“Earth is Our ‘Only’ Shareholder” — How Patagonia’s Founder Changed Capitalism Forever.
Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, gave away his company worth $3 billion to a philanthropic purpose.
Mr. Chouinard will go down as one of the biggest Chads in history for his humanitarian efforts.
According to his letter titled “Earth is Our Only Shareholder” posted on the Patagonia website, “100% of the voting stock was transferred to the Patagonia Purpose Trust, created to protect the company’s values; 100% of the nonvoting stock was given to the Holdfast Collective, a nonprofit dedicated to fighting the environmental crisis and defending nature.”
What does this mean for the world?
Chouinard’s effort will inspire a new and better way of doing business that has humanity’s best interest in mind.
Patagonia has been known for its effort in combatting consumerism.
In 2001, Patagonia put out an ad titled, “Don’t Buy This Jacket" in an effort to raise awareness in the growing need to fight consumerism and advocate for reducing waste.
This ad is a perfect example of corporate responsibility.
In the Times article, Patagonia claims “companies need to make fewer things but of higher quality.”
The reason for this statement is because everything made takes a bit from the planet’s natural resources. Individually it’s a negligible fraction of raw materials. Collectively it sucks away the planet’s life source and condemns future generations.
More companies need to make an effort in preserving humanity’s greatest resource, Earth.
Preserving nature is important because all living creatures rely on Earth’s ecosystem to survive. Humans rely on natural resources from Earth to survive. And for humans to have those natural resources, other animals on Earth need a place to live.
I’m a strong proponent of the food chain. Humans have come out on top as the apex predator because our intelligence. But if we fail to preserve Earth’s natural resources, there will eventually be no more resources for humans to live off.
Preserving nature is the first step to ensuring that not only humans but all earthlings have a future.
Capitalism doesn’t need to be completely selfish.
Capitalism is an economic and political system that ensures the rules of trade and commerce are dictated by its people and not the government.
It is in our best interest as earthlings to want a capitalistic world incentivized by philanthropy and preserving the planet.
It’s perfectly fine to strive for business acumen because it gives power to people with exceptional levels of intelligence. After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup.
However, it is our human duty to be philanthropic with extravagant excess. If a human’s greatest incentive is preservation and expansion, it is in our best interest to ensure other humans have enough to live a respectable life.
What I’m doing to support Patagonia and the planet.
I’m buying a jacket full price and donating the unused portion of my closet. I’m downsizing the things I need and donating the things that I don’t.
Buying a jacket at full price ensures Patagonia receives the support to do its thing.
We can still be capitalist. We can still have nice things. It’s the accumulation of things that’s the problem. It’s ok to have a nice habitat to live in, but not at the expense of every other earthling on the planet.