Patagonia, Inc.

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Patagonia, Inc.
TypePrivate benefit corporation
IndustryApparel
FoundedMay 9, 1973; 49 years ago (1973-05-09)
FounderYvon Chouinard
HeadquartersVentura, California, U.S.
Key people
Ryan Gellert, CEO[1]
ProductsOutdoor clothing
Revenue$1.5 billion (2022 estimate)
Number of employees
1,000 (2017)
Websitepatagonia.com

Patagonia, Inc. is an American retailer of outdoor clothing. It was founded by Yvon Chouinard in 1973 and is based in Ventura, California.[2] Patagonia operates stores in 10+ countries globally,[3][4] as well as factories in 16 countries.[5]

History[edit]

Mannequin dressed in Patagonia clothing and gear

Yvon Chouinard, an accomplished rock climber,[6] began selling hand-forged mountain climbing gear in 1957 through his company Chouinard Equipment.[7] 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.[8]

In 1970, Chouinard obtained rugby shirts from Scotland that he wore while climbing because the collar kept the climbing sling from hurting his neck.[8][9]

Great Pacific Iron Works,[10] 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.[11] In 1981, Patagonia and Chouinard Equipment were incorporated within Great Pacific Iron Works.[12] In 1984, Chouinard changed the name of Great Pacific Iron Works to Lost Arrow Corporation.[13]

A Patagonia store in Portland, Oregon, was located in a renovated 1895-built former warehouse until moving to a new location in 2017.

Patagonia has expanded its product line to include apparel targeted towards other sports, such as surfing.[14] In addition to clothing, they offer other related products, including camping food.[15] By the late 2010s, branded Patagonia fleece vests became known for their use by financial executives, and in 2019, Patagonia announced that it would restrict distribution of branded products to firms committed to Environmental, social, and corporate governance initiatives.[16]

In September 2020, Patagonia announced that Rose Marcario would step down as its chief executive officer and be succeeded by Ryan Gellert.[1]

In September 2022, Chouinard announced that ownership of Patagonia would be donated to the Patagonia Purpose Trust, a trust overseen by the Chouinard family and advisors, to ensure that profits are used to address climate change and protect undeveloped land around the world.[17][18]

Manufacturing[edit]

Current logo

In 2007 and 2011, internal audits revealed that factories in Patagonia's production supply chain were involved in human trafficking, leading to company efforts to address the labor abuses.[19]

In December 2021, the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights filed a criminal complaint in a Dutch court against Patagonia and other brands, alleging that they benefited from the use of forced Uyghur labor in Xinjiang.[20]

In June 2016, Patagonia released a set of principles for the treatment of animals used to manufacture wool garments, as well as land-use practices and sustainability.[21][22]

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.[23] In 2019, it launched a program named ReCrafted that creates and sells clothing made from scraps of fabric coming from used Patagonia gear.[24]

As of 2019, the firm aims to become carbon neutral by 2025.[25] Patagonia uses a circular economy strategy in their product design,[26] In 2021, Patagonia announced that it would no longer produce its clothing with added corporate logos to improve garment life-spans.[27]

Activism[edit]

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.[28] In 2015, the firm launched Common Threads Partnership, an online auction-style platform that facilitated direct sales of used Patagonia clothing.[29][30] In 2016, Patagonia pledged to contribute 100% of sales from Black Friday to environmental organizations, totaling $10 million.[31] 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."[28]

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.[32]

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%.[33] Patagonia sued 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.[34][35]

In July 2020, Patagonia suspended its advertising on Facebook and Facebook's photo-sharing app, Instagram, as part of the "Stop Hate for Profit" campaign, which some U.S. civil rights organizations launched because they believed the social networking company was doing too little to curb hate speech on its sites.[36]

On April 5, 2021, Patagonia pledged $1 million to the activist groups Black Voters Matter and the New Georgia Project, regarding voter registration laws in Georgia.[37]

Criticism[edit]

Patagonia has been criticized as selling "shoddily-made plastic clothing to non-profit executives".[38]

