Patagonia’s Philosopher King

Patagonia’s Philosopher King


In 1991, Patagonia almost declared bankruptcy. “I realized we were just growing for the sake of growing, which is bullshit,” said its founder Yvonne Chouinard. The company, he worried, was straying from its hard-core origins. “I was faced with the prospect of owning a billion-dollar company, with thousands of employees making ‘outdoorlike’ clothing for posers.” “The capitalist ideal is you grow a company and focus on making it as profitable as possible. Then, when you cash out, you become a philanthropist,” Chouinard said. “We believe a company has a responsibility to do that all along—for the sake of the employees, for the sake of the planet.” This long form profile of Yvonne in the New Yorker gives you an insight on who he is and what he cares about. (23 minutes).