Outdoor brands continue to step up to the plate in efforts to help healthcare workers and others on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. While some have repurposed their manufacturing lines, others are donating products and money directly. Regardless of the method, all have the shared goal of saving lives and spreading hope.
PPE Production Efforts
As we reported last week, numerous outdoor industry brands have transitioned at least some of their traditional manufacturing efforts to the creation of masks and other critical personal protective equipment (PPE). Industry heavy-hitter Backcountry.com is providing 9,000 non-medical-grade face masks to the New York Department of Homeless Services in an effort to help protect the Big Apple’s vulnerable homeless population. In Utah, DPS Skis, Goal Zero, Petzl and Eastman Machine Company have joined forces to manufacture medical-grade reusable polycarbonate face shields for the Utah Department of Health. Innovative solutions company Nite Ize has donated its Gear Ties and BetterBands products to mask-making groups across the country; and Canadian hatmaker Tilley has shifted to manufacturing masks and gowns to support healthcare workers.
On the disinfectant front, Cutter Insect Repellents is among the brands shifting to production of hand sanitizer, which it will donate to clinics and food banks.
Some brands are donating their products to those on the front lines in an effort toward on-the-job comfort. The underwear experts at ExOfficio and Saxx are donating fresh undies to medical workers in their communities, and in Exofficio’s case, eventually across the U.S.
In the same vein, the outdoor fashion trendsetters at KAVU donated 500 pairs of their Moonwalk Socks to personnel at the University of Washington Medical Center.
Meanwhile, Montana-based hiking shoe company Oboz has donated more than 200 of its O-FIT insoles to Livingston Healthcare for their nurses and first responders. Swiftwick socks has joined the buy one, give one brigade, promising that for every pair of ASPIRE Twelve compression socks purchased, it will donate a pair to medical professionals and support staff.
Sustaining the Frontlines
Many food and beverage brands with ties to the outdoor industry are helping to keep essential workers well-fed. Tailwind Nutrition—a product designed to sustain endurance athletes with fuel, hydration, and electrolytes—is donating its product outright to hospitals to help their workers get through grueling marathon-esque shifts.
Breckenridge Brewery has invited Coloradoans to partner with them to provide meals for the frontline. When someone donates a $10 meal to local healthcare workers, the brewery/restaurant will match it, up to 250 meals per month. As of last Sunday, they’ve donated 915 meals.
Other brands are offering those on the frontlines other sources of health and stress-relief. Boulder-based Cocktail Caravan, a mobile beverage catering and bartending service, is crowdsourcing generosity. They’ve asked for nominations for community members doing outstanding work during the crisis and will award the winners handmade cocktail and mocktail mixers. Through the month of April, CBD wellness brand Moon Mother Hemp promises to match the dollar amount of each purchase made and add it to an assistance fund that supplies grocery personnel, healthcare professionals and service workers with free and discounted CBD supplements and topicals.
Some brands are raising money or simply offering much-needed monetary support. Nathan Sports, Merrell and women’s trail running community Trail Sisters are encouraging people to join their Run Around the World Camaraderie Challenge. The challenge offers a way for those missing their weekly running groups to have a virtual community with a common goal: collectively running 24,901 miles, the distance around the globe. Plus, all the money collected from the $5 suggested participation fee will be donated to the CDC Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund.
North x North, which specializes in neck gaiter and kerchief products, is donating 10 percent of sales each week to humanitarian aid organization Direct Relief for the COVID-19 relief cause.