“Economic growth for the past two centuries has been tied to an ever-spiraling carbon bonfire,” says Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard in a recently released open letter. “Business – and human – success in the next 100 years will have to come from working with nature rather than using it up.” The letter introduces the next phase of the clothing and gear company’s idiosyncratic corporate evolution: the creation of a new holding company, Patagonia Works.
Patagonia, Inc. (apparel), Patagonia Provisions (food), Patagonia Media (books, films and multimedia projects), plus future investments and joint ventures will fall under its aegis. PW will also serve as an umbrella for new businesses the company could develop or invest in. The aim here is to nurture new ventures that will, through a convergence of common values, “… use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis,” adds Chouinard.
“$20 Million & Change”, the internal fund set up by PW, aims to help like-minded start-up companies in five areas: clothing, food, water, energy and waste. Rose Marcario – who tripled profits as COO and CFO of Patagonia’s apparel company and also launched the soon-to-be-expanded Patagonia Provisions – is the new CEO and President of PW.