- Buyer's Guide
Brand of the Year – The Sixth Annual Carry Awards
One of the first things you may discover about Cotopaxi is their motto. Gear For Good. And you don’t have to dig deep to quickly discover this isn’t just a catchy marketing slogan. Cotopaxi not only makes great gear, but is firmly committed to doing good. Both in the way they run their company and in helping those in need.
The brand’s CEO, Davis Smith, grew up in Latin America and saw a lot of poverty during his time there. Inspired by his childhood experiences and his travels, he wanted to create an outdoor gear company that would provide reliable, functional gear while also helping fight poverty around the world. With a lot of hard graft and dedication Cotopaxi was born, and the brand has gone from strength to strength ever since.
Cotopaxi donates 2% of their annual revenue to poverty alleviation, providing grants to health, education and livelihoods initiatives across the world. Their grantees are carefully chosen based on a combination of their ability to execute with excellence, their capacity to scale and their sustainable solutions that make positive changes. And the brand also offers exceptional transparency too, with impact reports detailing their efforts.
However, Cotopaxi is equally committed to doing good on a company-wide basis too. The Certified B Corp is dedicated to fair wages and safe factory working conditions. Cotopaxi not only ensures employees are treated fairly, but fosters a social structure too with the likes of clubs, sports teams and hiking groups. Sustainable production is a key focus too. Every opportunity is taken to reduce waste, repurposing leftover fabric and hardware whenever possible, and their Repurposed Collection highlights the great pieces that stem from this commitment. The Del Dia Collection takes things even further, giving employees complete creative control over the colorways and ensuring each piece is unique.
Not content to stop there, Cotopaxi hold their Questival events throughout the year, engaging with people through a sense of adventure and the desire to help those around them. The 24-hour outdoor adventure races encourage teams to complete a wide variety of challenges. Acts of service, hikes, llama selfies (who doesn’t love llamas, right?), crafting challenges and more. All designed to help push people out of their comfort zones and engage with the outdoors, the community and beyond, raising money for charities along the way.
Cotopaxi is also solid on the digital front with their blog Aventuras. Here you’ll find a great mix of food, outdoor and travel guides and tips, as well as human interest and impact stories, design insights, and adventure inspiration.
Cotopaxi is a brand that has been built to do good from day one. They embrace an exceptional mix of quality gear and social responsibility. A commitment to sustainable production and employee well-being. And a dedication to inspiring others to get out there, explore, and hopefully do good along the way. Congratulations, Cotopaxi. Your outstanding efforts make you a beacon in the industry and a deserving winner of our Brand of the Year.