Patagonia, Inc.

Patagonia, Inc.
TypePrivate benefit corporation
FoundedMay 9, 1973 (1973-05-09)
FounderYvon Chouinard
HeadquartersVentura, California, U.S.
Key people
Ryan Gellert, CEO[1]
ProductsOutdoor clothing
Revenue$209.09 million (2017 estimate)
Number of employees
1,000 (2017)

Patagonia, Inc. is an American retailer of outdoor clothing. It was founded by Yvon Chouinard in 1973 and is based in Ventura, California.[2]

Patagonia has hundreds of stores in 10+ countries across 5 continents,[3][4] as well as factories in 16 countries.[5]


Mannequin dressed in Patagonia clothing and gear

Yvon Chouinard, an accomplished rock climber,[6] began selling hand-forged mountain climbing gear in 1957 through his company Chouinard Equipment.[7] He worked alone selling his gear until 1965, when he partnered with Tom Frost in order to improve his products and address the growing supply and demand issue he faced.[8]

In 1970, Chouinard obtained rugby shirts from Scotland that he wore while climbing because the collar kept the climbing sling from hurting his neck.[8][9]

Great Pacific Iron Works,[10] 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.[11] In 1981, Patagonia and Chouinard Equipment were incorporated within Great Pacific Iron Works.[12] In 1984, Chouinard changed the name of Great Pacific Iron Works to Lost Arrow Corporation.[13]

A Patagonia store in Portland, Oregon, was located in a renovated 1895-built former warehouse until moving to a new location in 2017.

Patagonia has expanded its product line to include apparel targeted towards other sports, such as surfing.[14] In addition to clothing, they offer other products such as athletic equipment, backpacks, sleeping bags, and camping food.[15]

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.[16] As of April 2020, Worn Wear had sold more than 120,000 items.[17] In 2019, it launched a program named ReCrafted that creates and sells clothing made from scraps of fabric coming from used Patagonia gear.[18]

In September 2020, Patagonia announced that Rose Marcario would step down as its chief executive officer and be succeeded by Ryan Gellert.[1]

In December 2021, the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights filed a criminal complaint in a Dutch court against Patagonia and other brands, alleging that they benefited from the use of forced Uyghur labor in Xinjiang.[19]


Patagonia considers itself an "activist company".[20] In 2017, the company was recognized for its innovative family/maternity leave policies.[21] However, in 2015 The Atlantic published an expose[22] that revealed the corporate retailer was involved in human trafficking in its supply chain.


Patagonia commits 1% of its total sales to environmental groups, since 1985 through One Percent for the Planet, an organization of which Yvon Chouinard was a founding member.[23] In 2015, the firm launched Common Threads Partnership, an online auction-style platform that facilitated direct sales of used Patagonia clothing.[24][25] In 2016, Patagonia pledged to contribute 100% of sales from Black Friday to environmental organizations, totaling $10 million.[26] 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."[23]

In 2012, Patagonia became a Certified B Corporation.[27] The company was the first to be registered as a benefit corporation in the State of California, after the California Corporations Code were revised setting new specific requirements.[28] The firm also aims to become carbon neutral by 2025.[29] Patagonia has begun to utilize a circular economy strategy in their product design,[30] including creating ‘Worn Wear’, where used product is resold.[31] In 2021, Patagonia announced that it would no longer produce its clothing with corporate logos added because "adding an additional non-removable logo reduces the life span of a garment, often by a lot, for trivial reasons".[32]

Politics and land preservation

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. Patagonia also opposed Utah Governor Gary Herbert's request that the Trump administration revoke the recently designated Bears Ears National Monument in southern Utah. After several companies joined the Patagonia-led boycott, event organizer Emerald Expositions said it would not accept a proposal from Utah to continue hosting the Outdoor Retailer trade show and would instead move the event to another state.[33]

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%.[34] Patagonia sued over the interpretation of the Property Clause of the U.S. Constitution in which the country vests Congress with the power to manage federal lands. The company's then-CEO, Rose Marcario, contends that when Congress passed the Antiquities Act of 1906, it did not give any president the power to reverse a prior president's monument designations.[35][36]

On April 5, 2021, Patagonia pledged $1 million to the activist groups Black Voters Matter and the New Georgia Project, regarding voter registration laws in Georgia.[37]

In 2021, Patagonia announced it would "not be bound by convention" and would close stores and give employees vacation from December 25 to January 2.[38]

