Gear For Good

Who They Are

The founder of Cotopaxi, Davis Smith, grew up in Latin America and has always had a passion for the outdoors. During his childhood, he spent a lot of time in Cotopaxi National Park. Cotopaxi (kōtōpä´ksē) is an active stratovolcano in Ecuador, and is a sacred symbol for Andean indigenous communities. During his time in the park, Davis saw both the strong, hard working culture of Latin America, as well as much of the hardships and poverty that’s common in the region. After starting many successful e-commerce companies and living in Brazil for some time, Davis decided that he wanted to start a company that upholds his values and fights the poverty he’s witnessed firsthand. Thus, Cotopaxi was born.

Cotopaxi’s creed is simply “do good,” and they make sure to uphold this creed throughout every aspect of their business. Their backpacks, dopp kits, duffel bags, and other outdoor gear is made sustainably using recycled remnant materials which provide work to disadvantaged communities in countries such as the Philippines, India, Bolivia, Cambodia, and China. But Cotopaxi's “doing good” goes much further than just their production process! They are a B-Corp certified business, furthering their dedication to social and environmental prosperity. Additionally, through their cotopaxi foundation, 1% of all annual revenue goes toward providing targeted grants to non-profit organizations helping to fight poverty. To date they have awarded 42 grants to organizations in 6 different countries.

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Why We Like Them

Cotopaxi is designed to promote equality and help those in need just as much as it is designed to make great gear. Their unique, high quality backpacks and other outdoor gear in the Del Día line are all made exclusively from repurposed and upcycled materials including the fabric, buckles, thread, and zippers. To achieve this, Cotopaxi receives scraps from 6 of the best factories around the world. Then, in a Bataan, Philippines factory, the Del Día collection is made. In this factory, Cotopaxi receives all of the unused materials from other brands and repurposes it into their most-loved designs. 

Each of their factories is subject to a rigorous code of conduct and must complete strict audits or relevant certifications to ensure both quality and equality. The factory in Bataan has completed the Higg index facility module, meaning they’ve committed to socially and environmentally responsible practices. Cotopaxi is committed to corporate responsibility in all aspects of their business, becoming B-corp certified in 2015 and joining a growing network of businesses who have dedicated their operations towards improving social and environmental welfare. To top it off, Cotopaxi ranks in the top 10% of B Corporations in the “Best for the Community” and the “Best for Governance” categories!

Along with having a sustainable and ethical production process, Cotopaxi started its very own foundation that uses 1% of the company’s annual revenue to provide grant money to impactful nonprofit organizations all over the world which address poverty and aim to improve the human condition. Some of the nonprofits that have received Cotopaxi’s grants include the International Rescue Committee, the UN’s Nothing but Nets, Mercy Corps, and more! So far, Cotopaxi has proudly awarded 42 grants in 6 different countries. In 2019 alone, Cotopaxi’s contributions resulted in: Donating $300,000 to alleviating poverty, distributing 5,000+ malaria-preventing bed nets in Latin America, helping 500–700 indigenous youths in Latin America complete primary education, providing literacy education to 80+ refugee families, distributing 200 emergency kits to refugee families as the US/Mexico border, and offered over 1,300 of employee volunteer time. 

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