Major Apparel Company’s Political Arm Funnels $71 Million Toward Climate, Dem Orgs: REPORT

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Jason Cohen Contributor
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Over $70 million of apparel company Patagonia’s profits have been used to fund Democratic groups, green initiatives and other causes since September 2022, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.

Patagonia channels all its profits, excluding those reinvested in the company, through an entity named Holdfast Collective, which has established and oversees five different 501(c)(4) nonprofits, according to the NYT. They can spend as much as they desire on political contributions, provided their primary focus is on social benefit, and have contributed $1 million to back the election of Democrats across the United States. (RELATED: Liberal Foundations Poured Tens Of Millions Of Dollars Into Influential Environmental Org Tied To Chinese Government)

Nonprofits within the collective gave $200,000 to a Democratic super PAC in January and $100,000 to both the Democratic Senate Majority PAC and House Majority PAC during the last election cycle, according to the NYT. They gave less significant contributions to organizations like Black Voters Matter Fund, the Center for American Progress Action Fund and the Georgia Investor Action Fund.

Holdfast Collective’s nonprofits hold 98% of Patagonia’s nonvoting shares, worth about $1.7 billion, according to the NYT. The network is “a $1.7 billion political organization in waiting,” Americans for Public Trust Executive Director Caitlin Sutherland told the NYT.

Americans for Public Trust highlighted documents showing that Holdfast Collective’s nonprofits fund causes like abortion and countering so-called disinformation, according to the NYT.

“I personally fail to see the connection between spending money on abortion and climate change,” Sutherland told the NYT. Holdfast Collective also gave many donations to organizations striving to increase voter turnout in Georgia before the 2022 midterm election, according to the NYT.

“We are not aiming to be an extension of the Democratic Party,” Holdfast Collective Executive Director Greg Curtis told the NYT. “The sole purpose in engaging in politics and policy is to advance stronger environmental policy.”

Patagonia’s billionaire founder, Yvon Chouinard, donated his company to advance his climate agenda in September 2022. Chouinard may have dodged paying up to $1.176 billion in gift taxes by donating his business to a nonprofit organization, according to Business Insider.

“We would be really interested in supporting any climate leader — Republican, Democrat or independent,” Curtis told the NYT. “It just so happens that a lot of those folks are Democrats.”

Patagonia did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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