Facebook ad boycott

In July 2020, Patagonia suspended its advertising on Facebook and Facebook's photo-sharing app, Instagram, as part of the "Stop Hate for Profit" campaign, which some U.S. civil rights organizations launched because they believed the social networking company was doing too little to curb hate speech on its sites.[39]


Current logo


In 2012, UK animal activist group Four Paws said that Patagonia used live-plucked down feathers and downs of force-fed geese.[40] In a statement on their website, Patagonia denied use of live-plucking but said it had used down procured from the foie-gras industry.[41] As of fall 2014, Patagonia said it was using 100% traceable down to ensure that birds were not force-fed or live-plucked and that down is not blended with down from unknown sources.[42]


In February 2005, Patagonia's sourcing of wool from Australia was criticized by PETA over the practice of mulesing. Patagonia has since moved its sourcing of wool from Australia to South America and the cooperative Ovis 21. However, in August 2015, PETA released new video footage showing how sheep were treated cruelly in Ovis 21 farms.[43] This led Patagonia to stop sourcing wool from Ovis 21.[44]

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.[45][46]


  1. ^ a b Roshitsh, Kaley (24 September 2020). "Patagonia Names New CEO". WWD. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  2. ^ "Our Company History - Patagonia".
  3. ^ Yakowicz, Will (March 16, 2020). "At Billionaire-Owned Patagonia Outdoor Clothing Chain, Employees To Be Paid Despite Store Closures Amid Coronavirus". Forbes. Retrieved 2021-05-17.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ Thomas, Lauren (2020-03-13). "Patagonia is closing all of its stores and shutting down its website because of the coronavirus". CNBC. Retrieved 2021-05-10.
  5. ^ "Patagonia: What to Know About the Outdoor Brand". Highsnobiety. Retrieved 2021-05-10.
  6. ^ Wang, Jennifer (12 May 2010). "Patagonia, From the Ground Up". Entrepreneur. Retrieved 2016-04-26.
  7. ^ "Into the Heart of Patagonia's Secret Archives". 6 July 2017.
  8. ^ a b "Patagonia's History - A Company Created by Climber Yvon Chouinard and his commitment to the Environment (catalog paper, organic and recycled fabrics )". Retrieved 2016-04-26.
  9. ^ Stevenson, Seth. "Patagonia's Founder Is America's Most Unlikely Business Guru". The Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2016-04-26.
  10. ^ "On Writing: The 1972 Chouinard Catalog that changed a business – and climbing – forever". Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  11. ^ Sullivan, Michael (May 24, 2017). "Room to grow: Patagonia purchases former Brooks site north of Ventura". Ventura County Reporter. Retrieved April 10, 2021.
  12. ^ "Trailblazer: Yvon Chouinard | OutInUnder - Slow Social Media".
  13. ^ Chouinard, Yvon (6 September 2016). Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman--Including 10 More Years of Business Unusual. Penguin. ISBN 9781101992531. Retrieved 26 September 2018 – via Google Books.
  14. ^ "Patagonia stakes a wider claim on the beach". Men's Vogue. Archived from the original on May 12, 2008. Retrieved March 27, 2008.
  15. ^ Picks, Owen Burke, Insider. "The best camping gear you can buy". Business Insider. Retrieved 2019-03-18.
  16. ^ Feldman, Jamie (2017-01-30). "Patagonia Just Made Another Major Move To Save The Earth And Your Wallet". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  17. ^ Batten, Chelsea (21 April 2020). "Patagonia's Worn Wear Collection Is Saving the Planet". The Manual. Retrieved 20 February 2021.
  18. ^ Segran, Elizabeth (11 January 2021). "Patagonia has had enormous success with upcycled clothing. Could other brands follow?". Fast Company. Retrieved 20 February 2021.
  19. ^ Adegeest, Don-Alvin (2021-12-06). "Nike, Patagonia named in European lawsuit as being complicit in 'forced labour' practices in Xinjiang, China". FashionUnited. Retrieved 2021-12-09.
  20. ^ Semuels, Alana (September 23, 2019). "'Rampant Consumerism Is Not Attractive.' Patagonia Is Climbing to the Top — and Reimagining Capitalism Along the Way". Time. Retrieved April 10, 2021.
