gnome's picture
Garden Gnome's picture
Garden Gnome Thursday, 15 Sep 2022 at 7:24pm

Great piece Stu, love it. More power to Yvon Chouinard. If a few more corporate entities decided to do this, the world would become a better place. Successful businessman, successful business... hopefully the trust will be administered by selfless people with the same ethos.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain Thursday, 15 Sep 2022 at 7:40pm

I read his biography quite a few years ago now. He seems quite genuine.

I can see where you're coming from Dude and you make very good points but regardless of what you think his motives are, I think it's a step in the right direction.

PS, I have tons of Patagonia clobber cause my wife loves the brand and she clothes me. I reckon they make pretty good gear imo. Their snow jackets and pants are excellent quality.

conrico's picture
conrico's picture
conrico Thursday, 15 Sep 2022 at 8:25pm

Great to see. Will be buying a lot more Patagonia in the future

morg's picture
morg's picture
morg Thursday, 15 Sep 2022 at 8:56pm

Great article Stu. The world needs more people like Chouinard.

Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 7:45am

Absolutely hear what ya saying DSDS. But paradoxes are everywhere mate. The existence of some foibles in the mix doesn't invalidate the positives. (Says a fella who delights in poking fun at dems foibles himself.) How good are foibles!

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 8:07am

Foibles 'ay?

Mmmm... wiseguy- nyuk nyuk nyuk.

ryder's picture
ryder's picture
ryder Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 9:00am

Walked into Patagonia (Torquay, Surf Coast) a few months back. Jaw hit the floor at the prices and wondered who wears this stuff. In the same stratosphere as Outer Known. Best value in the shop by far was a 7'6" Maurice Cole Reverse Vee.

bdp's picture
bdp's picture
bdp Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 9:59am

If you are on the surf coast did you know there are patagonia seconds stores in Geelong and Fitzroy that is pretty well half price. Not a full range but same quality. Just all the colours that you usually wouldn't pick. Most surfers i know tend to pick their clothes up from here. Saying that I've bought a couple of travel bags full price and they have been well worth the high initial cost.

YoungOne's picture
YoungOne's picture
YoungOne Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 9:51am

Thankyou, Yvon, for all that you've done to reinvent how business can (and should) be done. Despite what the naysayers and insecure/self-dissatisfied plonkers like DSDS (many of his negative comments above) say, what you've done with Patagonia over the decades has really made a positive difference in the world, and you're a beacon for what's possible for anyone prepared to put in a bit of effort and stand by their beliefs. I have long proudly worn Patagonia outdoor gear and wetsuits because they stand for the same things I believe in, they're of noticeably higher quality, and part of my spend goes to supporting environmental activism and advancement of more sustainable practices. If that costs me a little more in $ terms, then so be it.
For you, DSDS, and any other pessimists, educate yourself by reading "Let My People Go Surfing", and you'll understand a bit of what this man and his company has achieved.

Supafreak's picture
Supafreak's picture
Supafreak Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 10:10am

Can someone please explain to me how potentially $100 million annually going towards environmental campaign’s is a bad thing ?

blackers's picture
blackers's picture
blackers Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 12:11pm

I am with you there.

batfink's picture
batfink's picture
batfink Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 4:20pm

Supafreak, I cannot help you. I’m finding the comments astounding, in a very bad sense.

You just can’t win with some people. Chips on shoulders by the tonne here.

Swany's picture
Swany's picture
Swany Saturday, 17 Sep 2022 at 10:24pm

Yup, baffled.

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 10:35am

I've read the book
It gets super dark at one point.
Had to put it down,
yvon is a pretty cynical dude much like blow in. They both have their moments. Both have made money off less then desired people/ businesses.
Both trying to do good for the world .
The billionaire that ate cat food....
Exploited surfspots in Chile
.........I'm either or at this point.
Want to be green ...don't buy any thing...........

Pat Hollingworth's picture
Pat Hollingworth's picture
Pat Hollingworth Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 12:12pm

An interesting paradox. This 20 minute NPR podcast from 2017 with Yvon has always been a good listen, especially if you're interested in understanding both his background and what's led to Patagonia being what it is today:

https://www.npr.org/2018/02/06/572558864/patagonia-yvon-chouinard

mowgli's picture
mowgli's picture
mowgli Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 12:19pm

On the one hand, I get DSDS's thinking. YC is not the first billionare to do this sort of thing once the pearly white gates are within site. It all comes down to how those two entities are structured right. And perhaps more importantly, who are the trustees and what powers do they have?

That all being said, he and the rest of the owners understand the power of the dollar and that capitalism is one of the best avenues for protecting the environment. So it is great that there will so much more money available for acquisitions, restorations and legal fights.

In case anyone is triggered by my capitalism comment.... Anyone that thinks "capitalism is a scourge" has no clue. Capitalism is agnostic. It is shaped by and operates within a broader system of parameters which are controlled by citizens and governments. Put another way, poor governance is the problem, not capitalism.

mpeachy's picture
mpeachy's picture
mpeachy Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 1:38pm

Without having done any research on this whatsoever, it would be very easy to rig this.

High salaries for himself and his family to reduce profits and keep benefitting personally.

But I'd like to think that he's trully a man of morals, so he's giving the money away because he doesn't like his kids.

batfink's picture
batfink's picture
batfink Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 4:26pm

Given the current real world in which this and other companies operate, the model chosen and the intent represents the best possible option.

Money going to real works for the environment and environmental causes, what’s not to like?

I can’t quite imagine how some people live inside their own heads.

john.callahan's picture
john.callahan's picture
john.callahan Friday, 16 Sep 2022 at 11:14pm

There is no doubt Yvon's move is a good thing and will generate millions for organisations dedicated to fighting for a better planet, but the transfer is not as altruistic as it seems.

