—From the Foreword by Naomi Klein, author of the bestselling book This Changes Everything
As a child, Yvon Chouinard moved with his father, a French Canadian blacksmith, to Southern California with little English and less money. Today his company, Patagonia, is approaching $1 billion in sales annually as one of the most environmentally and socially responsible corporations on the planet.
It has been ten years since Chouinard first shared his iconoclastic view of business with the world. Since then, through a global recession and intensifying environmental crisis, Patagonia has become a worldwide corporate leader—demonstrating that the values and philosophies laid out in this book are the best path to profits. This is not another tale of a successful businessman who chooses to do good on the side. It is the story of a businessman who has attained ever-growing success by placing Patagonia’s mission statement at the core of their culture: to build the best product, do no unnecessary harm, and use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.
Let My People Go Surfing is the portrait of a young man who found escape by scaling the world’s highest peaks, of an innovator who used his father’s tools to fashion equipment that changed climbing forever, of an entrepreneur who brought doing good to the heart of his business. In addition, it is a blueprint for all facets of responsible business, from design and production, to marketing and human resources.
“Three wonderful books rolled into one: a moving autobiography, the story of a unique business, and a detailed blueprint for hope.”
—Jared Diamond, author of Guns, Germs and Steel and Collapse, and winner of the Pulitzer Prize
“Yvon lays out the philosophies and practical actions of a company that has been a leader in the world of values-led business.”
—Ben Cohen, cofounder of Ben & Jerry’s