Sneak Preview: Interview with Inamori Ethics Winner Yvon Chouinard

Talia Gragg, Contributing Reporter

This past Thursday, The Observer’s own Jasmine Gallup and Talia Gragg had a chance to sit down with this year’s Inamori Ethics Prize winner, Yvon Chouinard, the founder of the outdoor clothing company, Patagonia.  Below Gragg presents a preview of what will be discussed in this week’s print edition.

In our interview with Yvon Chouinard, the conversation explored not just his company Patagonia, but his personal passions as well. We began the interview by discussing climbing; an appropriate start as it was this passion that led to his entrance into the business world.

We then moved into the discussion of the Inamori Ethics Prize, the reason that he was on campus. When asked about accepting the prize, Chouinard replied that he did not at first realize how big of a deal the prize was. He then noted that he’d “rather be fishing.”

Calling Chouinard a nature enthusiast would be an understatement; he finds protection of nature to be vital to both life and business. He spoke often of how he was passionate about both business and the environment.

The low-key, reserved Chouinard became a bit more animated when discussing the victories Patagonia (as Chouinard attributes such successes to the company, and not to himself) has made in the environmental sector. Chouinard expressed genuine sadness at the thought of how far people are removed from nature. He said that his favorite place is Patagonia, the lush, beautiful region of South America from which Patagonia, Inc. got its name.