The family will pay a tax liability on the transaction and retain control of the company, while avoiding a 40% inheritance tax, if they had simply passed on the company to the two adult children.

From the New York Times -

"The move by the Chouinard family to give away Patagonia, the $3 billion outdoor apparel company founded in the 1970s by Yvon Chouinard, to a special trust and a nonprofit grabbed headlines because it felt like a very un-billionaire-like way to fight climate change.

But tax experts have homed in on parallels between the green-minded Chouinard family and Barre Seid, the Republican billionaire who gifted $1.6 billion from the sale of his company to a conservative political action group. In each case, the donors appear to have avoided huge federal estate and gift taxes.

“From what I’ve seen, they’re doing the same thing,” Ray Madoff, a professor specializing in tax law at Boston College Law School, told DealBook. “The only difference is the politics.”

Roadkill's picture
Roadkill's picture
Roadkill Saturday, 17 Sep 2022 at 11:59am

It’s great when more facts get highlighted.

Seems the family deals in virtue signalling….or a great con job.

rooftop's picture
rooftop's picture
rooftop Saturday, 17 Sep 2022 at 2:56pm

Just because there is a tax benefit does not mean that is the sole motivation, or that the action is bad. That sort of reasoning is a classic tool of the cynic - poisoning the well by by discovering a collateral benefit and then claiming the actor is motivated purely by self interest.

His family's tax benefit doesn't have any effect on the environmental work he's funding. Any other framing is merely a projection of the critic's own cynicysm.

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean Saturday, 17 Sep 2022 at 11:27pm

Read his book rooftop.
like i said above i had to put it down.
It totally swayed my view of the company,

Any environmental campaign is a view also as a free form of advertisement. He has a very cryptic thought process in some ways.
i could go further i just ........

i'm all for the environment and change ......it just seems ironic when the clothes are made in china.

rooftop's picture
rooftop's picture
rooftop Sunday, 18 Sep 2022 at 3:06pm

Fair point. Haven't read the book. Will do.

rooftop's picture
rooftop's picture
rooftop Saturday, 17 Sep 2022 at 12:23am

True, he's not really sacrificing anything at this stage of his life and career, but it's still a powerful move, both in real terms and its signalling value.

It's going to take a lot of resource allocation to change the course of the planet, which can only be done by those who command those resources i.e. the rich and powerful. He is both, and he is doing something.

DSDS is setting a great example of living a life with a small footprint, but that isn't going to get the planet to net zero any time soon. Some hippies building yurts in the back country is not going to decarbonise mining, shipping, agriculture, textiles, etc. It's not going to change the course of countries like India, China and the US.

Mr Patagonia made durable, quality goods while minimising their environmental impact and now he's giving a pile of money to help fight the good fight. I think we could do with a bit more of that.

san Guine's picture
san Guine's picture
san Guine Saturday, 17 Sep 2022 at 1:17pm

Amazing philanthropy.
Why not take it at face value? Setting a benchmark for other corporate entities.
Perhaps all the cynics, misanthropes and conspiracists are projecting their own disillusionment and insecurities onto the Chouinard family.
Show me proof otherwise, rather than specious conjecture and the politics of envy.

DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet Saturday, 17 Sep 2022 at 2:27pm

I see it this way…How much money do you need to be happy? How much is enough? I mean you personally- who ever is reading this post.

Please allow me to have a little stab as to your reply. I’m personally happy with a nice house on a decent block near a less known but very beautiful beach: Say somewhere between $1-2Million

If you’re middle age , say 50 years old, you’d like to be able to live comfortably, if not extravagantly without worrying about money till you’re ninety or so….fingers crossed we live that long. Say two grand a week….that’s living pretty damn nicely if you don’t have debt. That’s another $4 Million.

Let’s just say that , because we’re dreaming here, we may as well throw in another $4Million in mad money, walking around money and money for loved ones. That’s an extra $2000 per week for 40 years. You obviously won’t spend that much every week but other weeks you’d spend more. It all evens out. And after you reach a certaage your needs go way down. The old fella upstairs that I care for certainly doesn’t spend $4K per week. Diminishing requirements as we age.

That’s $10Million for an extremely enjoyable running down of the clock. No money worries.

Now let’s get absolutely stupid and make it $50 million. That’s crazy wealth. Unless you’re gone full P Diddy Superyacht fucken weirdo, it’s more than enough money for any one person and their extended circle of loved ones for any life. Multiples of enough.

Yvon Chouinard is worth $1800,000,000.00.

Eighteen hundred million dollars.

He’s earned this money by operating a business selling branded clothes at elevated markup which have been made in third world countries and transported to highly lit retail outlets around the world.

The business is a net contributor to the degradation of the planet . This is not in dispute. However much the narrative tends towards mitigating and minimising their environmental and consequent social impact, the business of selling branded clothes globally is a net destructive force.

Who profits from this net destructive force? Many people but mainly one person. One person who has accumulated obscene amounts of wealth. Wealth that no one needs. The business has kept running for decades in order to make this one fella richer and richer and richer.

posit that the best contribution he could make to the common environment we all share, is to put a stop to this money funnel years ago. What was stopping this from happening?

At least actually reduce your environmental footprint and do more than just “really try” to guarantee the crew who make your clothes a living wage. The clothes aren’t made in America because costs are too high….despite the company profiting $100 million dollars per year. Surely a slice of those profits - $30 Million could’ve paid higher wages so that the clothes were made closer to the main distribution points than the Asian factories?

That still leaves $70 million profit PER YEAR for one already stupidly rich person.

Then couldn’t the scope of sales been restricted to just North America in order to save the tonnes of emissions transporting the wares around the world?

Sure it might’ve cost more profits…say another $50 million deducted.

If you’re so weird about money that you need to keep earning more and more, after your first $50 million, That reduces the impact of your business and you’re still walking away with $20 million per year.

Twenty million you do not need.

But no…we keep pumping out the branded merchandise kachunk kachunk kachunk because……more is not enough!

Now at the end of life he’s signing it over to a trust - yeah, you know all those cool trusts kicking around that you always hear so many good things about - so a business running at a net negative environmental impact can continue generating money, a percentage of which will be spent on mitigating the impacts of an unnecessary business.

$1.8 billion….think about it. Take out your $50 million crazy retirement money and what could YOU have done for the planet with the remaining $1.75 billion ?

One person with $1.75 billion dollars could’ve bought half of the undeveloped East coast of Australia and preserved it.

But sure …let’s fawn over the press releases coming out of the land where too much is not enough.

The priorities are there to see.

No politics of envy here. I’ve already go5 enough money and it’s way less than $50 million. If you had 20 cats living in your house you’re classed as a weirdo. If you had 5000 pairs of shoes you’d be regarded as a nutter. If you drank 100 beers everyday you’d be exiled from society as a waste of humanity.

But spend decades accumulating multiples more money than anyone could ever need and you aren’t committed due to a compulsive mental disorder….you’re feted as a supreme being!

Oh look….he’s giving away some of that money he doesn’t need!

Fucking bizarre.

BTW…this Yvon might be a nice guy and a legend bloke. He probably thinks he has his heart in the right place. I see different priorities and different outcomes. It’s called an opinion.

Whatever….nevermind.

bdp's picture
bdp's picture
bdp Tuesday, 20 Sep 2022 at 12:01pm

I'm not to sure if thats how supply and demand works. You basically think that if Patagonia didn't sell clothes that people wouldn't buy any from less ethical companies?

rooftop's picture
rooftop's picture
rooftop Saturday, 17 Sep 2022 at 3:22pm

Alright, dude. Seems your beef is squarely aimed at capitalism itself.

I think most of us here would be aware of the downsides of capitalism - namely, extreme inequalities of wealth and power, and the negative externalities which can result from a blind pursuit of profit, such as environmental degradation and short-termism.

I'm gonna open my mind here. Would you please propose your viable alternative to capitalism that:

a. Motivates people to produce the goods the world needs in the volumes and quality it needs i.e. aligns self-interest with the common good.
b. Could be politically attractive to the majority of people.
c. Is compatible with some form of functioning democracy and personal freedom. i.e. not requiring a benevolent dictator or onerous top-down government intervention.
d. Incentivises innovation in order to achieve technological progress.
e. Could have achieved the astounding gains in human material well-being across the world which we have seen over the last (say) hundred years.

Assuming you're not the first one to think of this alternative, some examples of success stories where this has been successfully implemented would be welcome.

gsco's picture
gsco's picture
gsco Saturday, 17 Sep 2022 at 4:15pm

Really nice comment.

I'd challenge anyone to come up with a better overall/general system of political, social, legal and economic organisation than:
- a parliamentary liberal democracy, Westminster system, separation of powers and federalism, combined with
- a market economy with freedom of private enterprise, private property rights, price mechanism, etc, combined with
- a developed and efficient financial system
in which the role of government and associated institutions such as a central bank (in terms of the economy) is to take care of things like:
i. market failure including externalities, natural monopolies and the provision of public goods such as health, education, defence and infrastructure,
ii. inequality, (re)distribution of income, and social safety net,
iii. economic stability, low unemployment and inflation, and steady growth,
iv. enforcement of the law, particularly in terms of property rights and contracts,
v. prevention of monopolistic power, hence the encouragement of competition,
vi. etc

Any perceived failures that we see around us in countries like this - say the US, Aus, UK, Canada, some European nations - are due to failures of individual governments decisions, corruption, challenges in handling the startling pace of technological change, imperfections in economic theory and subsequent management and policy decisions, decisions being blinded by economic ideology as apposed to focusing on economic pragmatism, etc, not due to the overall system of liberal democracy and market economy itself.

Paul McD's picture
Paul McD's picture
Paul McD Sunday, 18 Sep 2022 at 7:22pm

Easy!! Birth control! But nobody want's to touch that one.

Paul McD's picture
Paul McD's picture
Paul McD Sunday, 18 Sep 2022 at 11:51pm

350,000 births today. That's today. Since you layed your head down to sleep and you woke up, that's 180 odd thousand new mouths to feed and dreams to fulfill. . 100 million births this year. If i was to lay out a simple maths equation to any of the good folk on swellnet of birthrates v finite resources and space, most would quickly see the anomally in birthrates and agree it's unsustainable. BUT! Add a little emotiveness, leave out the maths and education, and a whole heap of culture....i mean we're meant to make duplicates of ourselves aren't we? Then all of a sudden the maths equation, the simple, unmoving maths equation that adds up no matter how many times you do it, doesn't matter. Our emotiveness, our sentimentality of what it means to be human, our fear of loneliness....it's what's killing our planet. It's not old mate featured in this piece here peeling back his millions of greenbacks, although some great points above. The bigger picture is the overwhelming quantity of humans competing for finite everything. But who want's to talk about that. Most crew on here have kids, and it's an uncomfortable convo. Not writing off anyone for having kids at all. But surely you've gotta factor that into the conversation???? All animals have utility for their survival. Not humans. We just promote the fuck out of reproduction in every medium there is. '
btw the deaths today were half of all those numbers so yep, the maths aint in our favour. It's just baffling that the most obvious of maths equations on humanity on this planet is right there, yet we look everywhere except at it, for the source of our problems.
Count your new friends, brothers and sisters and enemies here...
https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/

DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet Saturday, 17 Sep 2022 at 4:23pm

No mate. Capitalism works.

