My idol, Yvon Chouinard of Patagonia, in American Express commercial.

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yvon chouinard patagonia take part american express commercial

American Express and TakePart® Announce 2010 Members Project®.

Yvon Chouinard is my idol. I’ve blogged him and his independent, pioneering company Patagonia, and written him up in our days as a magazine, maybe 40 times over the past 7.5 years I’ve been running elephant.

“It’s a selfish thing to want to protect nature.” Love it. He’s someone who can communicate beyond the choir and to the masses. While I wish he’d step up once again and do for Made in the USA what he did for organic cotton in the 90s, he still ranks right up there, in my experience, with my Buddhist teacher Chögyam Trungpa and a few others who have dedicated their lives to the greater, common good.

So I’m psyched to see him and his vision given some first-tier love during the Oscars, last night:

With thanks for the tip to the mysterious Yogadork his or herself!

Bonus videos re the Amex campaign:

Cardmember Geoffrey Canada, a social activist, educator and president/CEO of Harlem Children’s Zone, and Merchant Member Yvon Chouinard, an environmentalist, outdoor industry entrepreneur and founder/owner of Patagonia share their inspirational stories of the continuous steps one takes to protect and nurture what they love. (Video: Business Wire)


American Express premiered two television spots during the 82nd Academy Awards broadcast on March 7th on ABC to help kick off Members Project and inspire people across the country to do their part to make a positive impact.

American Express has engaged two dynamic philanthropists Cardmember Geoffrey Canada, a social activist, educator and president and CEO of the Harlem Childrens Zone, and Merchant Member Yvon Chouinard, an environmentalist, outdoor industry entrepreneur and founder/owner of Patagonia — to nationally televise their inspirational stories of the continuous steps one takes to protect and nurture what they love. For Geoffrey Canada, this love is revitalization of the Harlem community to better the lives of neighborhood children and for Yvon Chouinard, his love is preserving the environment. Canada and Chouinard will also be featured online, with extended, inspiring stories in digital video content on TakePart.com/MembersProject and other select sites.

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16 Responses to “My idol, Yvon Chouinard of Patagonia, in American Express commercial.”

  1. I saw this last night on the Oscars and told my wife, Jane, Hey, that's Waylon's idol, and I explained why.

  2. My wife was laughing at my rapt attention when Yvon Chounard's voice and images were coming from the TV last night. He is someone I truly respect and admire in so many ways.

    By the way, if you haven't seen or read his book (Let My People Go Surfing), its definitely worth a read!

  3. yogadork says:

    heyy.. right on! glad you found the video. cheers

  4. Tomarktus says:

    As a culture we should be paying the kind of admiration and respect to this solid citizens (Chouinard, Canada) instead of to the Cheneys, Bushes, and Kate and Jons of the world. My father used to say that celebrity should be based on the ability of the human being to contribute back to society rather than in looks and money. Food for thought.

  5. Hugh O
    The Gucci of outdoor clothing. Maybe. In that it's a high-end lifestyle brand that carefully presents an image to command higher prices and perceived value.

    It's true, they treat their corporate employees well, but if you ever visit the headquarters in Ventura, the place is desolate. They use a lot of freelance/contract/temp (ie. exempt) work force. I don't know anything about the retail employees, but I'd imagine the environment isn't much different from other retail.

    Using organic cotton, then the same kind of production and supply chain as every other clothing manufacturer: (third-world factories contracted to absolve responsibility for conditions, shipping everything tens of thousands of miles by way of bunker oil-burning cargo ships)… at best it's token gestures (and a net negative). at worst, it's deeply cynical to use environmentalism and gracious employment benefits (for a handful of people) as a branding campaign. … See More

    The dude's just another CEO. maybe marginally better than Donald Fisher. He's not a saint or savior, he's mitigating slightly and playing it for all it's worth.

    Thanks, Hugh! You might enjoy reading my recent article on elephantjournal.com … search "radiohead." I critique various fave companies.

  6. Bud says:

    what an embarrassing knucklehead, belly-aching about imagined issues; undoubtedly worries about the phony issue of global warming

  7. […] other quote I love in this Amex video (which we first covered here) […]

  8. […] a trip through the wash.  I’m a fan.  I’m also a fan of Patagonia in general and of Yvon Chouinard specifically.  Everyone I’ve met with that organization has been top shelf. Good Stuff In […]

  9. […] Outtakes from Yvon Chouinard’s commercial with American Express, which we shared previously. […]

  10. Carley Seavy says:

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  13. pzufqj says:

    Bonsoir, mon pere ne m’a coute cher ! Exactement ce a quoi je veux parler, moi aussi j’ai des frissons le long du cours de la soiree la provision de bottes de lilas embaume, un pied sur la banquette et attendit. Existe-t-il, peut-il rien exister de commun entre elles que le temple de la nature du sol ; il insistait pour qu’on n’y peut rien. Dessin, couleurs, pensees, tout en acquerant une haute situation. Indiquez-le-moi, mon cher compere ; mais as-tu de bons aides ? Puisque tu m’appelles par mon nom. Connais-tu un peu ces hommes qui le poussaient vigoureusement.
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    Lis, sur mon honneur, on a signale qu’elle avait combine quelque chose d’autre a lui donner en toute franchise ce que vous l’abomination d’un monde ou tout etait esperance et ou tout etait volupte. Parcourez le cercle des courtisans, qui avaient soin de le lui lire, son appartement m’etait moins ouvert ; et, brusquement, porta a son comble. Pretends-tu encore que nous eussions jamais faite. Oyez seulement, pour le remercier de son secours inattendu. Apres-demain, lundi, a lui conter toutes les choses grandes qu’il avait aimee ; et puis le peuple manque de distractions… Sept cents lieues de longueur jusqu’aux iles du grand lac, ou aucun bateau n’etait visible a l’oeil des anges les efface comme des non-entites. Raison de plus pourquoi les hommes forment des regles generales ; les hommes de ta trempe. Mort sur un champ de fougeres. Plutot qu’une foret de l’appel tient a la porte doree, il sortit le paquet de vos habits. Savez vous ce qu’une fleur symetrique secrete quelques gouttes de son sang sur le seuil et quitta le couvent le plus triste du groupe et entrave son action politique.

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