Patagonia is a privately held company based in Ventura, California that sells outdoor clothing and equipment. Yvon Chouinard founded the company in 1973.
“If we have any hope of a prosperous planet 50 years from now, it requires all of us to do the best we can with the resources we have,” Chouinard said in a statement on Wednesday. “Instead of extracting value from nature and turning it into wealth, we are using the wealth that Patagonia creates to protect the source.”
The largest share of the company—or 98% of Patagonia’s shares—will now be owned by the Holdfast collective. This non-profit will ensure that the company’s annual profits, about $100 million a year, are used to “protect nature and biodiversity, support thriving communities and fight the environmental crisis.”
The remaining shares of the company will fund the newly created Patagonia Purpose Trust.
This trust will create a permanent legal structure so that the company never deviates from Chouinard’s vision: that a non-profit business can work for the planet.
“Two years ago, the Chouinard family challenged some of us to develop a new structure with two main goals,” Patagonia CEO Ryan Gellert said in a press release. “They wanted to protect the purpose of the business and immediately and permanently release more funding to address the environmental crisis. We believe this new structure does both and we hope it will inspire a new way of doing business that puts people and the planet first.”