Responsible Down Standard
Cotopaxi is an American outerwear brand that was founded in 2014. The company is a B Corp and launched its own foundation in 2019, which gives away 1% of its profits to combat poverty in the Americas.
The brand is transparent about its supply chain and material use, maps all affiliated tier 1 and 2 factories and publishes the information on its website. The report tells us that Cotopaxi’s products originate from all corners of the globe. Amongst other materials, the company uses certified llama wool from Bolivia, RDS-certified down from a geese farm in China, and organic cotton and recycled polyester from a Fair Trade certified factory in India. For each product, the brand shows which factory made it and what materials it is made of. However, there’s not yet a sufficient overview of to what extent all the materials are sustainable and certified.
Cotopaxi has published a Code of Conduct stating that the factories are audited annually, workers are protected from predatory practices and fair wages are upheld. However, it’s currently unclear to what extent these intentions are being adhered to, because no results from the audits are given in the sustainability report. On top of that, the brand is not at all transparent about the quality of the audits.
The American outerwear brand actively tries to increase product lifespan with its repair program and its lifetime warranty, which is definitely a big plus. Cotopaxi now compensates part of its emissions with carbon offsetting programs, but unfortunately it doesn’t publish its absolute carbon footprint. Nevertheless, the brand has expressed the ambition to become more sustainable by mapping carbon emissions, working with more sustainable materials and auditing factories more often.
The intentions are there, but only time will tell whether Cotopaxi can actually practice what it preaches.