Unconventional Business

Yvon Chouinard’s move to make Earth Patagonia’s “Only Shareholder” is making waves online. And not just in the climbing community. The wider business world is taking note too.

Thanks for the inspiration, Yvon!

At age 83, his latest act of rebellion is truly something to behold. I expect his move to inspire a whole generation of entrepreneurs to consider starting unconventional businesses, where profit is not the sole motivation.

We’ve seen this trend very clearly within our own community. For the outdoor entrepreneur crowd, it’s not enough to start a business. One needs to start a business with a purpose.

Let’s hope Yvon’s move inspires entrepreneurs outside our community.

The profit motive has been an undeniable driver of innovation and has helped to lift billions of people out of poverty over the last hundred years or so. But that progress has come at a cost.

That cost is the gradual destruction of our planet. It’s a cost economists tend to call an “externality”. And we need to do something about that. We need to create businesses that re-internalize that cost.

CHALK REBELS is very much an experiment in doing exactly that. We think it’s impossible to be sustainable from day one. Sustainability is very much a journey. Step by step we try to make our products more sustainable. By picking better ingredients, choosing suppliers closer to home, and improving the packaging.

But it’s not enough. We need to offset the excess damage we do. That’s why we’re a member of One Percent For The Planet and why we always try to incorporate the true environmental cost in our day-to-day business model.

I firmly believe there’s a whole generation out there who will refuse to put their ingenuity at the service of companies whose sole motive is increasing shareholder value. We need those people to start unconventional businesses.

Just like Yvon inspired us, we hope CHALK REBELS can inspire businesses and consumers alike to do their part to save our planet in crisis. Thanks again, Yvon, for being the most badass of all "business" men.

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