A Fistful of Firsts for Outdoor Conservation

Release date: 02 March 2011

Following a very successful ispo, launching a new identity in a joint party with Patagonia, fundraising with Keen and Berghaus and increasing membership, the European Outdoor Conservation Association is delighted to have been able to clock up some ‘firsts’ from its members as well.
A Fistful of Firsts
A Fistful of Firsts

Six new members have joined the Association, either signing straight up at the show, or immediately afterwards - bringing the number of members to 67, a 10% increase in only a week! The Association welcomes Original Buff, Eagle Creek, Cober, Klättermusen, International Sports Marketing Ltd, and new company Roc Noir Skiwear Ltd.

Two members have also added new ideas to the fundraising spectrum for the Association. Original Buff is set to choose and entirely sponsor several of the projects that have applied for funding for 2011, meaning that the total number of projects the Association is able to support this year will increase. And another member, in another bold move, has pledged to ‘top up’ its membership fee with 1% of its total turnover each year. “We are absolutely delighted to see companies participating in this way”, said EOCA President and General Manager of Patagonia Europe Holger Bismann, “The involvement of members in this way is really going to raise the bar as to what the Association can achieve in the future”.


Fundraising events were held on existing members’ stands: Berghaus ran a lecture and showed a film in conjunction with top climber, Leo Houlding. DVDs of Leo’s latest conquest were sold at the show, raising over €300. Keen also sold bags and an ingenious USB stick in the shape of a miniature Keen sandal on their stand, raising a massive €1,000. All monies raised at the show will go straight into conservation projects in 2012.

Following meetings with over 50 non-members at the show, General Mangers Tanya Bascombe and Catherine Savidge are confident that, as awareness of the Association grown, so too will membership and the funds raised, “We have seen a really positive reaction to our new name and identity at ispo”, said Tanya, “and the reactions we got from companies not yet involved was very enthusiastic”. “The more companies join in, the more money the whole outdoor industry can put back into the environment, through conservation”, added Catherine,”and the customer really cares about that!”

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"It was a great experience to receive the funding with the support of the people through an exciting voting contest. With the funding we managed to ensure preservation of another 10,000 hectares of wilderness in Küre Mountains National Park in Turkey providing safe haven for endangered species such as wolves and bears. We contributed to saving the last remaining priceless untouched natural areas in Europe so that future generations can also enjoy them."
Zoltán Kun, Executive Director, PAN Parks Foundation