The thing is we need to start recognising excess accumulation of wealth as a metal illness and stop accepting it, even celebrating it as a culture.

Of course everyone’s requirements for happiness varies but it’s got to be proportional and roundly rejected as normal or appropriate for the normalisation of these perversions of society.

To be slim and lean is a worthy and encouraged pursuit. To be grossly obese or anorexic is not. Just like obscene wealth . We dont have to be cruel about it, just make it plain that it’s not a healthy situation and not something that we should promote.

rooftop's picture
rooftop's picture
rooftop Monday, 19 Sep 2022 at 12:56am

Sorry, dude. Just read over the thread and realised that in the cut and thrust of it all I had ascribed JackStance's anticapitalist views to you. Still, the offer stands if he's interested.

Meanwhile, although I agree we shouldn't venerate conspicuous consumption, I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for wealth to go out of fashion.

That's me done for this thread.

Roadkill's picture
Roadkill's picture
Roadkill Saturday, 17 Sep 2022 at 3:48pm

Greenwashing…tax avoidance…and it works, look at the comments of support who clearly ignore the tax avoidance. The company is not given away..it was transferred to his kids with clever accounting and avoiding a 40% inheritance tax.

All done within the legal framework available.

rothmanisatool's picture
rothmanisatool's picture
rothmanisatool Saturday, 17 Sep 2022 at 7:54pm

bang on. see my comment. nailed it mate. apparently gates earns more from his "foundation" than his stake in microsoft. this is complete bullsh*t

Blingas's picture
Blingas's picture
Blingas Saturday, 17 Sep 2022 at 9:01pm

Thanks Roadkill exactly what I was thinking, not sure why so many believe the media releases. Follow the money. Do you think the worlds richest people just give away the extreme wealth they have. No that is why they are wealthy in the first place. This dude had plenty of chances to spend it as they all have. There is a reason Billionaires create trusts and establish legal entities to control their wealth at the end of their life. It isn't about any green moralistic purpose at all.

bdp's picture
bdp's picture
bdp Sunday, 18 Sep 2022 at 1:57pm

Contributed all Patagonias tax savings under Trumps administration to help fight the privatisation of national parks. Obviously the Greenwashing isn't working if people like yourself are trotting out the cliches. Yeah its good to be cynical but also perhaps do your research (another cliche for you). Heres another way of looking at it - If for instance he really just wanted to transfer his wealth to fight climate change after he has passed away how should he have done it?

Blingas's picture
Blingas's picture
Blingas Sunday, 18 Sep 2022 at 6:03pm

That's pretty easy @BDP.

Climate change isn't a money or tax issue it is a science one. So if I had say 1.8 billion dollars and really wanted to tackle climate change I would spend that money on solving a very heavy polluting industry. Such as steel making. I could spend it in a week easy.

FYI - saying do your research is a lame response to a conversation. You don't know what I do or have done?

FYI - Research shows steel making in China (for instance) is one of the highest creators of green house gases globally. More gases created from that one industry than say all of Australias combined.

So yeah not hard to spend the money to make a difference and yet very easy to greenwash masses with "I put it in a trust saved heaps of tax" and lets just see what happens with all that money?

bdp's picture
bdp's picture
bdp Tuesday, 20 Sep 2022 at 11:45am

So how dow you know that the money in the trust won't be used to look at the steel industry in China?
Hey, its good to be cynical. I get that. The idea that he should do this without a presss release has merit. But, what it does do is make people question why the companies that they purchase from aren't looking at least looking at the ethical and environmental aspects of their operations. Patagonia did not copyright Yulex. It has worked with Nike and walmart on to improve their sustainability. If greenwashing is the term you want to use then so be it but companies won't change unless there is a push from consumers. i.e. Origin selling its claim the Beelaloo basin yesterday. Call it what you like.

bdp's picture
bdp's picture
bdp Tuesday, 20 Sep 2022 at 11:56am

So how dow you know that the money in the trust won't be used to look at the steel industry in China?
Hey, its good to be cynical. I get that. The idea that he should do this without a presss release has merit. But, what it does do is make people question why the companies that they purchase from aren't looking at least looking at the ethical and environmental aspects of their operations. Patagonia did not copyright Yulex. It has worked with Nike and walmart on to improve their sustainability. If greenwashing is the term you want to use then so be it but companies won't change unless there is a push from consumers. i.e. Origin selling its claim the Beelaloo basin yesterday. Call it what you like.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Sunday, 18 Sep 2022 at 7:46am

Really...?

He has a fifty year track record of willingly paying more tax than is needed, gifting large sums to various enviro organisations, adopting projects that cost his company money, and generally going against the grain of the American biz model, but on this one instance along, and clearly knowing nothing about the man, you're convinced he's a sham.

As others have said, maybe read something about the man, that isn't also written by cynical economists who would do everything opposite to what Chouinard has done and therefore assume impropriety on his behalf.

Roadkill's picture
Roadkill's picture
Roadkill Sunday, 18 Sep 2022 at 8:51am

How do you know I know nothing about the man? Assuming I “clearly” know nothing?
I know nothing because I am not suckered into the greenwashing you “clearly” are suckered into? (We can both assume for effect).

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Sunday, 18 Sep 2022 at 12:56pm

I know you don't know anything about him because you've said some patently incorrect things.

He has a history that extends a long way back and is quite public. You can 'assume' all the costly campaigns I mentioned - plus the many others I didn't but are on the record - are greenwashing, or you can be an ignoramus.

Roadkill's picture
Roadkill's picture
Roadkill Sunday, 18 Sep 2022 at 3:55pm

Some is more than 1, so I re read what I posted and can’t see anything that could be patently incorrect.
Can you highlight the more than 1 (things) I have posted that are incorrect?

