Tin Shed Ventures® is Patagonia’s corporate venture capital fund, which launched in May 2013. Tin Shed takes our name from the blacksmith shop where Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard originally forged pitons, and then, to reduce human impact on natural spaces, walked away from a best-selling product and pivoted to make the first removable hardware that trailblazed the clean-climbing revolution. The original tin shed still stands in Ventura, California alongside our corporate headquarters where Tin Shed Ventures is based. 

In the face of rising food and textile demand, conventional agricultural systems are broken and are pushing our home planet beyond its breaking point. At Tin Shed, we believe that transitioning agricultural systems and their related supply chains from extractive to regenerative practices is the only way to ensure human and animal well-being while operating within the limits of our planet’s resources.

We invest in upstream innovations that overcome systemic barriers to regenerative agriculture adoption on land and in water to contribute to the following key outcomes:

  • Shift demand & reduce waste
  • Increase production without sacrificing quality
  • Incentivize responsible land-use & protect natural ecosystems
  • Reduce the environmental impacts of agriculture

Tin Shed works closely with our colleagues at Patagonia Provisions. Provisions focuses on offering regenerative and nutrient-dense food to combat the climate crisis. When a potential investment can be an ingredient or process input for our Provisions business, Tin Shed and Provisions will engage with the company from both an investment and commercial perspective.  Nevertheless, a commercial deal is not a prerequisite to Tin Shed investment, and similarly, an investment does not guarantee commercial partnerships with Provisions.

More than half of global GDP is moderately or highly dependent on nature and the ecosystem services it provides. Biodiversity is a foundational indicator of healthy, functioning natural ecosystems; yet our current economic system does not incentivize the protection and regeneration of biodiversity. As a result, biodiversity is in rapid decline, and these negative trends in nature will continue through 2050 unless we enact major changes. At Tin Shed, we believe that the only way for Patagonia and every organization to be nature-positive is to enable all of us to better understand and avoid our negative impacts on nature while addressing the root causes of nature’s decline.

We invest in companies and teams working towards the following key outcomes:

  • Increase biodiversity monitoring frequency, ease, and quality
  • Address the direct drivers of biodiversity declines

Tin Shed invests in innovations that address persistent challenges in Patagonia’s apparel supply chain and the apparel industry at large, which includes industrial microfiber shedding, dye processing, DWR, end of life sorting and recycling, and cultivating next gen or carbon negative materials.

At Patagonia, we have a world-class Product Impact and Innovation team that uses a range of tools like joint-development agreements or our commercial purchase agreements to engage in new materials innovation and product pull-through. As a result, Tin Shed will only invest in fiber and apparel innovation that is relevant to our supply chain, and we will work in deep collaboration with our product innovation colleagues. We will not review innovations in categories or materials that are not widely used in our product offerings (e.g., shoes or leather).

In addition to fitting within one of our three focus areas, Tin Shed evaluates deals through the following criteria:

  • Better together: We prefer to invest in collaboration with trusted co-investors, with checks of up to $2M in the Seed, Series A, and occasionally Series B deals.
  • Planet + Profit: Patagonia was built on the premise that profit and planet impact need to scale together to drive the changes we need. We target investments where impact scales in lockstep with financial growth.
  • Quality: A core tenant of Patagonia is a commitment to quality, and our partners and portfolio companies are an extended reflection of this commitment. Quality will be a key focus of our diligence, with an emphasis on responsible extraction and processing (for fiber), and nutrient density (for food), and other factors in our three focus areas.
  • Systemic & Scale: While many solutions address important local issues or provide incremental improvements to the current state, Tin Shed Ventures focuses on solutions that address the systemic root causes at climate-relevant scale.
  • Do No Harm: We will consider the up- and downstream impacts of a company’s solution and supply chain to anticipate, avoid, and mitigate harm to people & planet.
  • Intersectional: The climate crisis is complex and disproportionately impacts marginalized people; we seek solutions that consider the people and communities in which the companies operate.