Patagonia's founder has also been accused of dodging taxes by gifting his shares to a nonprofit holding company.[39]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Roshitsh, Kaley (September 24, 2020). "Patagonia Names New CEO". WWD. Retrieved October 23, 2020.
  2. ^ "Our Company History - Patagonia". www.patagonia.com.
  3. ^ Yakowicz, Will (March 16, 2020). "At Billionaire-Owned Patagonia Outdoor Clothing Chain, Employees To Be Paid Despite Store Closures Amid Coronavirus". Forbes. Retrieved May 17, 2021.{{cite magazine}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ Thomas, Lauren (March 13, 2020). "Patagonia is closing all of its stores and shutting down its website because of the coronavirus". CNBC. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  5. ^ "Patagonia: What to Know About the Outdoor Brand". Highsnobiety. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  6. ^ Wang, Jennifer (May 12, 2010). "Patagonia, From the Ground Up". Entrepreneur. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
  7. ^ "Into the Heart of Patagonia's Secret Archives". July 6, 2017.
  8. ^ a b "Patagonia's History - A Company Created by Climber Yvon Chouinard and his commitment to the Environment (catalog paper, organic and recycled fabrics)". www.patagonia.com. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
  9. ^ Stevenson, Seth. "Patagonia's Founder Is America's Most Unlikely Business Guru". The Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
  10. ^ "On Writing: The 1972 Chouinard Catalog that changed a business – and climbing – forever". signalvnoise.com. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  11. ^ Sullivan, Michael (May 24, 2017). "Room to grow: Patagonia purchases former Brooks site north of Ventura". Ventura County Reporter. Retrieved April 10, 2021.
  12. ^ "Trailblazer: Yvon Chouinard | OutInUnder - Slow Social Media". www.outinunder.com.
  13. ^ Chouinard, Yvon (September 6, 2016). Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman--Including 10 More Years of Business Unusual. Penguin. ISBN 9781101992531. Retrieved September 26, 2018 – via Google Books.
  14. ^ "Patagonia stakes a wider claim on the beach". Men's Vogue. Archived from the original on May 12, 2008. Retrieved March 27, 2008.
  15. ^ Fabricant, Florence (April 24, 2012). "Patagonia Starts a Food Line". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 9, 2022.
  16. ^ Friedman, Vanessa (April 5, 2019). "Are Bankers and Venture Capitalists Really Getting Fleeced by Patagonia?". The New York Times.
  17. ^ Vlamis, Kelsey (September 14, 2022). "Patagonia founder is giving away his billion dollar company and ensuring that all profits go towards fighting climate change". MSN.
  18. ^ Gelles, David (September 14, 2022). "Billionaire No More: Patagonia Founder Gives Away the Company". The New York Times. Archived from the original on September 14, 2022.
  19. ^ "ALL YOUR CLOTHES ARE MADE WITH EXPLOITED LABOR". The Atlantic.
  20. ^ Adegeest, Don-Alvin (December 6, 2021). "Nike, Patagonia named in European lawsuit as being complicit in 'forced labour' practices in Xinjiang, China". FashionUnited. Retrieved December 9, 2021.
  21. ^ Michelson, Megan (July 29, 2016). "Want Ethically Sourced Wool? Buy from Patagonia". Outside Online. Retrieved January 20, 2017.
  22. ^ "Patagonia Wool Standard" (PDF). Patagonia. 2016.
  23. ^ Feldman, Jamie (January 30, 2017). "Patagonia Just Made Another Major Move To Save The Earth And Your Wallet". Huffington Post. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
  24. ^ Segran, Elizabeth (January 11, 2021). "Patagonia has had enormous success with upcycled clothing. Could other brands follow?". Fast Company. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
  25. ^ Bentley, Daniel (January 24, 2019). "Doing Good and Making a Profit: These Apparel Companies Are Proving They Aren't Mutually Exclusive". Fortune. Retrieved April 10, 2021.
  26. ^ "Patagonia's Circular Economy Strategy". The Business of Fashion. January 16, 2017. Retrieved October 25, 2021.
  27. ^ "The finance bro uniform is officially dead as Patagonia stops adding corporate logos to its ubiquitous fleece vests". Business Insider.
  28. ^ a b Miller, Ryan W. (November 28, 2018). "Patagonia plans to donate $10 million saved from Trump tax cuts to environmental groups". USA Today. Retrieved April 10, 2021.
  29. ^ Goldberg, Rebecca; Wilcox, Ronald (February 6, 2015). "Case in point: Patagonia urged buyers to pick used items over new. It was a success". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 10, 2021.
  30. ^ Davies, Helen (February 17, 2021). "13 Green Marketing Examples And Great Environmental Initiatives". frontsigns.com. Retrieved April 10, 2021.
  31. ^ Kavilanz, Parija (November 29, 2016). "Patagonia's Black Friday sales hit $10 million -- and will donate it all". CNN. Retrieved April 10, 2021.
  32. ^ Reimers, Frederick (February 8, 2017). "Moving Outdoor Retailer Isn't About Politics. It's About Money". Outside Magazine. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  33. ^ McCarthy, Tom (August 26, 2017). "Patagonia joins forces with activists to protect public lands from Trump". The Guardian. Retrieved April 10, 2021.
  34. ^ Marcario, Rose (December 6, 2017). "Patagonia CEO: This Is Why We're Suing President Trump". Time. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
  35. ^ Gelles, David (May 5, 2018). "Patagonia v. Trump". The New York Times. Retrieved April 10, 2021.
  36. ^ "Patagonia joins The North Face in Facebook ad boycott". Reuters. June 23, 2020. Retrieved April 10, 2021.
  37. ^ Choi, Joseph (April 6, 2021). "Patagonia to donate $1 million to Georgia voting rights groups". The Hill. Retrieved April 6, 2021.
  38. ^ "Tucker Carlson's decision to wear a Patagonia vest comes back to haunt him". The Independent. August 25, 2021. Retrieved December 2, 2022.
  39. ^ "Patagonia's $3 billion corporate gift is also a convenient way to avoid taxes". Quartz. September 16, 2022. Retrieved December 2, 2022.

External links[edit]

Media related to Patagonia (company) at Wikimedia Commons