The founder of Patagonia, Inc. and a longtime supporter of wilderness conservation, Yvon Chouinard is one of the most respected pioneers of the environmental movement in the world today. Yvon first became known for his rock-climbing exploits in the 60’s and 70’s, and invented many of the tools that modern rock-climbers use until this day. He has also been an avid surfer for most of his life.
Yvon began surfing in the 1950’s, and during his youth witnessed the destruction of many a favorite surf spot by ambitious coastal development projects carried forth by the Army Corps of Engineers. Yvon also saw the damage that rudimentary rock-climbing equipment was doing to the famous granite cliffs in Yosemite and other popular locales, which led him to design equipment that was not only safe but would leave no marks on the natural stone after a climbers ascent. When he founded his outdoor clothing company, Patagonia, he instilled a corporate philosophy that demanded that every product be made with as little an impact on the environment as possible.
Today Yvon remains with Patagonia as “Chief Philosopher,” and is also hard at work with a non-profit he founded called 1% For The Planet, which encourages corporations to donate 1% of their pre-tax profits towards environmental causes. He also rock-climbs, fly-fishes and surfs whenever possible, maintaining a healthy relationship with what’s left of the natural environment.