  21. ^ "Companies With Innovative Parent-Friendly Policies". Parents. Retrieved 2019-11-06.
  23. ^ a b Miller, Ryan W. (November 28, 2018). "Patagonia plans to donate $10 million saved from Trump tax cuts to environmental groups". USA Today. Retrieved April 10, 2021.
  24. ^ Goldberg, Rebecca; Wilcox, Ronald (February 6, 2015). "Case in point: Patagonia urged buyers to pick used items over new. It was a success". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 10, 2021.
  25. ^ Davies, Helen (February 17, 2021). "13 Green Marketing Examples And Great Environmental Initiatives". Retrieved April 10, 2021.
  26. ^ Kavilanz, Parija (November 29, 2016). "Patagonia's Black Friday sales hit $10 million -- and will donate it all". CNN. Retrieved April 10, 2021.
  27. ^ "Patagonia Works". Certified B Corporation. B Lab. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
  28. ^ Sterling, Scott (6 January 2012). "Patagonia is California's first benefit corporation". Southern California Public Radio.
  29. ^ Bentley, Daniel (January 24, 2019). "Doing Good and Making a Profit: These Apparel Companies Are Proving They Aren't Mutually Exclusive". Fortune. Retrieved April 10, 2021.
  30. ^ "Patagonia's Circular Economy Strategy". The Business of Fashion. 2017-01-16. Retrieved 2021-10-25.
  31. ^ "Worn Wear - Used Patagonia Clothing & Gear". Retrieved 2021-10-25.
  32. ^ "The finance bro uniform is officially dead as Patagonia stops adding corporate logos to its ubiquitous fleece vests". Business Insider.
  33. ^ Reimers, Frederick (8 February 2017). "Moving Outdoor Retailer Isn't About Politics. It's About Money". Outside Magazine. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  34. ^ McCarthy, Tom (August 26, 2017). "Patagonia joins forces with activists to protect public lands from Trump". The Guardian. Retrieved April 10, 2021.
  35. ^ Marcario, Rose (December 6, 2017). "Patagonia CEO: This Is Why We're Suing President Trump". Time. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
  36. ^ Gelles, David (May 5, 2018). "Patagonia v. Trump". The New York Times. Retrieved April 10, 2021.
  37. ^ Choi, Joseph (April 6, 2021). "Patagonia to donate $1 million to Georgia voting rights groups". The Hill. Retrieved April 6, 2021.
  38. ^ Aten, Jason (2021-12-24). "Patagonia's 5-Word Explanation of Why It's Closing Its Stores and Giving Employees a Week Off Is the Best I've Seen Yet". Retrieved 2022-03-29.
  39. ^ "Patagonia joins The North Face in Facebook ad boycott". Reuters. 23 June 2020. Retrieved April 10, 2021.
  40. ^ "Outdoor Company Patagonia: Down from brutal force-feeding". Four Paws. Archived from the original on 1 August 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
  41. ^ "The Lowdown on Down: An Update". The Cleanest Line. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
  42. ^ "Patagonia Traceable Down". Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  43. ^ "Patagonia's 'Sustainable Wool' Supplier EXPOSED: Lambs Skinned Alive, Throats Slit, Tails Cut Off". PETA Investigations. Retrieved 2016-05-09.
  44. ^ "The Cleanest Line: Patagonia to Cease Purchasing Wool from Ovis 21". Retrieved 2016-05-09.
  45. ^ Michelson, Megan (2016-07-29). "Want Ethically Sourced Wool? Buy from Patagonia". Outside Online. Retrieved 2017-01-20.
  46. ^ "Patagonia Wool Standard" (PDF). Patagonia. 2016.

Further reading

External links

Media files used on this page

Dollar sign in circle cleaned (PD version).svg
A variation of the CC-NC icon to show that commercial use is allowed.
OutDoor 2018, Friedrichshafen (1X7A9941).jpg
Author/Creator: Matti Blume, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Mannequin in Patagonia clothing and backpack at press preview, OutDoor 2018
Jean Vollum Natural Capital Center south end (2017).jpg
(c) Steve Morgan, CC BY-SA 4.0
The south end of the Natural Capital Center, in Portland, Oregon, on NW Irving Street. This end of the 1895 building had a Patagonia clothing store on its ground floor from 2001 to 2017, but the store closed around the end of March 2017 and moved a few blocks south, to a new location on West Burnside Street.
PatagoniaLabel-2 (47279452331).jpg
Author/Creator: Ajay Suresh from New York, NY, USA, Licence: CC BY 2.0