There have been several discussions on the forums this week about the Japanese Whaling ships in the Southern Ocean and the anti-whaling activists on board the Greenpeace ship Esperanza and the Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin. In one forum thread it was asked if the outdoor company, Patagonia, founded by climber Yvon Chouinard and based in Ventura, California, provided corporate sponsorship to Sea Shepherd.
David Hooper emailed Patagonia and asked them.
Jonathan Petty of Patagonia responded.
'Thanks very much for your interest in what we do as a company, and specifically for letting us know about this - I am the UK Sales Manager and wasn't aware of this until we were emailed.
As you all may know, at Patagonia we give 1% of our sales to grassroots environmental organisations...to date we have given away $29 million. This is only one aspect of the many actions we do to fulfill our mission statement of "build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm to the environment". For example we have have been using 100% organic cotton since 1996 in all our cotton products; recycled polyester since 1996 in our synchilla fleece; and our goal is to be 100% by 2010 (Yvon Chouinard's aim for us).
As far as Sea Shepherd goes we are not a corporate sponsor as wikipedia suggests. We have supported them over the years, but we haven't given them a grant ie $s for 15 years. The 'official' word from Ventura our HQ is:
"Patagonia has supported Sea Shepherd's overall efforts to protect our ocean's biodiversity at times over the past 15 years. We, as a company, support a wide range of front line activism and grassroots organizations that are part of a vibrant and diverse environmental movement. Patagonia is aware that Sea Shepherd engages in direct actions as one of their approaches to protect and conserve marine ecosystems"
We have many people who are passionate, and enquiring, about what we do, and we welcome the dialogue. We don't get everything right, but overall please remember that it is in the DNA of our company to raise awareness and do practical things to help protect our planet and its environment.'
Original Forum thread: here
Patagonia's Environmental pages: www.patagonia.com