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Sunday, 18 Sep 2022 at 4:05pm

Erm...tax avoidance?

Why would someone who willingly pays more tax and, via other means, voluntarily puts money from his company into the public coffers, now suddenly design things so he can avoid tax?

He's giving the company away. How else should he do it?

Also wasn't given to his kids.

So that's two. Could probably go on but arguing with dolts is an unedifying business.

Roadkill's picture
Roadkill's picture
Roadkill Sunday, 18 Sep 2022 at 4:13pm

Ignoramus and a dolt? How easy to throw that crap rather than having a discussion.

Yet here is you hook, line and sinker the perfect Patagonia mouthpiece.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Sunday, 18 Sep 2022 at 4:19pm

Don't have a single item of Patagonia clothing. Even think there's elements of hypocrisy in the whole Pata/enviro deal, but over many decades the guy has put all his cards on the table. Time and again the company has done very admirable things that few, perhaps no, companies do. And then this comes along and dolts and ignoramuses - such fun words to use - such as yourself weigh in with totally uneducated missives and call it a "discussion".

It's not a discussion, it's wilfully stupid garbage.

So yeah, calling it as I see it.

Roadkill's picture
Roadkill's picture
Roadkill Sunday, 18 Sep 2022 at 4:24pm

Then I will call it like i see it.

Your copy and paste article was lazy journalism…you failed to question anything. You just took the easy and lazy way.

Roadkill's picture
Roadkill's picture
Roadkill Sunday, 18 Sep 2022 at 4:25pm

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 Chouinard family will guide the Patagonia Purpose Trust, electing and overseeing its leadership. Family members will continue to sit on Patagonia's board.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Sunday, 18 Sep 2022 at 4:36pm

No wonder shit goes over your head.

It wasn't 'journalism'; just a straight take on a story posted in Fast News.

So far all of your speculation amounts to zero. Like I've said many times, the guys has fifty years of good deeds on the record but ignoramuses and dolts like you think this is a scam cos rich people bad.

Find something credible and post it. Other than that you're just talking more bullshit.

Roadkill's picture
Roadkill's picture
Roadkill Sunday, 18 Sep 2022 at 4:43pm

An incorrect take rather than straight take. I doubt you will ever acknowledge your inaccuracies as posted. ..shit, wtf would being accurate matter.

Soz, I did make a mistake and acknowledge as such. Journalism, in any form, is one thing you don’t practice.

Roadkill's picture
Roadkill's picture
Roadkill Sunday, 18 Sep 2022 at 5:03pm

I don’t know where I have ever said rich people are bad or that the guy has done zero good. . Just more assumptions you make.

Roadkill's picture
Roadkill's picture
Roadkill Sunday, 18 Sep 2022 at 4:06pm

He is using the company and it’s new structure to advance his environmental goals. However the promotion of what he does is advertising and promoting Patagonia, it is basically taking a marketing/advertising budget gifting it/donating it and using it to promote Patagonia…woke greenwashing and virtue signalling. People get suckered into this bs completely.

Want to give your company away…then give it away rather than pretending to give it away by using new company structures.

The only real benevolent billionaire as far as I can find at the moment is MacKenzie Scott (Bezos).

benjis babe's picture
benjis babe's picture
benjis babe Sunday, 18 Sep 2022 at 1:08pm

brillant, anyone with half a brain would definately avoid paying tax especially if its within the legal framework.. and then help to try and restore our planet which our corrupt governments won't do because it hurts all those big businesses that pay no tax...Mate we need more people like him

benjis babe's picture
benjis babe's picture
benjis babe Sunday, 18 Sep 2022 at 1:09pm

brillant, anyone with half a brain would definately avoid paying tax especially if its within the legal framework.. and then help to try and restore our planet which our corrupt governments won't do because it hurts all those big businesses that pay no tax...Mate we need more people like him

bdp's picture
bdp's picture
bdp Sunday, 18 Sep 2022 at 1:52pm

Patagonia plans to donate $10 million saved from Trump tax cuts to environmental groups

You can google that for starters to see how he dealt with other tax minimisation when Trump was privatising national parks. Chounaird reacted thus. But yeah. all rich people bad.

rothmanisatool's picture
rothmanisatool's picture
rothmanisatool Saturday, 17 Sep 2022 at 7:52pm

"Chouinard won’t have to pay the federal capital gains taxes he would have owed had he sold the company", the report says. That would have been about $700 million on a $3 billion company sale. Additionally, he also avoids the U.S. estate and gift tax, which would have been a 40% chunk of change when his company was transferred to its heirs.

Blingas's picture
Blingas's picture
Blingas Saturday, 17 Sep 2022 at 9:05pm

Isn't that convenient...

mugofsunshine's picture
mugofsunshine's picture
mugofsunshine Sunday, 18 Sep 2022 at 3:32pm

I read this as a clever way of avoiding paying a Country with the 3rd highest defense spending per capita that is 21st on the list of welfare spending per capita and therefore putting more in the pot for the environment

Remigogo's picture
Remigogo's picture
Remigogo Tuesday, 27 Sep 2022 at 8:36pm

If I could write propery I would have written this mugofsunshine.

Gary Blair's picture
Gary Blair's picture
Gary Blair Saturday, 17 Sep 2022 at 8:17pm

In a capitalist environment, why not try. May give someone else a job
https://news.microsoft.com/features/tennis-star-coco-gauff-designs-and-r...

