VENTURA, Calif. — Patagonia turns 50 this year and the outdoor apparel company that was started by a self-taught blacksmith is focused on what’s next. Any hope of a thriving planet—much less a thriving business—is going to take all of us doing what we can with the resources we have. At Patagonia, that means being in business to save our home planet and having a lot of fun along the way.
Since our founding, Patagonia has remained committed to building quality products and doing less harm to the planet. That’s why we’re proud of these 10 pivotal moments when we prioritized the planet over profit:
1. Changing our business model to protect the places we love by switching from pitons to chocks for alpine climbing (1972)
2. Giving our first environmental grant to a nonprofit that helped save a local surf break (1972), which led us to start giving away 1% of annual sales (1985) and co-found 1% For the Planet (2002)
3. Switching from conventional cotton to organic cotton after formaldehyde sickened our employees (1996)
4. Placing the “Don’t Buy This Jacket” ad on Black Friday (2011)
5. Becoming the first certified B Corporation in California (2012)
6. Establishing Patagonia Provisions (2012)
7. Finding new ways to give back to the planet: Donating 100% of our Black Friday sales to environmental nonprofits (2016)
8. Suing the Trump administration to protect Bears Ears National Monument (2017)
9. We are in business to save our home planet becomes our new purpose (2018)
10. Changing our ownership model: Earth is now our only shareholder (2022)
In our next 50 years, Patagonia will relentlessly focus on quality—quality products, quality connections to nature, quality capitalism. We’ll move away from things that hold us back—expect more collaboration instead of competition, especially as we tackle existential crises like climate change.
Together, we’ll answer the hardest questions: Can capitalism evolve? What does quality capitalism look like? How can we better rally our community to address the root causes of the climate and ecological crisis? Who are the unexpected partners that will join along the way?
Patagonia is turning 50 and is focused on what’s next.
We’re in business to save our home planet. Founded by Yvon Chouinard in 1973, Patagonia is an outdoor apparel company based in Ventura, California. As a certified B Corporation and a founding member of 1% for the Planet, the company is recognized internationally for its product quality and environmental activism, as well as its contributions of nearly $200 million to environmental organizations. Its unique ownership structure reflects that Earth is its only shareholder: Profits not reinvested back into the business are paid as dividends to protect the planet.