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chasing answers newsletter #20
Give it away
“From my feeble attempts at simplifying my own life I’ve learned enough to know that should we have to, or choose to, live more simply, it won’t be an impoverished life but one richer in all the ways that really matter.” - Yvon Chouinard
Hello and welcome to number 20! 🎉🎉
It took a lot longer to go from 10 to 20 than it did to get that first 10, but we made it.
And this week's topic was worth waiting for.
One of my favorite business people made big news last week, so we're talking about it.
Let's get to it.
Give it away
This past week Patagonia, the outdoor apparel maker, announced they had a new shareholder.
Wait, is that even possible???
Yvon Chouinard, the owner and founder of Patagonia, and his family have transferred all of their voting shares, which amount to 2% of the total stock, to the Patagonia Purpose Trust. The other 98%, which the Chouinard family also owned, has been transferred to Holdfast Collective, a nonprofit responsible for distributing the company's yearly profits to "...people who are actively working on saving this planet."
I was already a big fan of Yvon Chouinard and Patagonia. They make amazing clothing for people who love and live in the outdoors. Also, their clothing lasts forever, so you don't have to go shopping often.
As someone who loves the outdoors and also hates to fucking shop, they're about as good as it gets for me.
If those aren't reasons enough to love the man and the company, Patagonia and Yvon personally have already donated millions to causes fighting climate change and protecting wild areas.
In addition to donating his own money, he co-founded 1% For The Planet to encourage other businesses and individuals to give to fight climate change and help protect our planet.
The guy has done about as much as one man can for the environment. But, of course, the haters came out when the announcement was made this past week, with some claiming this was just a tax evasion scheme conducted by some billionaire who didn't want to pay taxes.
Yes, it is true that had he sold the company, he would have had an enormous capital gains tax bill. And if his kids inherited the company or were given the company before his death, there would have been colossal estate and gift taxes to pay.
Still, even after taxes, their family and every generation for the foreseeable future could have lived off the amount left.
And yet, they chose not to. I believe there are people out there who care more about the long-term health of this planet than personal gain. Not many, but there are some. And I believe Yvon Chouinard is one of the greatest.
If you'd like to follow his lead and do your part, however small, to help protect the planet and the wild areas we have left, here are a few organizations that Patagonia supports.
Channel Islands Marine and Wildlife Institute - This group rescues and rehabilitates marine mammals, conducts research, and educates to promote ocean and human health.
The 5 Gyres Institute - The 5 Gyres Institute empowers action against the global health crisis of plastic pollution through science, art, education, and adventure.
350.org - 350.org is a grassroots global movement working to unite the world around solutions to the climate crisis.
That’s all for now.
I hope you all have a great week!
As always, I would love to hear from you.
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