The core purpose of the European Outdoor Group is to promote and lead on pre-competitive cooperation in the outdoor industry, with actions that are for the betterment of people and the planet. Underpinning all of this is a commitment to mutual respect and an implicit dedication to peace. As events unfold in Ukraine, we must express that desire for peace more explicitly.
At this very moment, we are witnessing the mass displacement of families and individuals in the harsh cold of winter – it is both a great tragedy, and an immediate humanitarian priority. As an outdoor industry association, we may not have the ability to influence military actions, but we can mobilise our members and the wider sector to aid the innocent civilians who are being affected by those actions. Our industry specialises in the design, manufacture, and production of kit that can help people in the harshest conditions, and we can step up now to provide assistance. This is not a marketing opportunity, it’s a call to action.
Our colleagues at the Polish Outdoor Group, KEEN (through its Polish distributor), and at the Scandinavian Outdoor Group are already coordinating efforts to acquire and distribute outdoor gear to refugees who are fleeing from the conflict, and other affected individuals - please see the KEEN media release. They are active in the nations bordering the conflict areas and can identify what assistance is needed, and how to deliver it. The EOG team is in close contact with them and we are working to clarify specific emerging needs or efforts that are currently underway, which our other members and external partners might support.
Sympatex has a quantity of two and three layer laminates in various colours (from bright to muted colours), that are 100% waterproof, 100% windproof and optimally breathable with the right choice of tape. These laminates are available to any brands that have the capacity to use that material to make garments and send them to the organisations that are coordinating efforts to support those affected by the conflict. It would be an advantage is the manufacturer has some experience in taping.
More information on the materials can be found HERE.
The quantity available depends on the location of a brand’s manufacturing facility, as Sympatex has materials in Europe and Asia and will try to minimize shipping. If you are interested in getting hold of some of the material, please contact Verena Ordemann from Sympatex’s corporate social responsibility team on email@example.com or +49 (0)160 3380651.
We will continue to monitor the situation closely and adapt our approach accordingly. However, for the moment, our message is clear. This is an urgent humanitarian crisis and outdoor companies can help civilians on the ground who are in need. If you can assist, please let us know and we will facilitate that however we can.
Any outdoor industry organisation that is able to offer materials or products to support civilians affected by the conflict in Ukraine can contact: