The Roots of Cotopaxi
Cotopaxi is known for their bright, color-blocked designs and unique packs (no one is exactly alike out of their Del Dia Collection). The name derives from a volcano in Ecuador, where founder, Davis Smith, grew up and even went to a school also named after it. Cotopaxi is one of the world’s highest active volcanoes and is sacred to native Quechuans. Davis had strong roots around this volcano and even the logo for his brand stemmed from this magical place. Davis first saw llamas at the base of mount Cotopaxi, so it was a no-brainer that this would become the logo. The name for his new brand, and its logo, would be deeply connected to his roots and to a place that truly mattered to him. Cotopaxi was born, and shortly after he actually bought two llamas named Coto and Paxi.
Making Gear for Good
More and more brands are trying to figure out how to be more sustainable and ethical in their manufacturing, especially outdoor brands. You hear or read that in almost every brand description these days. Cotopaxi is a bit different in that they were an established B Corporation upon inception. Many other companies didn’t become B Corps until later after their companies were already making money. Giving back to communities and people was a nonnegotiable for Davis, so even though it made it exponentially harder to find investors who were willing to essentially give away money before the company had made any, was very tough to do.
While the planet and sustainability are high on their priority list, Cotopaxi started with the main focus being on the people. Davis believes we have the chance to eradicate poverty in our lifetime and he wants to be a part of that. Cotopaxi allocates a percentage of their annual revenues to the Cotopaxi Foundation, which then provides targeted grants to nonprofits dedicated to eradicating extreme poverty. With his roots tied deeply into Latin America, that is where most of their efforts are concentrated. Cotopaxi is a member of Pledge 1% where they have committed to giving at least 1% of their revenue towards ending poverty.
Guaranteed for Good
Cotopaxi stands by their efforts in making truly sustainable gear by offering different options if a problem does arise with your gear. They offer returns, warranties, repairs, and trade-in options. Find out more below about what your options are and which best suits your needs!
Our Cotopaxi Favorites
Being in a mountain town of nearly 6,000′ high, we love our puffy jackets pretty much year-round. The Cotopaxi Fuego collection fits the bill for those chilly days and evenings from fall to spring. The Fuego comes in men’s and women’s with options for hooded full zip jackets, non-hooded, vests, and even a women’s parka. With 800 fill down, responsibly sourced, of course, this collection keeps you nice and toasty while being lightweight so you can pack it for any adventure.
True to Cotopaxi’s standards, the Teca Fleece is made with 100% recycled polyester and repurposed taffeta. These fleeces are so soft and cozy and also come in a few options! Whether you are a full-zip person, or strictly pull-over, maybe half and half, you won’t be sorry to throw the Teca Fleece on to apres, or as that extra layer outside.
The One of a Kind, DEL DÍA Collection
After visiting a factory their backpack manufacturer, that also made packs for many other brands, Davis witnessed the massive amount of waste from the cuttings and sewing of packs. Then and there he decided he wanted to use all the scraps possible to create packs and also wanted to give the long-standing sewers of the factory opportunity to innovate. He told the sewers he wanted to use all the leftover material and wanted the workers to design them. The only rule: not one bag could be alike. Each bag in the Del Dia collection is unique and patched together from scraps that would’ve otherwise ended up in the landfill.
Llama’s On A Mission
Cotopaxi goes far beyond the general goal of sustainability. By including people in their mission and setting out to improve human conditions, Cotopaxi is setting a new standard for the outdoor industry to continue to better the world as a whole. By learning more about the missions of individual brands, you know exactly where your hard-earned dollars are going and can be a part of their missions. Learn more about Cotopaxi founder Davis Smith and where he started on the How I Built This Podcast.
Check out some of our other favorite brands making efforts towards a more susustainable future here.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, Tahoe Mountain Sports will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Affiliate commissions help fund the content for this blog.
Tarin is a personal trainer, yoga teacher, the TMS marketing director and overall outdoor enthusiast who’s dabbled in a little of everything. She spends winter snowboarding, splitboarding, and more recently, snowmobiling too. In the summer you can find her mountain biking and teaching paddleboard yoga and fitness on Lake Tahoe and Donner lake!