According to Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard, a new ownership structure would direct any earnings that weren't put back into running the company toward combating climate change.
Depending on the state of the business, this will come to about $100 million (£87 million) a year, he asserted.
Over ten nations sell Patagonia's outdoor and hiking apparel.
In contrast to Mr Chouinard's projected net worth of $1.2 billion, the company's estimated sales this year were $1.5 billion.
"Despite its immensity, the Earth's resources are not infinite, and it's clear we've exceeded its limits," the entrepreneur said of his judgment to give up ownership.
"Instead of extracting value from nature and transforming it into wealth, we are using the wealth Patagonia creates to protect the source," he said.
The Californian company was already devoted to sustainable business practices and gave 1% of its annual profits to grassroots campaigners. But the hesitant businessman claimed in an open letter to clients that he wanted to take things further.
He claimed that he had initially thought of either selling Patagonia and giving the proceeds to a good cause or going public with the business.
However, he claimed that both possibilities would have required giving up management of the company.
"Even public companies with good intentions are under too much pressure to create short-term gain at the expense of long-term vitality and responsibility," he said.