Patagonia 50th Birthday Image

Patagonia’s 50th Year

In its 50th year, Patagonia has chosen to look forwards, not back, to life on Earth. Together, Patagonia believe we can prioritize purpose over profit and protect this wonderous planet, our only home.


Patagonia was founded as an experiment to demonstrate to the rest of the world that acting responsibly makes for good and profitable business. Through a culture of ‘not being bound by convention’, Patagonia has always sought to operate what it describes as business unusual. The realities of this are apparent in Patagonia’s unwavering commitment to creating quality, responsibly made repairable products, support of grassroots environmental activism, advocacy for climate justice, and the integrity to stand strong in its responsibilities to its communities.


Whilst many would consider Patagonia a success by traditional economic values and metrics, the current state of our planet’s health and the harmful trajectory of extractive capitalism leaves the Patagonia experiment unfinished. By taking what they’ve learned over the last 50 years into the next 50, Patagonia are holdfast to their commitment of being in business to save our home planet. 

What's Next? | Patagonia

Looking to the next 50 years:

Just prior to their 50th year in business, then owner and Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard took a bold step. He didn’t bet the farm, but instead gave it away.


“Truth be told, there were no good options available. So, we created our own.”


“Instead of “going public,” you could say we’re “going purpose.” Instead of extracting value from nature and transforming it into wealth for investors, we’ll use the wealth Patagonia creates to protect the source of all wealth.” - Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia founder


Patagonia now gives 100% of profits to saving our home planet. Guided by the Patagonia Purpose Trust, all excess profits from the company are put into a Trust controlled by the Holdfast Collective. This Collective has been created to make grants and investments that fight the climate crises, protect nature and biodiversity, and support thriving communities.


A tenant of the Patagonia experiment is that purpose and profit are inextricably linked. Profiteering without consideration of the impact a business has upon people and planet only further fuels the extractive capitalism that has got us in this mess. Patagonia is a proud B Corp and remains committed to setting the example of a responsible company. By working with third party standards certification bodies, Patagonia will continue to ensure that its products are part of a social and environmental solution. 1% of each Patagonia sale also funds their support of grassroots environmental activism though their 1% for the Planet grants. Patagonia remain committed to demonstrating that doing the right thing, makes for good and profitable business.


If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”


So, in its 50th year, both everything and nothing has changed at Patagonia. Instead of resting on their laurels they’re looking ahead and asking What’s Next?

TJ Watt stands on the stump of a former Western red cedar tree overlooking a clear cut of forest, photo by Jeremy Korenski


‘Next is resilience. Let’s support communities in harm’s way and protect the land and waters that have always nurtured us.’


Wild places hold a solution to the climate crisis, offer homes to indigenous communities and nature, and are magnificent landscapes for everyone to enjoy across the generations. It’s in these landscapes that many of us engage in our sports, however if we play we must also protect. Today, an unprecedented number of wild places are under threat from Government and Big Corporations. Through it’s commitment to 1% for the Planet, Patagonia supports the activists fighting to protect these lands, whilst providing the tools for you to do so too through Patagonia Action Works

Charlene Aleck, Kayah George and Deborah Parker take their rightful place at the bow of a canoe. They each wear a traditional, handwoven cedar-bark hat, a mark of pride in their cultural identity as well as their reputation as formidable paddlers.


‘Next is simplicity. Let’s make things that last longer and do more with what we already have.’


Throughout their 50 year history, Patagonia has always sought to create quality, responsible, repairable product that lasts. By keeping our gear in play for longer we reduce the demand to extract the Earth’s precious resources and decrease the items equivocal carbon footprint by up to 30% within 9 months. The apparel industry is responsible for 10% of global emissions - so let’s repair, buy used, and celebrate the stories we wear. Patagonia offer free repairs on all their products through their Worn Wear initiative.


To see similar services that we provide here at Cotswold Outdoor to spice up and revitalise your old kit, check out our in-house Repair & Care and 60 Second Footwear Protection services.

A woman sews a patch into the arm of a Patagonia jacket on a young child


‘Next is Human Powered. For Patagonia, human powered means finding joy in wild places and revelling in their beauty.’


Climbing, skiing, snowboarding, fly fishing, mountain biking and trail running. These are the silent sports that Patagonia loves. To them, reward comes from hard won grace and moments of connection with nature. As a global community united by the outdoors, Patagonia believes that we have a responsibility to protect the wild places that define us. 

Luca Albrisi, Guido Trevisan and friends skiing down the snow and leaving fresh tracks on Marmolada, in Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy with rugged, majestic snow covered peaks in the distance. Photo by Matteo Pavana.


‘Next is going purpose. It’s time to ditching growth for growth’s sake and use the money we make to help restore and protect the Earth.’


“It’s been nearly 50 years since we began our experiment in responsible business, and we are just getting started. If we have any hope of a thriving planet — much less a thriving business — 50 years from now, it is going to take all of us doing what we can with the resources we have… We can save our planet if we commit to it.” - Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia founder

An aerial view of a riverside with the words: "Next is saving our home planet" over the top.

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