Thursday, 20 May 2021 10:19

#she is outdoors, the first European women’s dedicated Gear Award is here

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On 25 May registrations close for #sheisoutdoors, the first European prize for sports equipment designed for women.

The competition promises to be exciting: many brands have decided to participate with their products, to show their attention to the female world. Among others, Deuter, The North Face, Norrøna, PYUA, Fjällräven, Osprey, Gregory, Bergans, Altra, ON, Wechsel, Asolo, LaMunt and Lowa will present their products in this edition, and more registrations are expected during the next week.

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All brands producing innovative, technologically advanced, highly functional outdoor gear designed for women can apply for the award, with products from the 2021 summer season or for the upcoming 2022 season. The award has five categories: Outdoor Professionals and Expeditions; Camping; Equipment; Footwear; Apparel.

An expert jury made up of female industry specialists will test and evaluate all submitted products, judging them on functionality, quality, choice of materials, sustainability, innovation, usability, target group and design.

The winners will be awarded during a mixed online and in-person event on 31 July.

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There will be one winner and up to two nominations per category. The jury will also award one women's outdoor product as the overall winner and the product with the highest contribution to environmental sustainability.

The entry fee is 500 euros, with a discount if more than one product is submitted. The award will have a summer and a winter edition every year.

Jana Erb and Miriam Mayer, the creators of #sheisoutdoors, were inspired by two requirements: on the one hand, they fight for equal treatment of the needs of women and men; on the other hand, they want to involve the female world in the development process of outdoor products, so that they can be adapted to their interests and needs without compromises.

Jana Erb and Miriam Mayer are photographers and digital creatives from Munich (Germany). After many years in the outdoor industry, they decided to realise their long-cherished dream and create the first award dedicated exclusively to outdoor products designed for women.

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"Women have come a long and difficult way in the Outdoor industry. We have snuck out of the house and climbed steep peaks wearing long skirts - no one has talked about it publicly. We had idols, like Lynn Hill, the first person to free climb "the nose" in 1993. Today, many girls and women are free to enjoy outdoor adventures in the same way men have always done," explains Jana Erb.

Women's gear has also evolved, from floral prints and pink colours on rain jackets to specifically tailored women's backpacks, clothing, women's hiking boots and all the other wonderful things we know and use every day. Women have come a long way - but they are not there yet. It's time to stop 'adapting' men's products and start designing real women’s specific equipement.

"Someone might object: 'Another prize! Do we need it?' We believe we do: brands can tell stories that inspire girls to climb impressive peaks, they can support women who travel long distances and cross uncharted territories. Outdoor brands and media can pioneer technical equipment for women.

Our goal is to push the technical aspects of outdoor products designed for women beyond floral prints and 'pink it and shrink it' marketing," explains Miriam Mayer.