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Patagonia closes its offices and stores for a week to give employees paid time off for holidays

Ryan Gellert, Chief Executive at Patagonia, thanked his employees for an 'amazing year of working' to save Earth.

Patagonia closes its offices and stores for a week to give employees paid time off for holidays
Cover Image Source: A Patagonia store signage is seen on Greene Street on September 14, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

A positive work environment and an understanding organization are some things that every employee wants in this day and age. However, only a few companies are able to deliver and show that they really care for their employees. And one such example is Patagonia, the retailer of outdoor clothing and gear for silent sports. The nearly 50-year-old company announced this week that its employees in the U.S. and Canada will once again get a paid week off to end the year.

Ryan Gellert, Chief Executive at Patagonia, shared in a LinkedIn post: "In 2021, we closed our stores, warehouse, and offices in the United States and Canada for the last week of the year and gave employees paid time off. The purpose was to provide our employees with a much-needed break, and our customers were overwhelmingly gracious about it." And that they are doing it again this year. He wrote, "Our North America stores, customer service operations and warehouse will be closed from December 25 through January 1 because we believe in providing quality of life for our people." 

Gellert thanked his employees for an "amazing year of working" to save Earth. He added: "I want to thank our nonprofit partners and customers for their continued support and friendship. We’ll be back at work and recharged on January 2, ready to ship the orders, help exchange unwanted gifts, and repair clothing that was broken while people were outside having fun. Until then, seasons greetings to you and yours," he concluded.

People on the internet were happy that a company is taking such considerate steps and prioritizing its staff over profit. A Twitter user wrote: "What a thoughtful and considerate way to lead a company. It shows that he values his team's well-being. Can't wait to see what #Patagonia can accomplish in the new year, refreshed and recharged!"

Another commented: "Patagonia continues to do the right thing because it’s the right thing thank you from all of your lifelong customers." A third said, "The quality of their products and the level of service has always been outstanding at Patagonia. Leadership, culture, and empathy. What a great company. I love their products. Good for them."



 

Patagonia was in the news a few months earlier for making another great decision. Yvon Chouinard, who founded the sports apparel company, announced in September 2022 that he is giving the entire company away to fight the Earth's climate devastation. "As of now, Earth is our only shareholder," the company announced. "ALL profits, in perpetuity, will go to our mission to 'save our home planet.'"



 

"While we're doing our best to address the environmental crisis, it's not enough. We needed to find a way to put more money into fighting the crisis while keeping the company's values intact," the company said in a statement. Chouinard, his wife, and two children contemplated that an option could have been to sell Patagonia and donate, but they "couldn't be sure a new owner would maintain our values or keep our team of people around the world employed." They contemplated taking the company public, but thought that option would be a "disaster." Ultimately, Chouinard and his family devised their own plan of action. They gave 2% of all equity to a trust called the Patagonia Purpose Trust, entrusting it with the entire decision-making ability to supervise the company's purpose and principles. The remaining 98% of the company's shares were to be donated to a charity named the Holdfast Collective, which "will use every dollar received to fight the environmental crisis, protect nature and biodiversity, and support thriving communities, as quickly as possible." 

"If we have any hope of a thriving planet – much less a thriving business – 50 years from now, it is going to take all of us doing what we can with the resources we have," said Chouinard in a statement. "This is another way we've found to do our part."

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