Lottolonglong's picture
Lottolonglong's picture
Lottolonglong Sunday, 18 Sep 2022 at 7:21am

Lot of hate and mob mentality on this thread
The wealthiest people I know also have the biggest waistlines and continue to work 6-7days a week even though they have enough money for 10 lifetimes and still fight over who is paying for a $20 pizza
Your health is your wealth

Old mate who "gave his fortune away" has missed the chance in my opinion to truly live life with no boundaries since money wouldn't have been an issue a long long time ago
Go and spk to aged care residents, their biggest regret is not doing what they wanted to do
YOLO

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Sunday, 18 Sep 2022 at 7:50am

"Old mate who "gave his fortune away" has missed the chance in my opinion to truly live life with no boundaries since money wouldn't have been an issue a long long time ago."

Is that directed at Yvon Chouinard?

andy-mac's picture
andy-mac's picture
andy-mac Sunday, 18 Sep 2022 at 9:12am

Yvon Chouinard has had an incredible life. Guy is a legend who followed his passion and bliss from a young age. A lot of sad bitter people on here that seem to think if you have $$$ you must be a prick. I'm sure they have given away all their money and do not plan on leaving anything to their kids as inheritance.

Lottolonglong's picture
Lottolonglong's picture
Lottolonglong Sunday, 18 Sep 2022 at 9:41am

Yes and many other people who have enough capital to live comfortably for the rest of their lives

I should have said "gave his company away " cuz clearly he kept his fortune

bdp's picture
bdp's picture
bdp Sunday, 18 Sep 2022 at 1:47pm

Have you read about the adventures he has been on in his life? Climbing, surfing and fishing around the world? I'm not sure he'd have any regrets.

benjis babe's picture
benjis babe's picture
benjis babe Sunday, 18 Sep 2022 at 7:25am

what a legend, now all we have to do is get rid of agriculture, big businesses corrupt influence on government, and all the arseholes who don't give a fuck

Shnellgor's picture
Shnellgor's picture
Shnellgor Sunday, 18 Sep 2022 at 10:36am

Having just got up bleary eyed with a coffee and then fallen into reading this whole thread, some great comments. I did particularly like "The thing is we need to start recognising excess accumulation of wealth as a metal illness and stop accepting it, even celebrating it as a culture."
I'm down with that. (:

DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet Sunday, 18 Sep 2022 at 2:40pm

Going to get his book and read up. I’ve been doing a bit of googling and he does indeed come across as someone who has done great things for the environment.

But….rag traders , who neither build nor grow, but who merely design and add a logo, whilst then accumulating almost all of the business profits, make my skin crawl. Particularly when they amass obscene wealth in the process.

I could accept if the product they created was not just another fashion driven piece of fancy cloth , especially when they’ve done everything in their power to create artificial demand through advertising and outcompete rival rag traders. Different story if the end product was something admirable like durable and efficient Solar panels …..not just more T Shirts which the world does not need and which come at vast environmental cost.

Sure , I wear T Shirts. Get them from the Op shop. The world is awash with T shirts. Save the planet….consume less, use them till they die then fix them if you can. How many millions of Patagonia shirts are sitting in landfill because they’re not fashionable any more ? That’s the reality of the apparel business despite any stated intentions of its owner.

Not that anyone should or will give a rat’s arse but I do intend to seek further and if I’m as incorrect as some say then I’ll issue an apology.

AlfredWallace's picture
AlfredWallace's picture
AlfredWallace Sunday, 18 Sep 2022 at 3:10pm

DSDS. Hope you are well. I’ve been wearing Patagonia clothing for 30 years, whenever an item is totally fucked from use, you simply return it to any store and it goes to the shredders for reconstitution into future clothing. ‘It would be worthwhile reading his book ‘Let My People Go Surfing’, it’s a good read about how to run and make your business a great and ethical one not just a good one. Albeit, i do agree with you about the whole global t-shirt addiction these days, sickening really, we use them as ‘mouthpieces really’, mainly about what we want to portray, say or otherwise and they’ve always got some words or statements on them. With our short attention spans of so callled fashion, we just chuck ‘em out as you stated. Good discussion though.

andy-mac's picture
andy-mac's picture
andy-mac Sunday, 18 Sep 2022 at 3:20pm

Ditto, I had just written similar comment but as posting internet dropped out.
Also Yulex should be mentioned. Patagonia from my understanding developed this technology/ method and did not try to patent it but actively encouraged the technology to be taken up by other companies.

AlfredWallace's picture
AlfredWallace's picture
AlfredWallace Sunday, 18 Sep 2022 at 3:38pm

Andy-Mac. hi mate. Spot on . I’ve had and still have all of the generations of Yulex suits they made/make, simply as a desire to lessen items i wear to having some type of connection to oil. Plant derived latex was originally from the desert loving plant Guayule (Parthenium argentatum) of the daisy family (Asteraceae) of the southern Californian-Northern Mexico regions, Patagonia used it for several years bit have since gone back to using another plant based latex, mostly derived from the rubber plant (Hevea brasiliensis) for its current products. We can make a difference as individual surfers, choice.

andy-mac's picture
andy-mac's picture
andy-mac Sunday, 18 Sep 2022 at 4:47pm

Cheers Alfred :)

AlfredWallace's picture
AlfredWallace's picture
AlfredWallace Sunday, 18 Sep 2022 at 3:41pm

NeedEssentials sell good priced Yulex winter suits as well, I've a couple that get a run for the need of a dry suit for the Winter arvo second surf of the day.

ruckus's picture
ruckus's picture
ruckus Friday, 23 Sep 2022 at 5:29pm

And there we have it… over consumption / rampant consumerism all for convenience but a better choice in doing so :)

And yes I have way too many surfboards - excluding a Foamy or two (my shaper and I are looking for alternative construction methods for these however an exclusivity agreement with none other than Kelly Slater got in the way of one avenue) - all boards are sustainably made with a very conscious approach to material selection & use eg. Basically no virgin petrochemicals (recycled or ‘green’ blanks etc ) and generally no resin apart from the fin boxes (a high bio-content green resin is actioned for these)

