Yvon Chouinard Founder of patagonia

Who is he?

His background

  • Yvon is a self-taught blacksmith who started making his own climbing hardware in 1957
  • Began his own hardware business, Chouinard Inc. to create his own hard-iron pitons, sold for $1.50
  • Began a catalog for his hardware that eventually added outdoor apparel for various sports.

His mission

  • Chouinard is also a professional climber. It was with his passion for mountaineering, and doing what he loved that he eventually established Patagonia.
  • Yvon is an environmentalist that strives to find solutions to the global environmental crisis
  • Committed Patagonia to using all organic cotton

What is a good leader?

  • Displays humility and integrity - Mark 10:42-45
  • Clearly communicates goals and delegates responsibilities well
  • Understands and acts in accordance with responsible stewardship practices

Environmental Initiatives

Creating something better

  • Patagonia recycles 100% of what they make; Worn Wear program
  • Keeping clothing in use for 9 additional months can reduce carbon, waste, and the water footprint by 20-30%
  • Donates 1% of sales each year to environmental organizations - totaling more than 46 million in donations
  • Reduce, Repair, Reuse, Recycle, Reimagine

Workplace Environment

Creating something different

  • On-site child development center
  • On-site cafeteria featuring organic, locally grown food
  • Offers flexible hours, including time allotted for yoga, surfing, hiking, etc.
  • Headquarters are closed and locked by 5pm everyday, and on weekends
  • Company field trips
  • Paid leave
  • Health care completely covered
  • It's 2,000 employees are "fiercely loyal" & turnover is minimal

The Business Side

  • Hands-off approach
  • Encourages dreaming big
  • Segmenting his management
  • Footprint Chronicles
  • Close the gap between consuming and discarding


Barton, R. (2007, February 25). Yvon Chouinard. Retrieved February 14, 2017, from https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2007/feb/25/ethicalliving.theobserver

Galantiere, L. (n.d.). Beginnings and Blacksmithery. Retrieved February 14, 2017, from http://www.patagonia.com/company-history.html

Khanh T.L. Tran. (2006). Organic growth: Patagonia jumps into surf. Wwd, 192(65), 14. Retrieved from Proquest Central.

Patagonia: A Sustainable Outlook on Business. (n.d.). Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative, 1-11. Retrieved February 13, 16, from https://danielsethics.mgt.unm.edu/pdf/patagonia.pdf.

Patagonia Environmental Social Initiatives. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.patagonia.com/on/demandware.static/Sites-patagonia-us-Site/Library-Sites-PatagoniaShared/en_US/PDF-US/patagonia-enviro-initiatives-2015.pdf

Schulte, B. (2014, October 25). REALLY: A big, profitable company that lets its workers go surfing. Retrieved February 14, 2017, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/a-company-that-profits-as-it-pampers-workers/2014/10/22/d3321b34-4818-11e4-b72e-d60a9229cc10_story.html?utm_term=.2c72a1a9aabf

Welch, L. (13, March 12). The Way I Work: Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia. Retrieved February 13, 16, from http://www.inc.com/magazine/201303/liz-welch/the-way-i-work-yvon-chouinard-patagonia.html

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