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Patagonia is Giving a $10 Million Tax Break to Environmental Groups

Patagonia said Wednesday it is giving away the $10 million in unplanned cash it saw “as a result of last year’s irresponsible tax cut.”

The outdoor apparel specialist, long a leader in sustainable practices, said the funds will go to the grassroots activist organizations, like those that are part of its 1% for the Planet platform, “the groups defending our air, water and land,” the company says.

Patagonia said the tax cut, which was part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 that slashed the corporate tax rate, was “not only a windfall for the oil and gas industry but will also open up 19 million acres of Alaska’s wildlife refuge.”

Patagonia’s founder, Yvon Chouinard, said, “Our government continues to ignore the seriousness and causes of the climate crisis. It is pure evil. We need to double down on renewable energy solutions. We need an agriculture system that supports small family farms and ranches, not one that rewards chemical companies intent on destroying our planet and poisoning our food. And we need to protect our public lands and waters because they are all we have left.”

Patagonia said, unlike President Trump, it “believes the scientists–including the authors of Friday’s National Climate Assessment report–and it is urgent that we all do something about it.”

Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario, wrote in a blog post on LinkedIn, “Being a responsible company means paying your taxes in proportion to your success and supporting your state and federal governments, which in turn contribute to the health and well-being of civil society. Taxes fund our important public services, our first responders and our democratic institutions. Taxes protect the most vulnerable in our society, our public lands and other life-giving resources. In spite of this, the Trump administration initiated a corporate tax cut, threatening these services at the expense of our planet.”

The company said giving $10 million to groups committed to finding solutions to the climate crisis fits with the company’s mission of authentic product quality and environmental activism, and its contributions of more than $100 million in grants and in-kind donations to date. This also includes those dedicated to regenerative organic agriculture, which Marcario said “may be our greatest hope for reversing the damage done to our overheated planet.”

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Robert Rodale is said have coined the term “regenerative organic” to describe a holistic approach to farming that encourages continuous innovation and improvement of environmental, social and economic measures, something the apparel industry has begun to take seriously. Rodale was an exponent of organic farming and the head of a Rodale Press, which published magazines on subjects like gardening, health and fitness.

Wrangler recently created a farm training program with the North Carolina Foundation for Soil and Water Conservation to support farmers dedicated to advancing sustainable agriculture practices. This includes adoption of cover crop implementation by commercial cotton and soy producers in North Carolina. The initiative establishes four 10-acre demonstration farms where cotton producers from across the state will be invited to learn progressive steps in heavy cereal rye cover crop management. During field days throughout the year, more than 1,000 producers will experience firsthand the importance and immediate benefits of cover cropping, including weed control and insect suppression.

For her part, Marcario added, “In this season of giving, we are giving away this tax cut to the planet, our only home, which needs it now more than ever.”