Why you should careBecause a city-wide party and hiking backpack can inspire a young woman to change her shopping habit and girls’ education in India too.
by Priya Cressy
You’re busy. As incredible as Angelina Jolie’s extensive humanitarian travels you don’t– unfortunately– have enough vacation days to spend months visiting African refugee camps. So, you read about her efforts with an inspired sigh, wishing you had power to change the world.
I used to have this perspective as well. Until I learned how something as simple as what brands I purchase from can have a global impact. At first, it was a difficult idea to understand. Because our society only celebrates grand individual efforts, it is easy to underestimate the impact of smaller, collective change. Somebody has probably already told you to buy clothes from ethical brands instead of affordable, but often immoral, fast-fashion stores. However, it can be difficult to trace the impact of your purchases from socially conscious brands, and you want to be certain that your money is changing the world. This is where brands like Cotopaxi enter the picture. Using complete transparency, they have created a company motivated by social good: placing central importance on tracing the link between your purchases and their global impact.
Cotopaxi, who received a Gold Give Back Medal from Hey Social Good, is a unique outdoor gear company and active social conscious organization combined in one, designed for the everyday person. Cotopaxi’s mission aligns almost perfectly with those of Hey Social Good: encouraging a healthy lifestyle and encouraging global impact. Cotopaxi products offer a wide range of active wear and outdoor gear, where each item has a guaranteed lifespan of 61 years. Certified as a B-Corp means they met high environmental and social standards. Many types of Cotopaxi backpacks are offered, including the Taboche 55L backpack, which is durable and ideal for camping and other outdoor activities. All compartments are designed thoughtfully with adjustable torso sizing. This backpack is one of many with a well-deserved Gold Medal Rating.
A unique aspect of Cotopaxi is Questival, which is a like a scavenger hunt and race. Questival provides a 24-hour opportunity to explore your city with the people you are close to. This is especially challenging in the high-speed, high-tech world we live in today, as it can be challenging to make time to connect with both your environment and the people around you. Learning about this event really impacted the way I viewed Cotopaxi as a company; it truly seems to be dedicated to improving our lives as citizens of the modern world.
Cotopaxi grants 2% of its revenue to nonprofits to alleviate poverty. This money goes to their grantees: Fundación Escuela Nueva, Proximity Designs, International Rescue Committee, Nothing But Nets, and Educate Girls. As an Indian American girl, I resonate with Educate Girls the most. It is a company dedicated to setting up education opportunities in India for young girls in poverty.
So far, Educate Girls has worked in 8,000 schools to enroll over 100,000 girls. Their short-term goal is to enroll 2.5 million children by the end of 2019. In a country where girls have historically been banned from getting an education, organizations like Educate Girls play an important role to help create equal opportunities for each gender. Increased education for young Indian girls has been shown to reduce underage marriage– which is still a horrifying normality in India. As the UN wrote in July 2018, “Girls dropping out of school early are more likely to marry or have children early, before they may be physically and emotionally ready to become wives and mothers. This may affect their own health. It may also affect that of their children.” The clear connection between girls’ education and every aspect of their futures makes it imperative that we do everything in our power to provide all girls with proper education.
When tracking the effect just one purchase at Cotopaxi has on the Educate Girls program, we can truly see the role that individuals play in enabling large-scale global changes. By making socially-conscious purchases, you can fuel many different movements. With Cotopaxi, this includes: feminism, through Educate Girls; a healthy lifestyle, with Questival; and environmental sustainability, through quality products. By buying from Cotopaxi, you can become part of a force that greatly impacts the world, and by extension yourself.
The lovely and inquisitive Priya Cressy interned with us in Summer 2019. She participated in our High School Expanding Horizons Intern Program.
Keywords: cotopaxi; outdoor gear; equal opportunity; women; poverty cause; socially conscious brands; transparency; Cotopaxi
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