JACKSON, Wyo. — The New York Times broke the story this afternoon: Yvon Chouinard, Melinda Chouinard and their two children, Fletcher and Claire, have transferred their ownership of Patagonia to a set of trusts and nonprofit organizations to combat climate change.
Patagonia is valued at $3 billion, with $100 million a year in profits.
According to The Times report, by David Gelles, Patagonia will continue to operate as a private, for-profit corporation based in Ventura, California. Two percent of the overall shares, the company’s voting stock, was recently transferred into the Patagonia Purpose Trust to “ensure that Patagonia makes good on its commitment to run a socially responsible business and give away its profits.” The remaining 98 percent, the common share, was donated to the newly established nonprofit organization, the Holdfast Collective, which will now be the recipient of all the company’s profits and use the funds to combat climate change.
“Because the Chouinards donated their shares to a trust, the family will pay about $17.5 million in taxes on the gift,” and, “Because the Holdfast Collective is a 501(c)(4), which allows it to make unlimited political contributions, the family received no tax benefit for its donation,” The Times reported.
“Hopefully this will influence a new form of capitalism that doesn’t end up with a few rich people and a bunch of poor people,” Chouinard, 83, said in an exclusive interview with The Times. “We are going to give away the maximum amount of money to people who are actively working on saving this planet.”
Among a number of other notable first ascents around the world; Chouinard and his climbing partner Tom Frost made the first ascent on the northeast face of Disappointment Peak in the Teton Range in 1962. Chouinard and Melinda built a house with the help of their friends in Moose, Wyoming, in 1976.
Patagonia shared this tweet today: