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As a child, Yvon Chouinard moved to Southern California with little English and less money. Today his company, Patagonia, earns more than $600 million a year and is a beacon and benchmark for sustainable capitalism. This is the amazing story of a young man who found escape by scaling the world's highest peaks, of an innovator who used his father's blacksmith tools to fashion equipment that changed climbing forever, and of the entrepreneur who brought doing good and having a blast into the heart of a business.
Yvon Chouinard is the founder and owner of Patagonia, Inc., based in Ventura, California. He began in business by designing, manufacturing, and distributing rock climbing equipment in the late 1950s. His tinkering led to an improved ice ax that is the basis for modern ice ax design. In 1964 he produced his first mail-order catalog, a one-page mimeographed sheet containing advice not to expect fast delivery during climbing season. In 2001, along with Craig Mathews, owner of West Yellowstone's Blue Ribbon Flies, he started One Percent for the Planet, an alliance of businesses that contribute at least 1 percent of their net annual sales to groups on a list of researched and approved environmental organizations.