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Why Patagonia’s billionaire owner has made “Earth our only shareholder” and promised a huge investment in saving the planet

Patagonia's head office

Clothing giant Patagonia's owner has made "Earth our only shareholder" as part of a bold vision to dedicate huge sums of money to saving the planet.

Founder Yvon Chouinard has owned the company for nearly 50 years and has now transferred ownership to two new entities: Patagonia Purpose Trust and the Holdfast Collective.

The company says every dollar not reinvested in the company will be distributed as dividends to help protect the planet.


The Patagonia Purpose Trust now owns all the voting stock of the company (two percent of total stock) and has been formed to create a more permanent legal structure to enshrine Patagonia’s purpose and values.

The aim is to ensure there is no deviation from Chouinard's intention to demonstrate that as a for-profit business that capitalism can also work for the planet.


What is the Holdfast Collective?

The Holdfast Collective owns all the non-voting stock, which is 98 percent of the total stock.

It will use every dollar received from Patagonia to protect nature and diversity, support thriving communities and fight the environmental crisis.

Profits that don't go back into the business will be distributed by Patagonia as a dividend to the Holdfast Collective to help fight the climate crisis.

The company projects it will pay out an annual dividend of around $100 million, depending on the health of the business.

What does the founder say?

Patagonia Founder Yvon Chouinard

Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia founder, former owner, and current board member said:

“It’s been a half-century since we began our experiment in responsible business.

"If we have any hope of a thriving planet 50 years from now, it demands all of us doing all we can with the resources we have. As the business leader I never wanted to be, I am doing my part.

"Instead of extracting value from nature and transforming it into wealth, we are using the wealth Patagonia creates to protect the source. We’re making Earth our only shareholder. I am dead serious about saving this planet.”

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Ryan Gellert, CEO of Patagonia and Patagonia board member added: “Two years ago, the Chouinard family challenged a few of us to develop a new structure with two central goals.

"They wanted us to both protect the purpose of the business and immediately and perpetually release more funding to fight the environmental crisis. We believe this new structure delivers on both and we hope it will inspire a new way of doing business that puts people and planet first.”

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