Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard, Business & Future
"As of now, Earth is our only shareholder"
On September 2022, Yvon Chouinard - the founder of outdoor clothing company - Patagonia, announced to give away his entire company, which values over 3 billion, to a designated trust and non-profit organization to save our mother Earth.
This news has dumfounded the business world and shed some more hope for our better future!
One might wonder, why not do the easier way? Sell the company, then give away the money. Perhaps, the money will be well spent and then end at some point. Perhaps, Yvon Chouinard chose a more sustainable way as Patagonia will continue to thrive as its mission.
“We’re in business to save our home planet.”
At this very special moment, why don't we take a walk back to see the whole journey of Yvon Chouinard and Patagonia?
Yvon Chouinard has never considered himself as a businessman but rather a rock climber, a surfer, an environmentalist. His entrepreneurial success took a different road - or different mountains and waves.
To this day, Chouinard has shown the world there's a way of making money, creating long-lasting quality products, and fulfilling customers' needs without compromising our environmental footprint and respect toward others.
Patagonia on the view
Over the last 60 years, Patagonia has been consistently doing its unique business and devoted itself to the environment.
Patagonia's Business Model in a peek!
Patagonia is a living example of a successful business with a Circular economy in mind. Contradictory with fast fashion, here is what Patagonia does.
Being Patagonia in the fast fashion world might open the pathway for many companies to pursue its sustainable road.
So what is the "nitty-gritty" for the story of Patagonia?
The answer might be seen in its founder book, "Let my people go surfing" - a must-read book for all business sustainable enthusiasts.
Let my people go surfing delicately writes down its lessons through every story, which do not only apply to the clothing sector but to the whole business paradigm.
Product Design Philosophy
"Is it functional?
Is it multifunctional?
Is it durable?
Does it fit the customer?
Is it as simple as possible?
Is the Product Line Simple?
Is it an innovation or an invention?
Is it global design?
Is it easy to care for and clean?
Does it have any added value?
Is it authentic?
Does it cause any unnecessary harm?
Is it beautiful?" - "When I'm working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong"
Richard Buckminster Fuller
"Involve the designer with the producer - The prerequisite of the Circular economy.
Develop long-term relationships with suppliers and contractors
Weigh quality first against on-time delivery and low cost"
"Tell people who we are"
"Who are businesses really responsible to? Their customers? Shareholders? Employees? We would argue that it's none of the above. Fundamentally, businesses are responsible to their resource base. Without a healthy environment, there are no shareholders, no employees, no customers, and no business."
Human Resource Philosophy
"Why on earth would anyone run a company that was hard to work for?"
"Our main reason for being in business is to try to make governments and corporations stop ignoring our environmental crisis. Action is absolutely necessary. Evil always wins if we do nothing."
Let my people go surfing, Yvon Chouinard.