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Patt Morrison Asks

Yvon Chouinard: Capitalist cat

The founder of Patagonia Inc. climbed from a hardscrabble childhood in the Maine backwoods to become a legendary outdoorsman, philanthropist, environmentalist and pioneering businessman.

March 12, 2011|Patt Morrison

Nah, not at all. I've been around a long time and I've seen nothing but deterioration. So I'm very pessimistic. But I feel like I'm less a part of the problem than most people and hopefully I'm part of the solution. You have to be proactive. Imagine you had one of the best companies in the world, giving people good benefits and salaries -- but you're making land mines. That's evil.

So I take it no one will see you driving a Hummer?

[Laughs.] No, but they're going to see me on a lot of airplanes! I'll be in that seventh level of hell [for] jet fuel, that's true.

You've done blacksmithing since you were a kid; do you still?

I tinker around. They're outlawing felt soles for fishing boots because they carry invasive species, so I'm working on a [new fishing] boot and doing a lot of it in my blacksmith shop.

Did you see the movie "127 Hours"?

There's no way I could see that. It hits home too much for me. The guy's a climber. He used to work in a climbing shop that sold our gear. I know the guy and the whole grisly part of it. I don't want to have to see that.

This interview was edited and excerpted from a longer taped transcript. Interview archive:

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