I share and lend all my boards out. Pretty interesting mix of shapes and/or materials so keeps things interesting and/or interested. Five are currently on lend to mates, mates of mates, and mates of mates mates

Shout out if need be

Seaweed's picture
Seaweed's picture
Seaweed Sunday, 18 Sep 2022 at 4:23pm

in the past I've chosen to ignore what first appeared to be grass roots campaigns for environmental causes after seeing the Patagonia logo and thinking of them as having a corporate green washing agenda. In future ill pay closer attention.

radiationrules's picture
radiationrules's picture
radiationrules Monday, 19 Sep 2022 at 11:28am

DSDS I find your diatribe hypocritical and puerile, given your reality; that is you live in and have prospered your whole life from a safe, capitalist society and yet you see it as the root of all evil.

Your underlying philosophical supposition must be that any version of socialism or communism generates better outcomes for the planet and its people and that's demonstrably false. Those alternative systems are founded on the principle of non-measurement and consequently inefficiency. The KPI's of capitalism can always improve and triple-bottom-line reporting is the harbinger of that change.

Climate change is driven by big businesses and their financial imperatives, not hang-wringing navel-gazing, or second-rate government workers with disconnected ideals.

If you compare Patagonia to the other 3 majors of the surfing industry; surely Patagonia stands out as aspirational and representative of the opportunity for capitalism to change; including this latest gesture of reinvestment in the environment in perpetuity. Let alone the fact that this thread is a testament to how many long-term surfers, who really use their equipment, are satisfied with their price/quality/durability equation ergo the non-landfill products created.

I'm cynical too; as to what this will mean in reality, is it just green-washing? Only time will tell - but on face value, IMO it's an unequivocal step forward in the right direction. For me, finally, the surfing industry takes on the shape of "giver" not "taker".

If you were to apply the principles of your rant to Berkshire Hathaway's (Warren Buffett's) hugely successful investment in Coke; which is bringing obesity and diabetes to every corner of the globe - I'd agree with you. But Patagonia products are not as bad as Coke and Buffet ain't doing what Yvon Chouinard is doing with his equity. That's because the revolution is an evolution; always was and always will be.

I sincerely hope his gesture is the harbinger of change; coz we are not going to abandon capitalism, we all have a role to play, fighting to change what capitalism measures as success beyond short-term financial gain.

To quote Gandi "Be the change you want to see" - or check the surf in the nude, never wear a wetsuit again, and only ride your fingers to shore.

Ronson's picture
Ronson's picture
Ronson Monday, 19 Sep 2022 at 1:52pm

Bloody hell.

I focus's picture
I focus's picture
I focus Monday, 19 Sep 2022 at 2:11pm

One of the rare occasions I actually agree with Blowin on a number of points (not all).

A problem is as a collective we are all guilty, the rate of environmental destruction, species extinction in Australia is world leading, as collective we chew through more resources than most (anyone own a 4x4 get that new board every year) such is life enjoying high standards of living.

To accumulate a $bil or more as an individual then some thing some where in the environment paid for it, it didn't come free or for nothing regardless of the individuals beliefs or intensions.

So if we all in Australia grow our hair and beards long become vegetarian live in some sort of harmony with the environment the next problem would soon arrive.

Another group of humans burning resources would fu(k us over and take our resources... you know like we did with 1st nations people.

Anyway I don't buy the good / bad billionaires, maybe some are better who knows?

FriarTuck's picture
FriarTuck's picture
FriarTuck Monday, 19 Sep 2022 at 3:22pm

Never liked the gear myself

dandandan's picture
dandandan's picture
dandandan Monday, 19 Sep 2022 at 6:13pm

In almost a decade on Swellnet, I never picked that Blowin would become my anti-capitalist comrade!

I'm still figuring out my position on all this, but on points of principle:
- labour should own all it creates. Workers around the world have made Patagonia products, and even if the company pays them more than a fast(er)-fashion sweatshop, those billions ought to belong to them.
- if we simply must have capitalism for now, then companies should never go public. This move can't easily be replicated by many other "surf brands" because they are beholden to thousands of shareholders who want to be wealthier than when they bought in.
- Patagonia is right in supporting grass-roots organisations rather than the larger corporate NGOs, but their moves in buying public land aren't perfect and don't solve the problems many (generally Western) people hope they would. Now that their primary focus is on "activism" for lack of a better word, their approach to doing it should be scrutinised.
- Most of the Patagonia I see is worn by accountants and weekend adventure couples (no shade), not surfers, and for every person wearing the same pair of shorts for 20 years there's someone who buys and discards dozens of unnecessary bits of clothing every year. It's just fashion.
- Capitalism is always bad, even when it's good. For me, this is especially true in surfing. We don't need it, it doesn't serve us. Etc. Etc.

I hope this big Patagonia conversation carries over to the release of the Gerry Lopez documentary. I fear that him selling out to Costco with cheap disposable soft tops with his name all over it will be left out of the conversation which would be doing us all a disservice.

ruckus's picture
ruckus's picture
ruckus Friday, 23 Sep 2022 at 5:30pm

Good post and some very solid points

Schreinermeister's picture
Schreinermeister's picture
Schreinermeister Monday, 19 Sep 2022 at 7:44pm

So, where is your omelette dan?

Thank you Stu for taking it to these guys. Outstanding commitment and very enjoyable reading.

