Founder of American outdoor brand Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard, has made it clear that he is taking fashion’s role in the ongoing climate crisis seriously by giving away his entire company to fight for the cause of saving the environment.
The 83-year-old billionaire Chouinard announced yesterday that the company’s profits will now go directly towards endeavours to save the planet via a system of a a unique trust and non-profit organisation Holdfast Collective. According to The Guardian, Chouinard, his wife and family pulled on the talents of a team of lawyers to make an airtight agreement that would allow the company to remain for-profit will with the proceeds going straight to the sustainability and environmental causes.
It sets a new bar for dedication towards fixing the wrongs done by the garment industry. Official estimates show that fashion contributes 10 per cent of humanity’s carbon emissions. This figure might sound small but when you factor in that 85 per cent of textiles make their way to landfill each year and 60 per cent of fashion material is made up of plastics – it becomes clear how big and interconnected the environmental issues within fashion are.
In a statement made via the company website, Patagonia stated that “As of now, Earth is our only shareholder,” the company announced. “ALL profits, in perpetuity, will go to our mission to ‘save our home planet’.”
While it would seem obvious that a brand that was designed for the love of the outdoors would be dedicated to ensuring its longevity, health and protection (Kathmandu is also doing good work here) it would be curious to know what was the catalyst for the decision.
It’s probably just coincidence, but only last week in the the Patagonia, Chile, where the brand takes its name from, a mountain glacier collapsed due to unseasonal heat and rain – environmental conditions directly related to human-caused climate change.