Millions of children around the globe suffer from intense poverty, lack of basic healthcare, and education with no hope of opportunity for the future. A handful of companies have built their business around supporting organizations that seek to solve these problems.
They’re building schools, drilling clean water wells, working with orphanages and building infrastructure that can support jobs and communities. These are not ‘one and done’ projects, but focused efforts on creating permanent change for the underprivileged children and communities.
More and more companies are taking this Impact Investing approach where the goal is to do more than just sell equipment but to create a culture of sustainable giving.
Cotopaxi is one of these companies.
More than an adventure and outdoor gear maker, they are a socially responsible business focused on alleviating poverty in a sustainable manner by empowering people living in extreme poverty. They understand the primary causes leading to poverty, such as a lack of basic healthcare, educational opportunities, and job training. People who purchase their products and participate in their adventure themed events have the power to help.
These values extend to fostering long-term relationships with partners, factories, local communities and of course with their employees. Every aspect of the business is firmly focused on people, from the consumer to the seamstress making the Cotopaxi backpack.
Gear For Any Adventure
Backpacks, apparel and accessories are just a few of the product categories in their lineup. We’ve highlighted a few of their best.
Cotopaxi Nepal 65L Pack
Cotopaxi backpacks fall under two different categories; technical and lifestyle. The Cotopaxi Nepal 65L Backpack represents one of the technical backpacks, and like all of the Cotopaxi backpacks, is handmade in their Philippine factory.
A great deal of thought went into the design of this backpack. A factor appealing to many is the versatility in sizes. The sizes are small/medium and medium/large to fit adults of varying torso lengths. A backpack that adjusts to your torso is the key to comfort and proper load balancing. The backpack is roomy enough to hold enough gear for weeks of outdoor bliss.
Top and side compression straps can hold your sleeping pads, and attachments are included for trekking poles, fishing rod or an ice axe all round out the primary features of this durable backpack.
Another feature truly demonstrating the thoughtfulness of the design is a butterfly zipper that can be opened from the main body. No more digging to the bottom of the bag to locate something needed. With the access provided by the butterfly zipper, you can easily access what you need.
Another unique feature is being able to convert the internal hydration sleeves into a light day pack for shorter trips. The removable top lid can also be removed and is an ideal place to hold toiletries, identification, and other small, necessities.
A rain cover is also included and it is easy to use and put away. This is a solidly constructed backpack as evidenced by the strong stitching and attention to detail.
Cotopaxi Cusco 26L Backpack
The Cusco 26L Backpack, from the lifestyle category is the perfect backpack for daily use and long weekends.
This backpack is loaded with features like an internal laptop sleeve, key clip, zippered mesh organizer and two side water bottle pockets. You can easily organize small items like pens, wallet, and change as well as larger items that are easily accessible from each compartment.
The backpacks shell is water resistant with a sturdy suede leather bottom to protect the backpacks contents. Durability and comfort are hallmarks of Cotopaxi backpacks and is evident in the construction. Adjustable shoulder, waist, and chest straps ensure a proper fit and may be the most comfortable daily use backpack a person could own.
With several colors to choose from, it will be easy to find one to suit you.
Cotopaxi Kusa Jacket
The Kusa Jacket comes with a full or half zip, weighing in at 15 and 16 ounces, respectively. A unique feature is the insulation and it is the only jacket on the market using llama fleece.
Unlike wool and synthetic insulation, llama fleece doesn’t clump or compress over time. Washing the jacket won’t cause shrinkage either. The fleece doesn’t require any chemical preparation like wool does and it is naturally soft. Llama fleece even insulates when wet, is hypoallergenic and doesn’t retain odors. The Kusa jacket sizes range from a woman’s XS to men’s XXXL and is reversible. It can be worn for outdoor adventure and downtown shopping in style while keeping you warm in most weather conditions.
Cotopaxi Kumari Ski Jacket
The Kumari Ski Jacket is available for women in sizes XS to L and men sizes S to XL. The jacket features a three-layer Polartec Neoshell fabric with fully taped seams that is breathable and completely waterproof.
There are plenty of places to hold your phone, camera, mp3 player, ski pass and other small items in the two waist, two chest and forearm zippered and internal pockets.
The three-way adjustable hood can accommodate being worn over a helmet without limiting ease of movement.
When things get heated up on the slopes the underarm zip vents will help you keep your cool. Stay warm and dry when the temperature drops with a draw cord hem, gusseted, hook-and-loop cuffs and integrated powder skirt.
Cotopaxi Water Bottle
With nine different colors to choose from in three different sizes, the Cotopaxi Water Bottle should be attached to your pack. BPA free and made from high-quality stainless steel and it doesn’t sweat thanks to the powder-coated matte finish exterior and double wall vacuum interior. The interior will keep your drinks cold for up to 24 hours and can keep drinks hot for 12 hours. It makes a wonderful addition to your gear and provides a nice pop of color sure to get appreciative looks and comments.
When Factories Are More Than Just Buildings
Cotopaxi’s commitment to do good extends beyond their products and causes. They employ rigorous investigation to determine if a potential partnership with factories coincides with their core values to provide superior products to consumers and to do good by their employee’s and support programs that raise people out of extreme poverty.
After a third party inspection and audit, a personal inspection is also done. The coolest and final test is to find out how the employees enjoy their work, are committed to superior craftsmanship and the daily work environment by hiring a local journalist to talk with them.
Cotopaxi: Gear for Good – Global Good
The company slogan, “Gear for Good”, reflects Cotopaxi’s pledge to fund programs designed to provide people living in extreme poverty with opportunities to improve their lives. Partnerships with non-profits are based on a number of factors to determine the impact the program has in terms of sustainable, scalable solutions that address the root of the problem by collaborating with the community being served.
Research is conducted to determine if the programs success rate, ability to positively impact the impoverished and scientific data supporting the longevity and success of the programs within the areas of health, education and job training. The purpose is to ensure lives are enriched and funding is utilized to make the most meaningful impact. Impact reports are shared with the public from their website, empowering consumers to make meaningful purchases and knowing where the money goes and how it is improving lives in the communities served.