The organization is the brainchild of Yvon Chouinard, an environmental activist who also founded the Patagonia outdoor clothing company, and Craig Matthews, the owner of fly-fishing retailer Blue Ribbon Flies.
In 1985, Patagonia started earmarking 10 percent of pre-tax profits or one percent of sales (whichever is greater) towards environmental causes – what Chouinard refers to as an "earth tax." But it wasn't until 16 years later that the idea to form a bigger coalition came to fruition.
When 1% FTP held its official launch at Patagonia's San Francisco store in November 2001, 21 companies signed on. As of January 2007, there were 473 members with contributions totaling over $12 million.
A complete list of members is available on their web site, but here are a few that we're especially fond of: