with Davis Smith, Cotopaxi
Ep. #215 of The Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation Podcast
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If you’ve traveled, you’ve seen the destructive nature of capitalism. But can we lean into it and still make an impact? Better yet, can we use it as the very instrument for change?
Davis Smith joins us today to share his story and emphasize the possibility of building a thriving business with a focus on social impact. Davis is the Founder and CEO of Cotopaxi, an outdoor gear brand with a humanitarian mission.
Growing up in South America and being exposed to extreme poverty really informed Davis’ passion for impact, and he shares his fascinating path to linking social impact with business.
The full transcript for this episode and more can be found at SocialEntrepreneurship.FM/215.
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I was really excited to publish this episode with Davis Smith, the Founder and CEO of Cotopaxi.
I’ve been a fan of this brand for a while!
My collection of Cotopaxi gear has made it with me on a good few adventures.
My Cotopaxi hat pictured here on a road trip from TX to CA in 2018:
Or another, here, on a trip to Big Bend National Park where Annie and I got engaged:
Back in 2017, Annie and I even participated in one of Cotopaxi’s adventure races (Questival) in San Antonio with a group of friends.
If you have the chance to do a Questival, I’d highly recommend it.
All this to say, I was really excited when I got the chance to speak with Davis.
Before starting Cotopaxi it seemed like Davis had an “ache” that many of us do.
An “ache” to do something more with our lives, and “more” being something that we feels makes an impact.
Something that leaves the world a better place than we found it.
Davis said he long didn’t understand how exactly to bring together his desire to “do good” and do business.
But after a decade as an entrepreneur, something for him finally clicked…
Davis finally found how to bring the two together.
Making positive change.
Using business as the vehicle to do so.
In this conversation with Davis, we explore together what all of a sudden “clicked” for him.
We talked about the vision he had for Cotopaxi and how that compares with the sensational brand you see today.
This conversation offers a good look behind one of the brands leading the “purpose-driven business” movement today.
I hope you enjoy!
As always, don’t forget to sign up for my Better World Weekly Newsletter. This is a newsletter where I share all my learnings and musings on all things building a better world.
Host, The Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation Podcast
“We, as individual consumers, need to do a better job of supporting the brands and businesses that are doing things right.”— Davis Smith, Cotopaxi
Links & Resources Mentioned
- Davis Smith on LinkedIn
- Davis Smith on Twitter
- Davis Smith on Instagram
- Warby Parker
- Kirsten Green on LinkedIn
- Forerunner Ventures
- Island of the Lost by Joan Druett
Related & Recommended
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- (Interview) What is the Evolution and Future of Capitalism? with Matthew Weatherley-White
- (Interview) What is the Meaning of “Conscious Business?” with Meghan French Dunbar
- (Interview) Is Sustainable Capitalism Achievable Through The B Corp Movement? with Chris Marquis
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Co-Founder & CEO, Grow Ensemble
Cory is the host of The Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation Podcast, where he’s interviewed well over 150 leaders in the space of better business, social impact, and innovation. Prior to Grow Ensemble, Cory was the CEO of a digital marketing agency, a position he earned at the age of 22. There, he became an expert on all things digital marketing & SEO.
Cory Co-Founded Grow Ensemble as a vehicle to raise awareness of and inspire action around some of the world’s biggest problems and problem solvers.
He blogs, podcasts, and publishes video on all things leaving the world a better, more just, equitable, and habitable place for all.
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