Whole Earth Turns 50! | Whole Earth Provision Co.
Whole Earth Turns 50!
Two adults and three children walk in a meadow at sunrise with tree covered mountains in the background.  Text on the image says Whole Earth Provision Co. 50 years of adventure. Bringing adventures to you for 50 years.
A black and white image of our original employees on the steps in front of our original Austin location.

Whole Earth Provision Co.
50th Birthday

In December 1970 an exciting new store, Whole Earth Provision Co., opened in Bluebonnet Plaza near the University of Texas campus in Austin. Inspired by the Whole Earth Catalog, it was a place to lay hands on items that before you could only read about in the Catalog. Sales were brisk, so brisk the store was emptied and temporarily closed to reorder and restock.

"The staff may or may not have
celebrated by running off to Mexico!"

A black and white image of Jack Jones, one of our founders, at our original location in Austin.  He poses in front of a bookshelf with classic beading and weaving books.
A black and white image of a group of employees on a rock climbing adventure.

The Whole Earth Catalog was a compendium of tools and books for creating new ways of living and learning in the 1960s and 70s. The Catalog used a set of guidelines to help determine what items to include: useful as a tool, relevant to independent education, high quality and/or low cost and easily available by mail.

Whole Earth Provision Co. took these criteria to heart and even added one of our own: fun.

A black and white image of three men in Mexico.  One of them is riding a horse.
An image of two arrows.  The one on top points left.  The one on the bottom points right.
A black and white image of our original logo.  It shows an artist rendition of the Earth from Space, along with text that reads From Kerrville to Kilimanjaro, our travel tools make your travel a better experience.

Our customers, inspired by the Nomadics section of the Catalog, requested that we add outdoor gear to the mix of merchandise. And so we became an early source for specially designed backpacks, tents, sleeping bags, hiking boots, rugged clothing and other gear being created by new, small independent companies like Patagonia and The North Face to meet the demand for high tech outdoor adventure clothing and equipment.

An image of a group of people standing in a circle wearing colorful Chaco Brand sandals.
An image of marshmallows roasting over a campfire.
An image of a Father and young son in a green and red camping hammock.
A pair of pink sandals and a folded multi-color beach towel at the side of a swimming pool.

Today you'll find Whole Earth stores in
Austin  |  Dallas
Houston  |  San Antonio
and online.

Our stores are filled with quality clothing and shoes for men, women and children, travel and outdoor gear, toys, books and gifts both zany and beautiful. For years we’ve been a one-stop shop for holiday gifts and stocking stuffers, the last stop on the way to a kid’s birthday party to find the standout present, and the source of gifts for the whole family that are treasured and used.

The front of our Austin N. Lamar location with colorful hammocks and windchimes on display.
The front of our San Antonio Quarry Market location.  Four smokestacks reach into a blue sky.

Whole Earth has a long history of supporting groups focused on experiencing, and enjoying outdoor activities...

and preserving the environment, including the Texas Land Conservancy, local parks and schools, the Boy Scouts and climbing competitions to name only a few. Our largest fundraising effort is for Texas State Parks. Over the last nine years, the proceeds from the Austin shows of the Banff Mountain Film Festival combined with in-store donations made during April is Texas State Parks Month have raised over $245,000 for the parks.

A group of Whole Earth employees and Texas State Parks personel gather by a river in central Texas for our annual Texas State Parks Month check presentation.

One of the great joys of working at Whole Earth is helping people prepare for adventures near and far, like finding comfortable shoes for a day hike at Enchanted Rock, gearing up for a backpacking trip on the Pacific Crest trail or the trip of a lifetime to visit the great museums of Europe or an expedition to far distant lands to add new birds to a life list.


And best of all, we get to hear the stories and see the photos when the travelers return home.

A desert mountain peak with blue sky in the background.A man reclines agains a black sign that reads Go West.
A woman and man with their dog on a desert mountain slope.A collage of three images.  A woman's bare feet in a camping hammock, a man running on a trail with a dog, and a woman taking a selfie in front of a garden.

As we celebrate our 50th birthday, we’re also looking forward to our hopes for the future. We’ll continue to offer innovative and quality clothing, shoes and goods for outdoor living, travel, work and home for the whole family. We’ve made wonderful friends in our first 50 years and hope to make even more in the years to come.

Here’s to 50 more years of friendship, great stories, and a shared commitment to the earth and our communities.

Four young kids hanging out in four camping hammocks in a wooded environment.

Whole Earth Provision Co.

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