The well-known clothing brand Patagonia has been known for many years for its commitment to the Planet.
Today it is further demonstrating this by making what could be called an extreme gesture, the kind that will remain in the minds of all of us and hopefully be taken as an example by many other companies. The Chouinard family, Patagonia’s founders, has transferred all ownership to two new entities: the Patagonia Purpose Trust, an ah hoc fund worth about $3 billion, and Holdfast Collective, a nonprofit that fights climate change. All money that will not be reinvested in Patagonia will be distributed as a dividend to protect the Planet.
What will it result in? An estimated annual dividend of about $100 million to the Earth.
The Patagonia Purpose Trust now owns all the voting shares of the company (2 percent of the total shares). Its purpose will be to ensure that there is never any deviation from the founder’s intent and to facilitate what the company continues to do best: “to demonstrate, as a for-profit company, that capitalism can work for the planet.”
Instead, the Holdfast Collective owns all non-voting shares (98 percent of the total shares) and will use every dollar received by Patagonia to protect nature and biodiversity, support thriving communities, and combat the environmental crisis.