Monday, 04 May 2020 08:29

Coronavirus and the Outdoor Industry: Brands Spring into action

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Press Release: As we enter week seven of lockdown and wait with bated breath for the announcement this week (7 May) regarding plans to lift the lockdown, we wanted to take this chance to highlight how brands have been ‘doing good’ and putting their collective knowledge and skills to use during this crisis.

Despite the lockdown restrictions on outdoor enthusiasts, brands in the outdoor industry has not stopped still in its tracks. In fact, quite the opposite, with many utilising their expertise in the fields of science, resourcefulness and creativity by helping those on the front line. Here’s a snapshot into how some of our clients have risen to the COVID-19 challenge.

When the Coronavirus pandemic started to accelerate it became evident there was a supply chain crisis with vital PPE. Founder of Nikwax, Nick Brown, tasked his team to find a circular solution and they didn’t disappoint. Currently, PPE garments are single-use so used and then disposed of. Working with local NHS Trusts to obtain access to PPE for testing purposes, the team has found a solution to extending the lifespan of PPE by creating a new process to launder PPE and maintain the physical and water repellent properties needed to stop disease transmission. More on this can be found here: https://www.nikwax.com/en-gb/materials/ppe_singleuse.php

Nikwax PPE image

Moving on from PPE, there’s other vital pieces of equipment that are used by keyworkers, inside and out of hospitals and care homes, e.g. mobile phones, iPads etc. On average, we touch our faces 23 times/hour and our phones over 2000 times/day. Waterproof cases for phones, iPads, VHF radios, like those from London-based Aquapac (keyworkers get 40% off its cases) are easy to keep clean and can help to prevent cross-contamination. Simply place a disinfected device into the case and lock it shut using the watertight seal, preventing bacteria touching the phone, iPad etc directly. Once a shift/activity is finished, by simply washing hands and the case thoroughly with soap, the device can be removed from the case and used as normal.

In true creative fashion, Elliot Brown Watches launched a T-shirt design competition which attracted lots of imaginative entries. The winning design has gone into production and every penny from the sale of the winning T-shirt goes to NHS charities.

Across the pond, global textile manufacturer Milliken & Company, who acquired Polartec back in the summer last year, has increased production of its BioSmart fabric – a patented, bleach-activated anti-microbial technology, used in medical garments and privacy curtains to protect healthcare professionals exposed to bacteria and viruses.

The above clients are not on their own in this quest to help, with many other big brands ‘giving back’ such as Arcteryx, Nike and Decathlon UK, developing PPE equipment from gowns to face protection.

PPE Medical Gowns

Arcteryx have started prucucing medical gowns

Spring PR’s MD, Stephanie Briggs, comments: "I'm so proud of the British reaction to this crisis: the rainbows, the clapping, the fundraising.  Spring PR's clients have really looked at themselves and asked "how can I help?".  And whether it's through technology or good old creative fundraising, they've risen to the challenge and further underlines why I love working in the outdoor sector."