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Earth Is Now Our Only Shareholder

If we have any hope of a thriving planet—much less a business—it is going to take all of us doing what we can with the resources we have. This is what we can do.

Read Yvon’s Letter

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The Future of the Responsible Company: What We've Learned from Patagonia's First 50 Years (by Yvon Chouinard & Vincent Stanley)


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The Future of the Responsible Company: What We've Learned from Patagonia's First 50 Years (by Yvon Chouinard & Vincent Stanley)


Simple but powerful advice on how and why to rethink your business structure in a time when traditional capitalism is no longer working for people or the planet.

Vincent Stanley, Patagonia's director of philosophy, along with Yvon Chouinard, founder and former owner of Patagonia, draw on 50 years of experience at Patagonia to challenge all business owners and leaders to rethink their businesses in a time of cultural and climate chaos.
Patagonia has been recognized as much for its ground-breaking environmental, social practices as for the quality of its clothes. In 2022, the Chouinard family gave their company away, converting ownership to a simple structure of trusts and nonprofits, so that all the profits from the company can be used to protect our home planet and work to reverse climate chaos. Stanley and Chouinard recount how the company and its culture gained confidence, especially through missteps, to make its work progressively more responsible, and to ultimately challenge other companies, as big as Wal-Mart and as small as the corner store, to do the same.
The authors describe the current impact of manufacturing, commerce, and traditional capitalism on the planet’s natural systems and human communities, and how that impact is forcing business to change its ways. The Future of the Responsible Company shows companies how to reduce the harm they cause, improve the quality of their business, and provide the kind of meaningful work everyone seeks. It concludes with specific, practical steps every business can undertake, as well as advice on what to do and in what order.
The book shows companies how to thread their way through economic sea change and slow the drift toward ecological bankruptcy: Reduce your environmental footprint (and its skyrocketing cost), make legitimate products that last, reclaim deep knowledge of your business and its supply chain to make the most of opportunities in the years to come, and earn the trust you’ll need by treating your workers, customers, and communities with respect. It also describes the threats of traditional capitalism and why the owners of Patagonia made the decisions they did to ensure that the company will still exist and have impact in 100 years. An explanation of Patagonia's new business organization, The Patagonia Purpose Trust and The Holdfast Collective, rounds out this business book.

Style No. BK235


  • About the Authors

    Vincent Stanley has been with Patagonia on and off since its beginning in 1973, for many of those years in key roles as head of sales or marketing. More informally, he is Patagonia’s longtime chief storyteller. Vincent helped develop The Footprint Chronicles (now Footprint), the company’s interactive website that outlined the social and environmental impact of its products; Worn Wear; and Patagonia Books. He currently serves as company philosopher and is a resident fellow at the Yale Center for Business and Environment. He is also a poet whose work has appeared in Best American Poetry. He and his wife, the writer Nora Gallagher, live in Santa Barbara, California, and Brooksville, Maine.

  • About the Authors

    In 1973, Yvon Chouinard founded Patagonia, a purpose-driven company known for its quality clothing products and commitment to advancing solutions to the environmental crisis. The company was nearly 50 when Chouinard decided it was time for another improvement. In September 2022, Chouinard and his family made a historic announcement: They had adopted a purpose-driven ownership model, locking in the company’s values and dedicating the excess profits to protecting our home planet. Since 1957, Chouinard and his family have lived in California and Wyoming.

  • Endorsement

    "One thing is clear: The future, if it could, would invest in, work for, and buy from Patagonia."—John Elkington, author of Green Swans: The Coming Boom in Regenerative Capitalism

  • Endorsement

    "Brims with clear explanations and practical guidance, as well as the underlying thinking that frames what it can mean to do business for the health of both planet and people."—Kate Williams, CEO of 1% for the Planet

  • Specifications

    Paperback; 208 pages printed in full color with over 80 photos throughout; 6" X 9"

  • Publisher

    Published by Patagonia

  • Special Features

    Online resource folder includes text notes and a bibliography

  • Country of Origin

    Made in Canada.

  • Weight

    425 g (15 oz)


  • Printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper

Purchase an eBook for Kindle, Nook, iPad and most other devices for $14.95. Note: gift cards are not valid for eBooks.

If you would like to reflect on the ideas presented in The Future of the Responsible Company, click here for our Reader’s Guide.

If you are a teacher or a professor, click here for a Teacher’s Guide.


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