PATAGONIA TURNS 50 THIS YEAR. WHAT'S NEXT?Patagonia turns 50 this year.
The for-profit corporation made headlines last fall as it adopted a unique and radical new ownership structure, one that is not based on maximizing shareholder value but on preserving the purpose and independence of the company. Under the slogan 'Earth is now our only shareholder," Patagonia's founder Yvon Chouinard and his family transferred their ownership of the company to a specially designed trust and non-profit organization where all distributed profits are paid as dividends toward climate protection and preservation.
In 1985, Patagonia was already giving away 1% of annual sales to go toward climate action (founding 1% For the Planet). In 2011, the company placed a "Don't Buy This Jacket" ad on Black Friday, and the following year became the first certified B corporation in California. In 2016, it donated 100% of Black Friday sales toward nonprofits, sued the Trump administration to protect Bears Ears National Monument, and in 2022, Patagonia changed its ownership structure to the one we know now. What will the next 50 years bring?