Company Profile: Patagonia

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Ever since Yvon Chouinard said, “Let my people go surfing,” the Patagonia brand entered our collective consciousness as a great place to work. As an activist brand, they have always campaigned for the environment and focused on sustainability so that we can enjoy our sport with less impact on the planet.

An innovative collective, Patagonia found new ways to develop wetsuits, creating Yulex technology to replace neoprene. They inspired many other brands to create ethical supply chains and minimise harm. Their products are pretty damn good, too.

History of Patagonia

When was the company founded?

Patagonia was founded in 1973, 48 years ago.

Where was it founded?

Patagonia was founded in Ventura, California.

Who were the founders?

The founder of Patagonia is Yvon Chouinard.

Why was it founded?

Patagonia was founded through his love for the environment and a passion for crafting quality goods that enhance humanity’s relationship with it.

Important milestones in Patagonia’s history

Great Pacific Iron Works, 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.

In 1981, Patagonia and Chouinard Equipment were incorporated within Great Pacific Iron Works.

In 1984, Chouinard changed the name of Great Pacific Iron Works to Lost Arrow Corporation.

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. As of April 2020, Worn Wear had sold more than 120,000 items.

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

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

Patagonia considers itself an “activist company”.

In 2017, the company was recognized for its innovative family/maternity leave policies.

Patagonia commits 1% of its total sales to environmental groups, through One Percent for the Planet, an organization of which Yvon Chouinard was a founding member. One Percent for the Planet encourages businesses to commit 1% of their annual net revenue to nonprofit charity organizations focused on conservation and sustainability. In 2016, Patagonia took this initiative to the next level and pledged to contribute 100% of sales from Black Friday to environmental organizations, totaling $10m.

In 2012, Patagonia became a Certified B Corporation, making it a for profit company that meets “rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency”.

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.

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%.

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.”

In July 2020, Patagonia suspended its advertising on Facebook and Facebook’s photo-sharing app, Instagram, making it the latest company to enter a U.S. civil rights boycott movement.

In 2012, UK animal activist group Four Paws said that Patagonia used live-plucked down feathers and downs of force-fed geese.

In February 2005, Patagonia’s sourcing of wool from Australia was criticized by PETA over the practice of mulesing.

In June 2016, Patagonia released a set of new wool principles that guide the treatment of animals as well as land-use practices, and sustainability.

Any other important people who contributed to success?

Rose Macario, Former  CEO of Patagonia Ryan Gellert, current  CEO of Patagonia

Company mission, vision and values

What does the company believe in?

Mission SatementWe’re in business to save our home planet.
Vision Statement“Use of all its resources to protect life on Earth.”
Core ValuesBuild the best product
Cause no unnecessary harm
Use business to protect nature
Not bound by convention

The Company Today

Who is the CEO?

Ryan Gellert is CEO.

How many staff do they have?

Estimated number of employees is 1,000-5,000.

How much revenue do they earn?

Estimated revenue is $500M-1.0B

Where are they located?

Patagonia’s headquarters are located in Ventura, California US

Which products do they specialize in?

Patagonia specializes in outdoor clothing and gear for the silent sports: climbing, surfing, skiing and snowboarding, fly fishing, and trail running.

In the News

Patagonia’s New CEO plots a post-Trump future for the activist brand

At billionaire-owned Patagonia outdoor clothing chain, employees to be paid despite store closures amid coronavirus

Outdoor clothing chain Patagonia starts selling online again after unusual decision to its e-commerce due to pandemic

Patagonia clothing company has hidden election message for customers

As The North Face battles Patagonia in outdoors market, it bets tackling climate change will pay off

Any interesting quotes from executives or ambassadors?

You have a whole life in the outdoors, you realize you have a sense of responsibility to protect these wild places.

Yvon Chouinard

You learn that how you got there was what’s important. Not what you accomplished.

Yvon Chouinard

The world is changing. My sense is we’ve permanently exited a world where we’re dealing with one big issue at a time. We’re now in one where, unfortunately, we’re going to be dealing with a lot of challenges stacking up at the same time.

Ryan Gellert, CEO

The Ambassadors

Who is sponsored by the company?

Belinda Baggs, Dan Ross, Ramon Navarro, Greg Long, Ian Walsh, Dave Rastovich, Wayne Lynch, Gerry Lopez, Kimi Werner, Ben Wilkinson, Heath Joske, Tom Doidge-Harrison, Jeff Denholm, Joe Curren, Dave Ogle, Crystal Thornburg-Homcy, Jason Slezak, Reo Stevens, Gavin McClurg, Otto Flores, Liz Clark, Mary Osborne, Eala Stewart, Kohl Christensen, Hank Gaskell, Kyle Thiermann, Lea Brassy, Keith Malloy, Dan Malloy, Chris Malloy, Julien Fillion, Chloe Lanthier, Hiroki Ishikawa, Jenn Shelton, Clare Gallagher, Luke Nelson, Rod Bien, Krissy Moehl, Jeff Browning, Bill Barker, Leah Evans, Max Hammer, Zahan Billimoria, Kye Petersen, Carston Oliver, Braden “Pep” Fujas, Caroline Gleich, Ryland Bell, Josh Dirksen, Marie-France Roy, Forrest Shearer, Taro Tamai, Alex Yoder, Colin Haley, Brittany Griffith, Barry Blanchard, Anne Gilbert Chase, Dylan Johnson, Alexander Megos, Jon Bracey, Jasmin Caton, Josh Wharton, Kate Rutherford, Katsutaka “Jumbo” Yokohama, Kelly Cordes, Majka Burhardt, Kitty Calhoun, Matt Heliker, Marko Prezelj, Maxime Turgeon, Mikey Schaefer, Ron Kauk, Nicolas Favresse, sonnie Trotter, Steve House, Timmy O’Neill, Vince Anderson, Zoe Hart, Rolando Garibotti, Tommy Caldwell, Sean Villanueva O’Driscoll, Milie Paini, Mikey Wier, Kate Taylor, Junichi Nakame, Captain Sarah Gardner, Alejandro Haro, Jasper Paakkonen, Miakel Frodin, Eric Paulson, Dylan Tomine, Dave McCoy, Rachel Finn, Andy Danylchuk, Paul Bruun, Jeff Liskay, April Vokey, Dave Ogle, Reo Stevens, Julien Fillion.

Belinda BaggsFacebook
Dan RossTwitter
Ramon NavarroFacebook
Greg LongFacebook
Ian WalshFacebook
Dave RastovichFacebook
Wayne LynchInstagram
Gerry LopezFacebook
Kimi WernerFacebook
Ben WilkinsonFacebook
Heath JoskeFacebook
Tom Doidge-HarrisonInstagram
Jeff DenholmInstagram
Joe CurrenInstagram
Dave OgleFacebook
Crystal Thornburg-HomcyInstagram
Jason SlezakFacebook
Reo StevensFacebook
Gavin McClurgFacebook
Otto FloresFacebook
Liz ClarkFacebook
Mary OsborneFacebook
Eala StewartFacebook
Kohl ChristensenInstagram
Hank GaskellFacebook
Kyle ThiermannFacebook
Lea BrassyFacebook


Do they produce any eco-friendly products or have a sustainability focus?

Patagonia has a sustainability focus.

Showcase products

For more information

Visit the Patagonia website.