Yvon Chouinard is the founder of Patagonia. The billionaire businessman is a climber surfer, kayaker, and falconer and is particularly fond of tenkara fly-fishing. A leading climber in the 1960s with many first ascents (including the North American Wall and the Muir Wall on El Capitan in Yosemite.
In 1957 he started making steel-forged pitons out of his garage for his climbing exploits. This was the beginning of Chouinard Equipment, which later became Black Diamond.
In 1973, he founded outdoor apparel company Patagonia. From the beginning, Chouinard did things differently. He devoted time and money to environmental causes: deforestation, global warming, habitat protection, dam removal, and many others.
In 1986 Chouinard decided to begin committing one percent of sales or ten percent of profits, whichever is the greater, to environmental activism causes. He also began paying employees working on local environmental projects so they could commit their efforts full-time.
In 1996, after learning how detrimental the growth of cotton is to the environment, Chouinard committed to using only organic cotton, setting a standard which has been adopted by many other outdoor companies today.
Chouinard is the author of three books, including best-seller, Let My People Go Surfing, which chronicles his journey from dirtbag climber to billionaire businessman through unconventional, radical ideas.
Industry headlines: Intriguing reads from around the web Climbing chalk is safe: A new study suggests powdered climbing chalk is unlikely to transmit the coronavirus. [Climbing] Patagonia’s new film: Don’t miss “Public Trust,” premiering September 25, about the ongoing battle for ...read more
Patagonia announced the departure of its CEO, Rose Marcario, who has served as the company's chief executive officer since 2008. "Circumstances around the pandemic created a natural inflection point for reimagining our business and Rose and the Board felt it made sense for those ...read more
Keep up by reading Industry Buzz. Here are today's top headlines: Have a news tip? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org Retailer resurrection: The Stable Outdoor Outfitters in Saginaw, Michigan, closed its doors earlier this year when the owner retired after nearly half a century ...read more
Update: Utah State University's Outdoor Recreation Archive went live on Nov. 5. It includes catalogs from existing and defunct brands and can be viewed at exhibits.usu.edu/exhibits/show/outdoorcatalogs. As Clint Pumphrey sifted through stacks of outdoor brands' old catalogs, he ...read more
Keep up by reading Industry Buzz. Here are today's top headlines: Have a news tip? Email us at email@example.com OIA Global and Ditto Sustainable Brand Solutions created a program called Garments On Ditto that makes removing plastic from retailers simpler. The program ...read more
Keep up by reading Industry Buzz. Here are today's top headlines: Have a news tip? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. As part of his “Five Deeps” Expedition”, businessman Victor Vescovo dove 35,849 feet down the Mariana Trench—and found a plastic bag. In a study released in ...read more
Keep up by reading Industry Buzz. Here are today's top headlines: Have a news tip? Email us at email@example.com. Hydro Flask has its own song! The song is part of the "Let's Go" brand campaign launch and the first in a series of artist collaborations the brand will develop ...read more
In the same way that the Epic, Ikon, and Mountain Collective ski passes have revolutionized the ski industry by giving passholders access to multiple mountains, 1% for the Planet's new pass program is transforming the way individuals can donate to environmental nonprofits. ...read more
Patagonia is giving away $10 million it saved last year as a direct result of last year’s cut to corporate income tax rates, backed by President Donald Trump, to find solutions to the climate crisis. The tax cut was in favor of the oil and gas industry and will open up 19 million ...read more
On Election Day, Patagonia wants voters in Nevada and Montana to choose two specific U.S. Senate candidates who have vowed to protect public lands and waters. This is the first time in the brand's 45 years that it has publicly supported candidates and Patagonia insists the ...read more
The year was 1968 in California. A group of five friends who called themselves the Fun Hogs—Yvon Chouinard, Doug Tompkins, Dick Dorworth, Chris Jones, and Lito Tejada-Flores—crammed into an old van and surfed, skied, and climbed their way south toward Patagonia in South America. ...read more
Keep up by reading Industry Buzz. Here are today's top headlines: Have a news tip? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Heartbreaking news: A D.C. couple who was biking around the globe was killed in an attack in Tajikistan on Sunday. The two 29-year-olds—Jay Austin and Lauren ...read more
Longtime Patagonia employee Peter Kinnoch Noone, who was known for his gruff exterior, sharp sense of justice, and down-to-earth style of the outdoor industry’s early days, died of recurrent cancer on July 9 at his home in Ojai, California. He was 75. Noone's outdoor retail ...read more
Nomad Ventures in Idyllwild, California, was supposed to be a short-term, weekend gig for founder Bruce Damon. At the time, the then-26-year-old had a good, full-time job as a production manager at a local machine shop. But his passion for backpacking and paddling piqued his ...read more
If you read anything today, make it Industry Buzz. Here are the latest headlines: Do you have buzzworthy news tips? Email us at SNEWSedit@aimmedia.com. Together we are a force! About 120 members of our industry—including our own Editor-in-Chief, Kristin Hostetter—are gathered at ...read more
“If you’ve been paying attention, you'll know that things aren't going very well for the planet,” says Yvon Chouinard in a new video by Patagonia. “It’s pretty easy to get depressed about it. I’ve always known that the cure for depression is action.” The devoted activist is ...read more
The war of words continues between Patagonia and Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah). On Friday, Bishop posted yet another photo spoofing Patagonia’s original black box tweet. This one replaced “Patagonia is Lying” with “Patagonia is Hiding”. The post then links to a letter from Bishop to ...read more
The fight over public lands has been brewing for a long time, and the outdoor industry has thrust itself into the fray. Patagonia and others have led the charge, and everyone who is anyone has something to say on the matter. When President Obama signed the REC Act into law ...read more
In a nutshell, here's the deal. Patagonia and various GOP officials have been duking it out via twitter and very public homepage statements about the way in which America values, treats, supports, and best uses its sacred public lands. It's a war that has been raging since the ...read more
The chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee sent a letter Friday to Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard on Friday, inviting him to speak to the committee about the administration's proposed cuts to Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments. Immediately ...read more
In a first for the brand, Patagonia will air a commercial throughout the state of Montana this week, aimed at Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke. Zinke has just a few days left before he must give President Donald Trump official recommendations on the monuments currently under review. ...read more
President Donald Trump’s demand for Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review some national monuments within 120 days is “absurd,” Patagonia Founder Yvon Chouinard and CEO Rose Marcario wrote Thursday in a letter to Zinke. “As you know, the process to establish a National ...read more
Doug Tompkins, founder of The North Face, died Tuesday after a kayaking accident in Chile. Tompkins, 72, reportedly suffered from extreme hypothermia when his kayak capsized on Lake General Carrera, in Chile’s Patagonia region. Tompkins was one of six kayakers who capsized on ...read more