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Who was Douglas Tompkins, the founder of The North Face

Il miliardario Douglas Tompkins aveva dedicato gli ultimi anni alla battaglia ecologista. È morto in Cile a 72 anni a causa di un incidente in kayack.

Douglas Tompkins died at the age of 72, on the 8th of December: billionaire, ecologist and co-founder of The North Face, renowned outdoor apparel brand.

douglas tompkins
Doug Tompkins with his wife Kris © Wikimedia

The accident took place in Chile, where Tompkins lived with his wife Kristine McDivitt, whilst he was kayaking with a group of five people. The kayak capsized and Tompkins fell into the icy water. He was rescued but later died from severe hypothermia.

Nature lover and adventurer, he founded The North Face in 1964. The brand was greatly success and he sold it in 1968 in order to dedicate himself to the brand Esprit with his first wife, Jane Tise.

Friend of the great climber and surfer Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia’s founder, they opened a new route on Mount Fitz Roy together and revolutionised climbing and mountaineering.

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Tompkins, Johnson and Chouinard

With a deep bond to Patagonia and Chile, Tompkins dedicated his life to nature and environmental conservation, inspired by the book Deep Ecology: Living as if Nature Mattered. After he sold Esprit, he started to dedicate himself to protecting nature. Doug and Kris were responsible for expanding a natural reserve covering 400 hectares of forest in Chile to almost 890,000 hectares divided between Chile and Patagonia.

“We see the loss of biodiversity as the greatest crisis of our time,” writes Tompkins Conservation. “We believe that humans have an ethical obligation to share the planet with other species, and that we must reorient our values and activities so that all forms of life can flourish”.

Doug Tompkins passed away doing the very thing he loved, and he will be remembered as one of the most important characters in environmental activism and ecology our generation has ever known.

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