|Private benefit corporation|
|Headquarters||Ventura, California, U.S.|
|Revenue||$209.09M (2017 estimate)|
Number of employees
Patagonia, Inc. is an American clothing company that sells and showcases mainly sustainable outdoor clothing. The company was founded by Yvon Chouinard in 1973, and is based in Ventura, California. Its logo is the skyline of Cerro Fitz Roy in Patagonia.
Yvon Chouinard, an accredited 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.
In 1970, Chouinard obtained rugby shirts from Scotland that he wore while climbing because the collar kept the climbing sling from hurting his neck. 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. 
Patagonia has expanded its product line to include apparel targeted towards other sports, such as skiing, surfing, and general comfort-wear. In addition to clothing, they offer a selection of products ranging from backpacks to sleeping bags.
Starting in April 2017 Patagonia merchandise can be returned for new merchandise credits. The used merchandise gets cleaned and repaired and sold on their "Worn Wear" website.
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. The company also supports a number of other initiatives.
Move to use traceable down
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.
Criticism on wool sourcing
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 lead Patagonia to stop sourcing wool from Ovis 21.
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- "The Cleanest Line: Patagonia to Cease Purchasing Wool from Ovis 21". www.thecleanestline.com. Retrieved 2016-05-09.
- Michelson, Megan (2016-07-29). "Want Ethically Sourced Wool? Buy from Patagonia.". Outside Online. Retrieved 2017-01-20.
- "Patagonia Wool Standard" (PDF). Patagonia. 2016.