On a fall evening in 2015 I had the opportunity to not only attend, but sit in the front row to hear Yvon Chouinard speak at the Shift JH conference. At the end of the talk I was asked if I would take a group photo of the speakers. "Only if I can ask Yvon a question get a photo with them too" was my response.
In my backpack I had an old Patagonia sweater that I had received as a hand me down with the rumors that it was a prototype of the popular synchilla sweater. This was the perfect time to ask Mr. Chouinard of in fact, it was what I was rumored to be. He took it from my hands, felt it in a few spots, then flipped it inside out. "Well it's not from Patagonia" he told me. I asked him if he wanted it, or for me at least to dispose of it.
"Well do you use it?"
"Then don't worry about it"
I never would have expected an answer like that, from anyone. What he said that night stuck in my mind like something Obi-Wan Kenobi would have said to Luke Skywalker. The Jedi Master of the outdoor, conservation, and retail industries.
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