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Cannes Lions honours Yvon Chouinard as the 2023 Cannes LionHeart

Founder and former owner of Patagonia is awarded in recognition of his philanthropic contributions and commitment to environmentalism through his leadership of Patagonia


Cannes Lions has announced that it will honour the founder and former owner of Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard, as its Cannes LionHeart; the award given to a person who has harnessed their position to make a significant and positive difference to the world around us.


Philip Thomas, CEO, Ascential Futures, Chairman, LIONS, said, “Yvon Chouinard has made a tireless commitment to environmentalism through his philanthropic contributions and leadership of Patagonia. He embodies the purpose of the LionHeart award and we are humbled to be able to offer the platform of Cannes Lions to appeal to the world’s communicators to help his cause. His work is an inspiration to us all and we look forward to honouring him in June.”


Previous recipients of the Cannes LionHeart include Bono, Al Gore, Blake Mycoskie, Richard Curtis, Paul Polman, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Malala Yousafzai.


On receiving the award, Yvon Chouinard said, “50 years ago, we started this experiment in responsible business, and today, as we look towards the next 50, we’re dead serious about addressing the environmental crisis. Every part of the Patagonia business, including the value we create, is linked to our purpose. We have a long history of asking customers to think differently about the clothes they wear, buying only what they need and repairing when necessary. And as a company, we give away 1% of sales each year and are a certified B Corporation. But none of this is enough. That’s why we decided it’s time for a new experiment, with the announcement that earth is now our only shareholder.


“Receiving the recognition of the LionHeart award sends the message that creativity can be a powerful force in the work to save our home planet. The creative industry is uniquely placed to lead the way in ambitious business practices and to inspire people everywhere to act now.”


Tyler LaMotte, Marketing Director, EMEA, Patagonia, will represent the brand on stage at Cannes Lions in a highly anticipated seminar. LaMotte said, “For our 50th year, we’re looking forward, not back, to life on Earth. Together, we can prioritize purpose over profit and protect this wondrous planet, our only home.” For the first time, the Cannes LionHeart seminar will dive into the marketing practitioners point of view and demonstrate how to drive the sustainability agenda in practice not theory, and how to prioritise purpose over profit.


Chouinard founded Patagonia in 1973, a company known for its quality products and commitment to advancing solutions to the environmental crisis. The company was nearly 50 when Chouinard decided it was time for another improvement. In September 2022, Chouinard and his family adopted an innovative ownership model, locking in the company’s values and dedicating the excess profits to protecting our home planet.


Chouinard cofounded 1% for the Planet, Textile Exchange, Fair Labor Association, Sustainable Apparel Coalition, The Conservation Alliance, the Regenerative Organic Alliance, and the Global Salmon Farming Resistance. Chouinard‘s business memoir Let My People Go Surfing has been published in 16 languages and has sold more than 500,000 copies. His book The Responsible Company tells how to incorporate values in business.


The Cannes LionHeart award will be presented during the final awards show of Cannes Lions on Friday 23 June. Further information on Cannes Lions, including speakers and how to attend can be found at canneslions.com.

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