Patagonia (clothing)

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Patagonia, Inc.
Private benefit corporation
Industry Retail
Founded 1973
Headquarters Ventura, California, U.S.
Key people

Yvon Chouinard-Founder

Rose Marcario-CEO
Products Outdoor apparel
Revenue Increase $600 Million (2013)
Number of employees
Increase 2000 (2014)

Coordinates: 34°16′47″N 119°18′14″W / 34.2798°N 119.3040°W / 34.2798; -119.3040

Patagonia, Inc. is an American clothing company founded by Yvon Chouinard in 1973 that sells and showcases mainly sustainable outdoor clothing. Based in Ventura, California,[1]

The logo is the skyline of Cerro Fitz Roy looking west in Patagonia.


Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia and accredited rock climber,[2] began selling hand forged mountain climbing gear in 1957 through his company Chouinard Equipment. He worked alone selling his gear until 1965 when he partnered with Tom Frost in order to improve his products and address the growing supply and demand issue he faced.[3]

In 1970, Chouinard obtained rugby shirts from Scotland that he wore while climbing because the collar kept the climbing sling from hurting his neck.[3][4] Collared shirts were then designed and implemented into his merchandise line and quickly became the primary product sold. Chouinard Equipment was forced to file for bankruptcy in 1989 when it lost a series of lawsuits claiming "failure to inform" of safety issues related to usage of climbing hardware including one filed by the survivors of a climber who died in a fall after slipping out of a Chouinard climbing harness. The resultant increases in their product liability insurance were cited by Chouinard as the reason they stopped making climbing gear. The liquidated assets of the climbing gear side were purchased for $900,000 by Chouinard's longtime partner, Peter Metcalf, and reorganized as Black Diamond Equipment. Yvon Chouinard retained the profitable soft goods (clothing) division of the company which had already been rebranded as Patagonia. [5]

Patagonia has expanded its product line to include apparel targeted towards other sports, such as skiing, surfing, and general comfort-wear.[6]

Environmental activism[edit]

Patagonia commits 1% of their total sales or 10% of their profit, whichever is more, to environmental groups. Yvon Chouinard was a founding member of One Percent for the Planet, an organization that encourages other businesses to do the same.[7][8] The company also supports a number of other initiatives.

Move to use traceable down[edit]

In 2012, UK animal activist group Four Paws said that Patagonia used live-plucked down feathers and downs of force-fed geese.[9] In a statement on their website, Patagonia denied use of live-plucking but said it had used down procured from the foie-gras industry.[10] As of fall 2014, Patagonia said it was using 100% traceable down to ensure that birds were not force-fed or live-plucked and that down is not blended with down from unknown sources.[11][12]

Criticism on wool sourcing[edit]

In February 2005 Patagonia's sourcing of wool from Australia was criticized by PETA over the practice of mulesing. Patagonia has since moved its sourcing of wool from Australia to South America and the cooperative Ovis 21. However, in August 2015 PETA released new video footage showing how sheep were treated cruelly in Ovis 21 farms.[13] This lead Patagonia to stop sourcing wool from Ovis 21.[14]

In June 2016, Patagonia released a set of new wool principles that guide the treatment of animals as well as land-use practices, and sustainability.[15][16]


  1. ^ Nelson, Mike (July 2, 2017). "Patagonia's child care center serves employees and their families". Ventura County Star. Retrieved 3 July 2016. 
  2. ^ Wang, Jennifer. "Patagonia, From the Ground Up". Entrepreneur. Retrieved 2016-04-26. 
  3. ^ a b "Patagonia's History - A Company Created by Climber Yvon Chouinard and his commitment to the Environment (catalog paper, organic and recycled fabrics )". Retrieved 2016-04-26. 
  4. ^ Stevenson, Seth. "Patagonia's Founder Is America's Most Unlikely Business Guru". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2016-04-26. 
  5. ^ Steiner, Christopher (September 10, 2014). "A Fight For The Mountaintop: Yvon Chouinard's Disciple Challenges Patagonia". Forbes. Retrieved 5 August 2016. 
  6. ^ "Patagonia stakes a wider claim on the beach". Men's Vogue. Archived from the original on May 12, 2008. Retrieved March 27, 2008. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ Hemlock, Doreen (27 May 2013). "One Percent for The Planet: Businesses commit to donate 1 percent of sales to environmental nonprofits - tribunedigital-sunsentinel". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 15 September 2016. 
  9. ^ "Outdoor Company Patagonia: Down from brutal force-feeding". Four Paws. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  10. ^ "The Lowdown on Down: An Update". The Cleanest Line. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Patagonia's 'Sustainable Wool' Supplier EXPOSED: Lambs Skinned Alive, Throats Slit, Tails Cut Off". PETA Investigations. Retrieved 2016-05-09. 
  14. ^ "The Cleanest Line: Patagonia to Cease Purchasing Wool from Ovis 21". Retrieved 2016-05-09. 
  15. ^ Michelson, Megan (2016-07-29). "Want Ethically Sourced Wool? Buy from Patagonia.". Outside Online. Retrieved 2017-01-20. 
  16. ^ "Patagonia Wool Standard" (PDF). Patagonia. 2016. 

External links[edit]