After giving away his company, Patagonia founder to be honoured at Fashion Awards
The London event will see the mountain climber, activist, surfer, writer, and philanthropist, who has pioneered the transition to a responsible apparel industry, being recognised for his “extraordinary dedication to environmentalism and his exceptional vision”.
The BFC said that his “ability to merge business with purpose culminated this year in the transfer of his family’s ownership of the brand to two new entities: the Patagonia Purpose Trust and non-profit organisation the Holdfast Collective, to channel profits to environmental causes”.
Having begun in 1973 selling rugby shirts from England to climbers in the US, the business began donating a percentage of sales to environmental causes in the mid-1980s. That has added up to $150 million so far.
Chouinard is also the co-founder of One Percent for the Planet, a global movement that has now grown to over 5,000 business and individual members. And Patagonia is a certified B Corp and a California Benefit Corporation. It expects to give $100 million a year as a dividend to the Holdfast Collective to help fight the climate crisis.
Chouinard said: “We are 50 years into our experiment in responsible business, and we’re dead serious about addressing the environmental crisis. Being recognised by the British Fashion Council sends the message that responsible business practices far outweigh trends or short-term financial gains. With vision and creativity, the apparel industry is perfectly placed to set the standard for environmental protection – it is our hope that business leaders join us in committing to this work.”
Previous winners of the award include Giorgio Armani, Miuccia Prada, Ralph Lauren, Karl Lagerfeld, Anna Wintour, i-D founders Terry and Tricia Jones, and Manolo Blahnik, among others.
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