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Inside Sources: Cotopaxi joins efforts to provide free masks to Utahns

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - DECEMBER 01: Cotopaxi CEO Davis Smith addresses the crowd at Sugar House Park on December 1, 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Fred Hayes/Getty Images for MoveOn.org)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Cotopaxi will be ”doing good” for Utah as the company helps manufacture 2 millions masks for the “A Mask for Every Utahn” project, Gov. Gary Herbert announced Tuesday. Through this project, more than 20 manufacturers will join forces to provide free face masks to Utahns.

These face masks will help the state adjust to what Herbert calls a “new normal” as Utah prepares to gradually reopen Friday.

Davis Smith, founder and CEO of Cotopaxi, said he started his outdoor gear company with a humanitarian mission at its core: Do Good. Part of this includes efforts to fight the spread of COVID-19, Smith told Boyd Matheson on Inside Sources Wednesday.

“One of the things we’ve seen is that masks matter,” Smith said. “I think our state leaders saw an opportunity to help contain the spread of the virus [through the project].”
 
Cotopaxi has been involved with several local projects to serve the community, Smith said, and had a jump start on manufacturing masks. The outdoor gear manufacturer began creating prototypes for face masks before the state reached out to them to join efforts.
 
Once Cotopaxi heard what the state was doing, Smith said the company was excited to partner up.
 
“This is the way the state of Utah works,” he said. “It’s such a great use of local resources and talent to solve problems and create jobs when it’s needed.”
 
The outdoor gear company converted several of its factories from making outer wear to creating face masks, according to Smith. It will continue this transition for the next 45 days, manufacturing as many masks as possible.
 
Cotopaxi has felt the economic hit from the virus, closing its retail stores to uphold social distancing and stay-at-home orders. During its hiatus, Smith said the company has raised $100 thousand to give to local COVID-19 relief funds and response projects around the state.
 
Smith said the “Mask For Every Utahn” is just another opportunity for Cotopaxi to get involved in helping the community.
 
“This project is so in line with what we think about what we already do,” Smith said. “We’re excited to be part of the solution here.”
 
You can hear the full interview with Davis Smith on Inside Sources here: