Yvon Chouinard is the founder and owner of Patagonia, Inc., based in Ventura, California. If it weren’t for Yvon, there would be no 1% for the Planet. In the late 1950’s, he began designing rock climbing equipment, soon building a following among serious climbers. In 1964, he produced his first mail order catalog, cautioning customers to not expect fast delivery during climbing season. As business grew, Yvon added apparel to his catalog, and Patagonia was off and running.
With success came responsibility, and Patagonia became a vehicle for environmental activism. Under Yvon’s leadership, Patagonia has been a model for businesses looking to succeed in the marketplace while reducing their impact on the natural environment.
He recently published a book about the imperative role of companies in creating positive change in the world, The Responsible Company. He has also written about his life’s work in Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman, which culminates with the 1% FTP concept. Currently, Yvon serves on the boards of numerous environmental groups, setting aside just enough time to surf and fly fish.