About Yvon Chouinard

Yvon Chouinard's Early Life

Yvon Chouinard, born in 1938 to French-Canadian parents, is one of the most influential businessmen in the United States. When Chouinard was seven years old, his family relocated from Maine, France to California, USA (Bichard, 2008). The family settled in Burbank, California's southernmost city. Chouinard couldn't understand English at the moment. It was remarkable that he was admitted into a nearby elementary school. Chouinard wanted to be a fur trapper when he was younger, but he ended up becoming a climber instead. Motivated with the need to save money, Chouinard made his tools for climbing, which he later transformed into a business that grew to become the Pentagonia, which is one of the most successful businesses in the United States specializing in the production of clothing gear. The paper explores the significant achievements of Yvon Chouinard and the facts of his life that are unknown to the general populace.

Achievements of Yvon Chouinard

One of the achievements of Yvon Chouinard is his rise from a climber to a billionaire, something that is uncommon in an ordinary world. In his early life, everything in Chouinard's life was not reflective in any way of what he would later become in life. At times, he would depend on squirrels for his diet. The advent if his business began in the backyard of the family home in Burbank, where he made hears for himself. He sold his gears at the back of his car. The demand for his products grew exponentially prompting him to abandon his conventional equipment at the time for the use of machinery through a partnership with Tom Frost. The increasing demand for the products would later give rise to Patagonia, which is a leading designer and manufacturer of outdoor clothing and gear for use in various types of sports including surfing, skiing, climbing, and snowboarding. According to Forbes, Chouinard belongs to the class of billionaires in the United States. This is a major accomplishment, considering his early life as a "dirtbag," as he famously calls himself (Sirtori-Cortina, 2017).

Contributions to Environmental Preservation

Chouinard has also made significant contributions to the environmental preservation courses. At his organization, Patagonia, the business leaders initiated multiple initiatives aimed at minimizing adverse impacts of its activities to the environment, He has a passion for a clean environment and has dedicated one percent of the Patagonia's sales to donations to environmental organizations across the globe. According to Paumgarten (2016), Patagonia has financed up to thirty-four hundred organizations involved in environmental conservation. In a broader sense, Chouinard has made an immense contribution to the various courses aimed at conserving the environment.

Unknown Facts about Yvon Chouinard's Life

What the public might not be aware of regarding Yvon Chouinard's life is what he did during his formative years, especially in his twenties. During this time, he spends up to six months a year traveling across North America and the Alps. In some instances, he has to contend with living on as small as fifty cents a day. This is particularly unbelievable considering the current life of the billionaire. Another fact about the Patagonia founder is his rebel against consumerism. Despite climbing not bringing any returns, he proceeded to engage in the activity. Today, it is a rare occurrence to find people dedicating so much time to an activity that does not lead to any form of financial gains. Anti-consumerism is not popular among many people.


  • Bichard, E. (2008). Positively Responsible. London: Routledge

  • Paumgarten, N. (2016). Patagonia's Philosopher-King: How Yvon Chouinard turned his eco-conscious, anti-corporate ideals into the credo of a successful clothing company. The New Yorker. Retrieved 8 November 2017, from https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/09/19/patagonias-philosopher-king

  • Sirtori-Cortinam, D. (2017). From Climber To Billionaire: How Yvon Chouinard Built Patagonia Into A Powerhouse His Own Way. Forbes. Retrived 8 Novemeber2017 from https://www.forbes.com/sites/danielasirtori/2017/03/20/from-climber-to-billionaire-how-yvon-chouinard-built-patagonia-into-a-powerhouse-his-own-way/#379b9d77275c

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