Cotopaxi is the new outdoor company in town and along with selling cool gear directly online, they are looking to make a difference in the developing world. Set up similar to Patagonia as a Benefit Corporation, this venture capital backed e-commerce startup plans to hit the ground running and do some social good in the process.
Cotopaxi was started by serial e-commerce entrepreneur Davis Smith. Prior to starting Cotopaxi, he was the Co-CEO of Baby.com.br, Brazil’s leading e-commerce company focused on the baby care space. Davis recently walked away from Baby.com.br to move back to the US and follow his passion to make a difference.
The idea behind Cotopaxi is to develop gear and apparel that is sold directly to you online, cutting out any retail markup and enabling the company to donate money to various causes that have positive impact on struggling parts of the world. Cotopaxi is off to a good start with a small lineup of backpacks and insulated water bottles.
As an example of the ties to social missions, the 26L Cusco backpack ($89) helps to raise money for a school in Cusco, Peru that gives poor children a warm meal each day and teaches them some basic skills. The 20L Kilimanjaro pack ($79) raises money for an orphanage in Tanzania that was started by mountaineer Dean Cardinale.
Davis is joined by co-founder Stephan Jacob; Director of Product, CJ Whitakker – award winning pack designer from Gregory/Black Diamond; and apparel designer Cheri Sanguinetti, who previously worked with Nike, Columbia, Marmot, and Dakine.
Cotopaxi has plans to vastly expand their product offering in the future, with every piece of gear going to help a specific cause. The current backpack and water bottle line is now available for order from the company website.