|Type||Private benefit corporation|
|Founded||May 9, 1973|
|Headquarters||Ventura, California, U.S.|
|Ryan Gellert, CEO|
|Revenue||$209.09 million (2017 estimate)|
Number of employees
Yvon Chouinard, an accomplished rock climber, 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.
Great Pacific Iron Works, Patagonia's first store, opened in 1973 in the former Hobson meat-packing plant at Santa Clara St. in Ventura, near Chouinard's blacksmith shop. In 1981, Patagonia and Chouinard Equipment were incorporated within Great Pacific Iron Works. In 1984, Chouinard changed the name of Great Pacific Iron Works to Lost Arrow Corporation.
Patagonia has expanded its product line to include apparel targeted towards other sports, such as surfing. In addition to clothing, they offer other products such as athletic equipment, backpacks, sleeping bags, and camping food.
In April 2017, Patagonia announced that merchandise in good condition can be returned for new merchandise credits. The used merchandise is cleaned, repaired and sold on its "Worn Wear" website. As of April 2020, Worn Wear had sold more than 120,000 items. In 2019, it launched a program named ReCrafted that creates and sells clothing made from scraps of fabric coming from used Patagonia gear.
Patagonia commits 1% of its total sales to environmental groups, since 1985 through One Percent for the Planet, an organization of which Yvon Chouinard was a founding member. In 2015, the firm launched Common Threads Partnership, an online auction-style platform that facilitated direct sales of used Patagonia clothing. In 2016, Patagonia pledged to contribute 100% of sales from Black Friday to environmental organizations, totaling $10 million. In June 2018, the company announced that it would donate the $10 million it received from President Trump's 2017 tax cuts to "groups committed to protecting air, land and water and finding solutions to the climate crisis."
In 2012, Patagonia became a Certified B Corporation. The company was the first to be registered as a benefit corporation in the State of California, after the California Corporations Code were revised setting new specific requirements. The firm also aims to become carbon neutral by 2025.
Politics and land preservation
In February 2017, Patagonia led a boycott of the Outdoor Retailer trade show, which traditionally took place in Salt Lake City, Utah, because of the Utah state legislature's introduction of legislation that would transfer federal lands to the state. Patagonia also opposed Utah Governor Gary Herbert's request that the Trump administration revoke the recently designated Bears Ears National Monument in southern Utah. After several companies joined the Patagonia-led boycott, event organizer Emerald Expositions said it would not accept a proposal from Utah to continue hosting the Outdoor Retailer trade show and would instead move the event to another state.
On December 6, 2017, Patagonia sued the United States Government and President Donald Trump for his proclamations of reducing the protected land of Bears Ears National Monument by 85% and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by almost 50%. Patagonia is suing over the interpretation of the Property Clause of the U.S. Constitution in which the country vests Congress with the power to manage federal lands. The company's then-CEO, Rose Marcario, contends that when Congress passed the Antiquities Act of 1906, it did not give any president the power to reverse a prior president's monument designations.
Facebook ad boycott
In July 2020, Patagonia suspended its advertising on Facebook and Facebook's photo-sharing app, Instagram, making it the latest company to enter a U.S. civil rights boycott movement. This was done as part of the Stop Hate for Profit campaign, which several U.S. civil rights organizations launched who said the social network was doing too little to curb hate speech on its sites.
In 2012, UK animal activist group Four Paws said that Patagonia used live-plucked down feathers and downs of force-fed geese. In a statement on their website, Patagonia denied use of live-plucking but said it had used down procured from the foie-gras industry. 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.
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. This led Patagonia to stop sourcing wool from Ovis 21.
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- Patagonia’s Balancing Act: Chasing Mass-Market Appeal While Doing No Harm
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- If Patagonia’s business model is a paragon of virtue, should more companies follow suit?
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