Patagonia make excellent quality gear, without peer, worth every cent for the consumer and the planet. It does however, and quite unfortunately, look super kooky.

dandandan's picture
dandandan's picture
dandandan Monday, 19 Sep 2022 at 9:12pm

I've never found the "where's your omlette" conversation all that compelling, given that the hellscape we're in now involves basically the end of the world as anyone has ever known it, mass extinctions already upon us, worsening cost of living crises across the world, and the most rank inequality imaginable. Awful lot of broken eggs without an omlette to be seen, and we've hardly been living in a socialist utopia the last 300 years. A few hundred years of letting the market decide hasn't done most of the planet's inhabitants much good.

Strong agree with you on the general kookiness of Patagonia's look though. Hobart has never been the fashion capital of the country, but sometimes it does just look like a sea of kookiness given how ubiquitous the Patagonia pullover has become.

garyg1412's picture
garyg1412's picture
garyg1412 Tuesday, 20 Sep 2022 at 2:54pm

"Hobart has never been the fashion capital of the country, but sometimes it does just look like a sea of kookiness given how ubiquitous the Patagonia pullover has become."
It also helps identify the kooki crew when they come north for the day looking for quality waves and real surfers :):)

Mr Nobody's picture
Mr Nobody's picture
Mr Nobody Monday, 19 Sep 2022 at 10:30pm

Hi All,

First up, I’ll admit I know nothing about nothing, so this is a late-night rant from Mr Nobody.

I’ve enjoyed reading the different opinions on this thread. All good to help me know about more than I did before about Patagonia and Yvon. He’s probably a nice fellow and hats off to him for setting this latest adventure in motion. If nothing else, it will hopefully influence thinking and get other influential people to consider their impact on the world (maybe). I think it would have been nice for him to think of doing this a few (personal) hundred million ago, but better late than never.

If I can go off on a tangent…..

Never having been into fashion I truly had no idea of Patagonia as an end product aside from people on Swellnet discussing their wetsuits in the wetsuit thread. So, as a result of this thread I hopped onto their Aus website.

There was quite a bit of “wow” there. I thought I would check out T-Shirts first. First item come up as $69.95. Quite a bit more than I expected for a basic T-Shirt. I then moved onto board shorts. First item came up with a $149.95 price tag, but it seems that is their flagship product, and the general range starts at $79.95.

This brings me to my main point. If you google Australian made T-shirts and board shorts, you can easily find them starting at $24.95 and $79.99 (less on sale) respectively.

If you want to do something for the planet, and our local economy, it seems to make sense to buy less, and when you do, by local so that the item hasn’t been shipped from half-way around the world. That can be a tough ask with most of our stuff being imported, but it is not that difficult if you look into it. Have a think before your next purchase.

All the best.

Mr Nobody.

peabo's picture
peabo's picture
peabo Monday, 19 Sep 2022 at 10:56pm

Just reading these comments for the first time and i'm crying with laughter.

You can contribute millions to environmental causes over decades, put in place every measure you can to ensure your products are created with as little impact as possible offering a legit enviro-friendly alternative to other big brands and set up a legacy to contribute millions more indefinitely, but you ain't shit if you haven't 're-wilded' a few acres in rural Australia. Fuckin' LOL.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain Tuesday, 20 Sep 2022 at 11:29am

I recommend their 3 in 1 Snowshot jacket for skiing or snowboarding. I've had mine for years and still in perfect nick. If you get out in really cold conditions or then transition into spring and only really need a shell, that jacket is the bomb.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno Thursday, 22 Sep 2022 at 7:39pm

Wow what a thread, only got about half way down.

The Ms and I overheard a story from the WEF suggesting that we would need to lessen our clothes expenditure by 75% to save the planet. We looked at each other and blinked, for this presupposed that we were actually buying clothes.

If you want to save the planet, wear it till you wear through it with no eye for fashion. Works for me.

gcuts's picture
gcuts's picture
gcuts Thursday, 22 Sep 2022 at 8:47pm

Oh FFS, don't buy the BS.

Wealthy git sets ups charitable foundation. Donates company share to said charity = tax deduction.

Value of said business, company? Let's guess, say $10m, so now, said philanthropist has ongoing tax loss carried forward if income not equal to value 'given away'.

Oh wait, said befactor now works for charity ... FBT exempt entity, all as 'remuneration' as benefits, ooops no tax!

C'mon you. WAKE UP.

Truck driving the east coast, surfing, fishing, this is discussed daily on the UHF!

Get a tune on reality, Muppets. Don't believe the PR spin.

Supafreak's picture
Supafreak's picture
Supafreak Friday, 23 Sep 2022 at 8:36pm

KS doing his bit to minimise his personal environmental footprint https://www.instagram.com/reel/Ci03dWGtCRN/?igshid=ZWFiZDJlMTg=

theblacksheep's picture
theblacksheep's picture
theblacksheep Tuesday, 27 Sep 2022 at 6:20am

I was getting a little wound up by DSDS until he busted out the quote:

“as evidenced by the absence of Jeans shorts on the streets despite them being able to survive a nuclear apocalypse”

Gonna get me self some and virtue signal the hell out of it for eternity…

Remigogo's picture
Remigogo's picture
Remigogo Tuesday, 27 Sep 2022 at 8:39pm

Faaark... a hell of alot easier reading the book...
What an essay this thread is.

troppo dichotomy's picture
troppo dichotomy's picture
troppo dichotomy Wednesday, 28 Sep 2022 at 12:16pm

Wow,wot a legend!old mate closes shop and gives all his money to charity?
I was sad to hear this as having owned some of Patagonias awesome snow gear that's lasted me 30+years.I didn't buy the jackets,my partner did but can testify its good stuff.

I only support the second hand stores,only a fool pays full price!

Fellow eco warrior fashionistas don't panic as you can still look amazing by buying clothes from a company named Propaganda,google it and you will find the Battlefield hoodie on Amazon for only 88 euro's!