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Thread: Patagonia Founder Donates Entire Company Worth $3 Billion

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    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Patagonia Founder Donates Entire Company Worth $3 Billion

    Don't let your mind write a check your body canít cash

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    Senior Member TCD's Avatar
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    More power to him! I respect the fact that he's putting his money where his mouth is.

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    Stolen comment from elsewhere on the internet: "What's with this guy? Is he too afraid to build a rocket and fly into space like a regular billionaire?"

    A billionaire using their wealth for good? More like this please.

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    Senior Member dug's Avatar
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    I think it's wonderful that he's amassed a lot of money and is in a position to do what he wants with it. If that happens to be helping others, more power to him. But it was his choice to do so.

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    Senior Member hikerbrian's Avatar
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    Capitalist here! My layman's understanding is Yvon and his family will no longer collect the profits the company makes. Instead, those profits will go to an 'environmental collective.' That's great - any privately owned company should be free to do what they choose with the fruits of their labor.

    Also, the family will no longer possess the 'voting shares' of Patagonia. They are giving them away...to a trust which is overseen by the Chouinard family. To me, it sounds like high-level management of the company will not change too much. I think that's critically important. Whatever magic Patagonia possesses is due either partly or wholly to good decisions on the part of the current management (the Chouinard family). This option seems like a good way to preserve that magic.

    [Edit - hit 'post' instead of 'preview'...]
    The following is more political, but the OP seems to be looking for such an assessment, so here's mine: the beauty of capitalism is that is empowers individuals to make their own personal decisions about how to invest their personal resources (who to work for, or what company to start, or how to spend they pay/profits). I happen to think that's a pretty good (not perfect, but pretty good) way to keep the things that people want closely connected to the things people are producing. To say that in a less abstract way, it is in fact capitalism that has allowed Chouinard to create a company that is so valuable to so many people. And it is capitalism that has allowed him to make this choice with the wealth he has created. I happen to think having the ability to make that choice is fabulous. I think being compelled by force of law to give up control of the fruits of your labor is decidedly less awesome. This last sentence is how I'd define many non-capitalist economic systems.

    Finally, I've seen over and over how important a single person can be in the success of a company. Yvon has to step back at some point, and this seems like a great way to do it. It's a small step, and he still has a lot of control. Let's hope in 10 years Patagonia has not become EMS. *shudder*
    Last edited by hikerbrian; 09-15-2022 at 09:26 AM.
    Sure. Why not.

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    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    He's been a class act for a long time. If I had a heart, I'd almost feel bad for referencing the brand by one of its nicknames. I may have to buy a fleece top, on clearance somewhere.....
    Have fun & be safe
    Mike P.

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    And to think, he grew up along the banks of the very polluted Androscoggin River in Lewiston Maine. This is the same very polluted river that Senator Edmund Muskie grew up along in Rumford that he cited as the reason he wrote and introduced the Federal Clean Water Act.

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    Senior Member TEO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dug View Post
    I think it's wonderful that he's amassed a lot of money and is in a position to do what he wants with it. If that happens to be helping others, more power to him. But it was his choice to do so.
    "Amass" is not the right word. It means, "to collect for oneself." According to Chouinard's words and actions, he has not accumulated wealth for himself and is uncomfortable with his wealth.

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    Senior Member dug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TEO View Post
    "Amass" is not the right word. It means, "to collect for oneself." According to Chouinard's words and actions, he has not accumulated wealth for himself and is uncomfortable with his wealth.
    He's got a net worth of $1.2billion dollars.

    Amass seems to fit.


    a∑mass
    /əˈmas/
    verb
    gather together or accumulate (a large amount or number of valuable material or things) over a period of time.


    Some people will quibble over anything these days...

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    Senior Member TEO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dug View Post
    He's got a net worth of $1.2billion dollars.

    Amass seems to fit.


    a∑mass
    /əˈmas/
    verb
    gather together or accumulate (a large amount or number of valuable material or things) over a period of time.


    Some people will quibble over anything these days...
    It's still not the right word. It's my understanding that Chouinard's wealth was tied to the value of Patagonia, which has grown signficantly over the past fifteeen years or so due to higher than planned for sales growth. "Amass" certainly doesn't fit based on what I've read about Chouinard, including the B the Hiker's Outside article, the NECN story of this thread, or the Times article cited therein.

