Cotopaxi: Relieving Poverty with Each Purchase
Cotopaxi is a Certified B Corporation that focuses on outdoor gear and events while donating 2% of its revenue to poverty relief. The company recently joined the product lineup at Appalachian Outfitters and we are so excited to introduce you to the brand.
It All Began In Ecuador
Cotopaxi (kōtōpä´ksē) is named after an active stratovolcano located in the Andes in Ecuador. The volcano is important to the culture of Andean indigenous communities located nearby. It also made a big impact on Davis Smith, the founder of Cotopaxi, while growing up in Latin America. For years he lived in Ecuador, attending school and enjoying the outdoors of Cotopaxi National Park. He got to know and appreciate the local Andeans, and he learned about the lifestyles and struggles of people living in poverty.
After moving to the US for advanced business and international studies degrees, Smith started several e-commerce businesses. Through his work, he lived in Brazil in 2010 and 2013, but he wanted to make a bigger difference in the world that went beyond the success of his businesses. His solution was uniting travel, business, and poverty relief, resulting in Cotopaxi. Smith wanted to embody the optimism, adventure, and determination he witnessed in Ecuador in the name of the company, ultimately leading him to the name “Cotopaxi”.
Continuing to Fight Poverty Worldwide
Each time a person buys an item from Cotopaxi, a portion of their purchase is given to people living in the poorest regions of the world. The business works with other responsible organizations, such as Educate Girls, International Rescue Committee, and Proximity Designs, to give developing nations health, education, and livelihood. Escuela Nueva, a grantee of Cotopaxi, is broadening its scope in the Andes. Locally, the company works with Refugee Card Writing and the Refugee Coding Project to help new internationals feel comfortable.
Cotopaxi creates bags, packs, and clothing from leftover fabric scraps. With social responsibility and the idea of giving back at the company’s core, the unique, colorful products make a statement that reaches beyond fashion and practicality.
Upholding Quality and Ethics for All
Cotopaxi doesn’t compromise with its standards for helping relieve poverty, and it doesn’t compromise with the quality of its products. In fact, all products include a guarantee that they will last for 61 years, the average lifespan of people who live in poverty-riddled parts of the world. If you find a problem with Cotopaxi products, the company will replace it or repair it themselves.
The following aspects are very important to the company:
- Design: Cotopaxi creates gear out of leftover fabric scraps, making their process sustainable and practical. Don’t let this fool you – Cotopaxi designers thoroughly research materials and production for each item, guaranteeing the leftover fabric is still high quality. Using new approaches, like insulating a jacket with llama fiber, the company innovates ways to design gear and bring it through production, aiming to positively influence the world.
- Teamwork: Through long-lasting relationships, Cotopaxi encourages and empowers the people who create the company’s gear. Hires experience fair, sustainable working conditions, keeping supply chains a source of betterment for communities. The honesty Cotopaxi develops with workers and customers creates a community of trust and ethics foundational to the business.
- Charity: Every year Cotopaxi develops new goals for supporting nonprofits. Using targeted grants, volunteering in local regions, or improving farming systems in faraway countries, the goal is to eliminate poverty—one Cotopaxi purchase at a time.
- Reach: Spreading the good news about Cotopaxi is an important part of the business structure. The Cotopaxi Questival Adventure Race travels across the US, giving you and your friends 24 hours with challenges that will push you to new outdoor experiences. The company doesn’t take itself too seriously, and the goal is to encourage others to enjoy outdoor fun, too!
Cotopaxi at Appalachian Outfitters
We’re more than happy to represent the Cotopaxi brand at our Appalachian Outfitters store, and we can’t wait for you to try their products for yourself. Stop by for a visit—we can’t wait to help you find your own Cotopaxi gear and make a positive difference in the world!