Osprey will donate part of its SecondLife profits to NHS charity. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Osprey will donate part of its SecondLife profits to NHS charity. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Outdoor brands have been responding to the coronavirus crisis by turning their attention to the particular needs of the public and professionals while fighting the spread of Covid-19.

Rucksack brand Osprey will donate half of the profits of its SecondLife scheme to National Health Service’s charity organisation.

The SecondLife system offers ex-sample, pre-owned and repaired rucksacks for sale to registered customers of the brand.

Osprey has chosen the NHS charity as the recipient of the cash for the first half of 2020, in support of the Covid-19 crisis fund. It will then review future recipients on a quarterly basis.

Jonathan Petty, Osprey Europe managing director, said: “As we prepare to enter a new and unparalleled chapter, it’s more important than ever to recognise our responsibility to the world around us and give back to the community.

“In light of the current crisis, we have chosen the NHS as the recipient of our fund and we will continue to select important organisations be those physical health, mental health or environmental charities.”

The USA-based company also expressed its support for the outdoor community. It said: “Through the principles of collective sympathy, ingenuity and by inspiring others we can prevail,” which it said includes supporting friends, neighbours and local retailers.

It is also planning a retailer-support package to selected partners to help their businesses through shared activity across Osprey Europe’s own digital channels. The wider support package also includes community initiatives, such as blue-light-emergency-service discounts, PPE face mask production by Osprey Packs in Colorado and the promotion of physical and mental health campaigns across Osprey’s channels.

The SecondLife scheme can be accessed by registering on the Osprey Europe website.

The Keen Harvest masks

The Keen Harvest masks

Footwear brand Keen is using some its material to manufacture face masks.

It has converted a production line at one of its footwear factories in Thailand to make the Harvest Mask, using materials originally obtained for Keen shoes.

The family-owned company is donating 100,000 of the Harvest Masks to retail workers in the United States and is teaming up with UK distributor Bradshaw Taylor to make the masks available for retailers here.

It follows a move in March when Keen provided 100,000 pairs of shoes, valued at $10,000,000, to those on the pandemic frontline.

UK Government advice on wearing masks varies from nation to nation, but it is thought use of a face mask in confined areas can help reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus to others.

Keen said the Harvest Mask has four-way stretch for comfort and is designed for all-day use. Its face coverings are washable and re-usable.

The company said the masks will also be available to buy in early summer via its website.

Erik Burbank, Keen chief brand officer, said: “As the world adjusts to life with Covid-19, we understand that wearing masks in public will be a part of a mix of strategies to help keep this virus in check until a vaccine is developed and widely applied.

“Until that time, we are supporting public health institution recommendations regarding the use of cloth face coverings, by making comfortable masks that people feel good about wearing every day in public.”

Beading on a PPE gown treated with the Nikwax solution

Beading on a PPE gown treated with the Nikwax solution

Nikwax, which makes a range of fabric treatments and waterproofing, has been working on a solution to the problem of cleaning protective gowns while maintaining their water repellency.

It said professional organisations and community groups are making reusable personal protective equipment gowns to support healthcare workers. But it is crucially important that that they are properly cleaned to renew and maintain their bodily fluid-resistant qualities.

Nikwax’s two new products, PPE Wash.Direct and PPE Proof.Direct are designed for use by hospital and care-home laundries, especially for the care of reusable PPE, including reusable and disposable masks and gowns and for all cotton and synthetic PPE.

The company said it has taken its experience in providing waterproofing for outdoors clothing and applied it to PPE fabrics that need to be cleaned every day.

A spokesperson said: “During the Covid-19 emergency, fabrics that are not already water-repellent are being donated for the manufacture of gowns. Without waterproofing, they will not fully form the physical barrier to infection that they are designed to provide.

“Nikwax PPE Proof.Direct adds water repellency to clinical gowns in a washing machine. You simply run a normal washing cycle and replace the detergent with the Nikwax product. Nikwax PPE Proof.Direct is already in use at one NHS trust that is using it to waterproof gowns made by Aston Martin.”

Tim Pickering, head of development at Nikwax, said: “We have responded to multiple enquiries that came from both the public and NHS purchasing managers.

“How can we keep our PPE water-repellent? It happens that is just what we have been doing for climbers, cyclists and walkers for years, so we set about solving the problem. It has been an exciting and satisfying project, and we are very happy with the result.”

Nikwax said reusable PPE can be an environmentally superior alternative to the mountains of disposable items that are discarded every day. Wherever possible, single-use PPE could be replaced with products that have a longer life, which would be good for the NHS coffers as well as the planet.

More details are on the Nikwax website.

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