Patagonia was founded by pioneering rock climber and mountaineer Yvon Chouinard. Having already forged his name manufacturing climbing equipment with business partner Tom Frost, Chouinard returned from a winter climbing trip to Scotland in 1970 with a rugby shirt. The shirt was robust and designed to cope with the demands of the rugby field, its high collar protected the neck from hardware slings and appealed to Chouinard.
Back home in America, Chouinard's climbing compatriots asked where they could get one. Seeing a market for clothing, Chouinard imported shirts from the UK. Demand was high, so Chouinard Equipment started producing the clothing themselves under the name Patagonia. Since then, the brand has grown exponentially and is a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts for both it's ethical and political standpoints as well as its exceptional quality and performance.
With sustainability and ethical choices becoming increasingly important for consumers, The name Patagonia will be familiar to many as one of the leading voices of a rapidly growing movement. The brand is passionate about protecting the environment and has built a practical, rugged, and repairable clothing range to support this cause. Being completely honest about where their products came from and the resources required to create them is a big part of Patagonia's environmental commitment.
The brand's founder, Yvon Chouinard, is also the co-founder of the global environmental powerhouse, 1% For The Planet, which funds vetted environmental nonprofits. Since 1985, Patagonia itself has granted over $100 million for environmental causes, including protecting grassroots communities, supporting terrestrial and water ecosystems, and preserving biodiversity.