Please click the Play > button if video does not begin automatically. Environmental Responsibility in Practice
Alpinism is the heart of Patagonia, but environmental activism is what makes it tick. The rugged-wear business, founded in 1973, has grown into a worldwide company that makes clothing and gear for skiing, snowboarding, surfing, fly fishing, paddling, trail running and climbing. All of these are silent, human-powered sports that bring the person closer to nature.
At Patagonia, the belief is that a love of wild and beautiful places demands participation in the fight to save them. This is why Patagonia was the first U.S. company to print its catalogue on recycled paper (1984) and the first to make fleece jackets using recycled plastic bottles (1993). Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia’s founder, donates 30 percent of his annual salary to environmental organizations. In 2001 he co-founded 1% for the Planet, an alliance of companies committed to paying an “Earth Tax” to environmental groups.
Chouinard founded the outdoor-clothing company based on his own love for the outdoors. He is a self-trained blacksmith who, at age 19, invented a piton to scale rock faces that holds better, can be reused, and is now the world’s standard. Chouinard is a world-class mountaineer, dedicated fly fisher and diehard surfer. His story about running a pioneering, eco-friendly and profitable company can be found in his 2005 book, “Let My People Go Surfing.”
By keeping up the quality of its products, Patagonia, a $230 million dollar company, has stayed profitable without losing its soul. Patagonia is a perfect example of a large business that is both successful and environmentally responsible.
Chouinard’s speech at LMU will focus on the importance of following your personal passion and will inspire young entrepreneurs on the value of green business.