Rather than inspiring millionaires to buy the land or convincing the Panamanian government to protect the land with policy, Gus and Tom decided that they would buy the land themselves and allow people to save it in very small increments. Thus Cuipo was born in 2008. Shortly thereafter they began purchasing swaths of primary rainforest land in Panama, donating 100% of land preserved to its nonprofit foundation One Meter at a Time, whose responsibility is to protect, preserve and educate.
A few years later, Gus shared Cuipo’s mission with his long time friend John Oswald, co-founder of the iconic Paul Frank brand. John, a member of the U.S. Green Building Council with a passion for sustainable design, was constructing his own green home at the time. After learning about the magnitude of deforestation, he was inspired to join Cuipo’s fight to protect and preserve tropical rainforest.
In 2010, John became Cuipo’s third co-founder. With his expertise in the apparel and licensing industries, John expanded the company’s vision to include a Cuipo product line and licensee program. The licensee program gives like-minded companies the opportunity to participate in Cuipo’s cause and add a purpose to their products.
Every Cuipo product sold, whether a t-shirt, bracelet or reusable water bottle, saves rainforest.