Innovating the future of supply-chain sustainability

MISSION STATEMENT

We believe the products that get us exploring can make a positive impact in other people’s lives. That’s why we create sustainably designed outdoor gear that fuels both adventure and global change, by dedicating a percentage of our revenues to nonprofits working to improve the human condition.

Cotopaxi is a B Corporation and Public Benefit Corporation that is fully committed to sustainability throughout its supply chain – by designing apparel made from eco-friendly materials that mitigate waste and promoting fair labor practices with its manufacturing partners across the globe. This dedication to sustainability has played a large part in differentiating Cotopaxi from its peers and driving strong commercial growth.

Since its founding, Cotopaxi has piloted new ways of producing functional products using sustainable principles and materials that reduce as much waste as possible. Currently, 94% of products contain repurposed, recycled, or responsible materials—or what it calls the Three R’s – and by 2025, they hope to make 100% of products using those materials.

  • (Re)Purpose™: Cotopaxi’s (Re)Purpose™ collection uses remnant fabric, which is fabric leftover from other companies’ larger production runs. For example, Cotopaxi’s signature Del Día bags are made of unused, high-quality nylon that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill—uniquely reassembled and given new life. To date, the company estimates it has used 800,000 yards of remnant fabric for its Del Día program.
  • Recycled: Cotopaxi prioritizes recycled fabrics in its design processes, which limits dependence on fossil fuels for sourcing raw materials and reduces landfill usage. In 2021, Cotopaxi produced nearly 220,000 items made from recycled materials, including its popular Teca, Mira, Solazo and Trico jackets.
  • Responsible: To qualify as a "responsible" product at Cotopaxi, that item or material must carry a third-party sustainability designation such as Fair Trade Certification, Responsible Down Standards or Global Organic Textile Standard. Cotopaxi is constantly seeking new ways to design products in a more sustainable way and looks to partner with credible certifications and collaborators. In 2021, Cotopaxi produced nearly responsibly certified 14,000 items.

However, in the fashion and clothing industries, a commitment to environmental sustainability alone is not enough. Unfortunately, human rights abuses – poor or unsafe working conditions, forced or child labor, low wages, and stagnant career growth – are rampant in the fashion and clothing industries. Cotopaxi is committed to addressing these issues at all levels of the supply chain through alignment with the UN Global Compact and UN Principles of Responsible Business and in 2021, the company adopted the Ethical Trading Initiatives’ Guide to Better Buying. Each of Cotopaxi’s partner factories agrees to a rigorous code of conduct, completes an anonymous audit and employee survey, and commits to fair labor practices. Finally, Cotopaxi provides direct grants to workers in cut-and-sew factories to empower their career development and wellbeing.

Cotopaxi’s holistic approach to supply chain sustainability that focuses on promoting positive labor practices around the world and designing products using the Three R’s can serve as a model for the apparel and gear industries, where human rights abuses and material waste are abundant.