"Cotopaxi." The names of two llamas you saw wandering around a college campus back in Utah, or an up and coming, technical apparel and bag company? In this case, it could be both.
Launched in 2014, Cotopaxi initially employed unusual social media influencers to get the word out: “We bought two llamas on Craigslist and brought them to a bunch of college campuses around Utah,” he says. “Hundreds of students took selfies, so we had 30,000 social media posts by the end of that first day.” The llamas’ names were Coto and Paxi.
In addition to raising almost $10 million in seed and venture capital, Cotopaxi is one of only about two thousand companies worldwide designated as a Benefit corporation. Defined as a company that makes "positive impact on society, workers, the community and the environment in addition to profit as its legally defined goals,” other Benefit corporations include Patagonia and Apolis - so Cotopaxi is playing with solid teammates.
Originally launched with water bottles and backpacks, the Salt Lake City based company has expanded to jackets, sweaters, tents and accessories, and offers a 61 Year product guarantee, which they say is equivalent to the average lifespan of a person living in the developing world. Part of their offerings is the Del Dia collection, a series of sustainable, one-of-a-kind items, including backpacks, climbing packs, fanny packs, duffel bags and drop kits, made from leftover scraps of other garments.
Cotopaxi’s products are reminiscent of Epperson Mountaineering’s multicolored bags and Patagonia’s block colored pullovers and fleeces. Be the first among your friends this camping season to be one of Cotopaxi’s standout windbreakers - with REI now carrying some of their products, next year may be too late to be the cool guy who knew about them first.