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    Senior Member maineguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TEO View Post
    It's still not the right word. It's my understanding that Chouinard's wealth was tied to the value of Patagonia
    Yeah, that's called stock. He didn't amass his fortune with salary checks. He likes to call himself an accidental billionaire and that he is embarrassed by his fortune. Give me a break. He claims he never meant for the company to become so big. Sure, that's why they opened something like 30 stores and sold high priced merchandise. He had control of the company at all times and could have done anything he wanted. Now, at 83 he is having second thoughts, maybe thinking of his legacy. He calls himself a socialist...LOL

    It's his money and in our economic system he is free to do whatever he wants with it...more power to him. He built a company that employs many Americans and probably paid lots of taxes. But, he should spare us the self serving virtue signaling. Show me somebody who says they are embarrassed by all their money and I'll show you a phony.
    Last edited by maineguy; 09-16-2022 at 01:06 PM.

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    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maineguy View Post
    Yeah, that's called stock. He didn't amass his fortune with salary checks. He likes to call himself an accidental billionaire and that he is embarrassed by his fortune. Give me a break. He claims he never meant for the company to become so big. Sure, that's why they opened something like 30 stores and sold high priced merchandise. He had control of the company at all times and could have done anything he wanted. Now, at 83 he is having second thoughts, maybe thinking of his legacy. He calls himself a socialist...LOL

    It's his money and in our economic system he is free to do whatever he wants with it...more power to him. He built a company that employs many Americans and probably paid lots of taxes. But, he should spare us the self serving virtue signaling. Show me somebody who says they are embarrassed by all their money and I'll show you a phony.
    Interesting points made here. I concur. We have all discussed The Man, The legend, The Icon before. I have enjoyed the use of his gear over the years, and I admire his innovations. Whether you call it amass, accumulate, collect it is obvious what he has done. I think most of what he has done has been positive but there are dichotomous underlying issues. Here is a discussion we all had about two years ago that already touched on a lot of what we are discussing in this thread. https://www.vftt.org/forums/showthre...ight=patagonia
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

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    Senior Member dug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maineguy View Post
    Yeah, that's called stock. He didn't amass his fortune with salary checks. He likes to call himself an accidental billionaire and that he is embarrassed by his fortune. Give me a break. He claims he never meant for the company to become so big. Sure, that's why they opened something like 30 stores and sold high priced merchandise. He had control of the company at all times and could have done anything he wanted. Now, at 83 he is having second thoughts, maybe thinking of his legacy. He calls himself a socialist...LOL

    It's his money and in our economic system he is free to do whatever he wants with it...more power to him. He built a company that employs many Americans and probably paid lots of taxes. But, he should spare us the self serving virtue signaling. Show me somebody who says they are embarrassed by all their money and I'll show you a phony.
    Just as long as he didn't amass it, no problem.

  14. #14
    Senior Member dug's Avatar
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    https://doughnuteconomics.org/stories/183


    "To date, Patagonia’s sole shareholder has been the Chouinard family, enabling Mr Chouinard to amass an estimated net worth of $1.2bn. Arguably this follows the classic neoliberal playbook – extract value from nature and transform it into wealth. Happily, the story is not over. With Chouinard’s decision to transfer ownership to a charitable trust (that the family will still control), the circularity of the business is complete, whereby the wealth that Patagonia creates will be used to protect nature."

    Literature Police let's get to work

  15. #15
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dug View Post
    https://doughnuteconomics.org/stories/183

    Literature Police let's get to work
    Be careful what you ask for. Click image for larger version. 

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    Interesting what one word can or cannot infer. Part of or at least I think what we are discussing is the moral fabric of this latest move by Yvon and Patagonia. Yes at least metaphorically the circle is complete but IMO it is a linear voyage that may have created the present situation. I think we can all agree Yvon’s voyage at least as a climber started out much as many climbers in the day as a “dirtbag”. Was it his intention to eventually become a sage for conservationism? Maybe on a non conscious level but doubtful as a primary mission of the time. The main mission being climbing. Living out of his vehicle and then eventually forging customized tools which he intern used himself and SOLD to other climbers furthering his own personal addiction. Using customized pitons made of iron and hammering them into cracks which has left permanent irreperable damage to the face of giant cliffs isn’t exactly LNT. But ironically that was probably one of the underlying actions that created one of his eureka moments to move towards cleaner methods that are still used today. Thence eventually the creation of Great Pacific Iron Works which became Black Diamond. The latter which was sold by Yvon to further the growth of Patagucci. To consider himself a Socialist is a bit hard to swallow considering it was Capitalism that got him where he is now. The explosion of Patagucci was big and arguably fueled by a new generation of user that didn’t spend much time in the outdoors but wanted to look like they did. Granted things evolved with the company and the direction towards a more eco-friendly environment of course was and is a good thing. But it didn’t start that way. Kudos to Yvon for learning from his life and realizing that overall doing the right thing has born mostly good things. Although I find it discerning that he seems to be rhetorically painting a picture at times that is incongruent to actuality.
    Last edited by skiguy; 09-17-2022 at 01:30 PM. Reason: spelling
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

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