Yvon Chouinard is founder and owner of Patagonia, Inc., based in Ventura, California. He began in business by designing, manufacturing, and distributing rock-climbing equipment in the late 1950s. His tinkering led to an improved ice ax that facilitated the French ice-climbing technique and is the basis for modern ice ax design. In 1964 he produced his first mail-order catalog, a one-page mimeographed sheet containing advice not to expect fast delivery during climbing season. In 2001, Yvon cofounded 1% for the Planet, an alliance of businesses that contribute at least 1 percent of their net annual sales to groups on a list of researched and approved environmental organizations. Today, he makes significant contributions to activist environmental concerns, serves on the boards of numerous environmental organizations, and spends much of his time in the outdoors.