Hannah found herself with an unscheduled stop in Salt Lake City. A little too tired and confused by the rules of the road, she didn’t take advantage of the docked bike system, so instead on her way to hook up with Fahzure Freeride (the writer of this award winning article, who should probably have another award for his acceptance video) she strolled through the shopping area of town and this caught her eye…
Since I’m always on the lookout for new brands and products that might be of interest to Singletrack readers, or for Fresh Goods Friday, I decided to take a look inside the shop, which was drawing me in with its brightly coloured and patch patterned fabrics.
On display was a mixture of casual and technical gear – there’s nothing bike specific, but there are plenty of pieces that would certainly be of use in the kind of active lifestyles us mountain bikers lead. Down sleeping bags, a variety of backpacks, windproof jackets, and casual comfortable jogging bottoms – all in a nice palette of contrasting colours and accents.
On chatting to the staff, I discovered that this was actually a brand started right here in Salt Lake City just four years ago, who now has both an American and European presence – though in Europe it’s online only. It’s a socially and environmentally conscious firm, with community activities and outdoor meet-ups associated with the Salt Lake City store, and a broader company commitment to ‘Do Good’.
They’re signed up to the B-Corporation scheme, which scores companies on a variety of criteria, and aims to encourage businesses to operate in socially and environmentally responsible way – trying to make business success mean more than just the bottom line. UK clothing company Finisterre is also a member.
The staff in the shop were super helpful and knowledgeable, and explained that they’re best known for their bags, which are made in the Philippines using offcuts and scraps of fabric left over from the manufacture of other garments for other companies. There’s an overall shape of the bag that must be achieved, but otherwise workers are encourage to make the bags as individual as possible – and to ensure no two bags are the same. It certainly makes for an eye catching display.
The offcuts approach is also used for some of the wind cheater jackets they have, which have what is probably a marmite 1980s/early 90s look about them. Taking a wild guess, we suspect Chipps would be a fan.
Most of the technical gear is made in the Philippines – while it’s mostly of a generic outdoor nature, they do have a few climbing-specific items such as chalk bags – and the apparel is made in China and Bolivia, all under the B-Corporation scorings. 2% of revenue goes to support schemes identified by Cotopaxi that support a variety of environmental, social, health and economic improvements.
If the colours grab you and you like the sound of the ethical stance, then you can get Cotopaxi products from their European website. Perfect perhaps for brightening up a rainy British camping trip?
Hannah is in Salt Lake City on her way back from the CrankTank Impact Sun Valley media event, who paid for her flights and accommodation in the USA. However this unscheduled stop off is a product of airline overbooking and Cotopaxi is just something Hannah spotted and thought readers might find interesting, there’s no link to CrankTank.