Helly Hansen and #itsgreatoutthere to deliver Outdoor Activity Days with We Go Outside Too

We have already helped thousands of citizens to get active in the outdoors through our #itsgreatoutthere grants programme and that will continue. Meanwhile, it’s really encouraging that we are also starting to get approaches from companies and non-profit organisations with other ideas. So we were delighted when outdoor brand Helly Hansen made contact, not only to join the coalition from 2022, but also to propose an initiative that will benefit both the #itsgreatoutthere campaign, and a great UK non-profit project called We Go Outside Too.

The It’s Great Out There Coalition was founded by the outdoor industry and is managed and supported by individuals and companies who are already immersed in nature. However, in our quest to bring new people into outdoor participation, we are always exploring different ways in which we can engage with new audiences to fund and deliver Outdoor Activity Days.

We have already helped thousands of citizens to get active in the outdoors through our #itsgreatoutthere grants programme and that will continue. Meanwhile, it’s really encouraging that we are also starting to get approaches from companies and non-profit organisations with other ideas. So we were delighted when outdoor brand Helly Hansen made contact, not only to join the coalition from 2022, but also to propose an initiative that will benefit both the #itsgreatoutthere campaign, and a great UK non-profit project called We Go Outside Too.

To mark the launch of Helly Hansen’s HH-118389225-212 collection (code name ARCHIVE), the brand collaborated with UK designer SAGE NATION in 2021 to reimagine several items from its mainline Autumn/Winter ’21 collection. The collaboration resulted in eight one-off pieces, all combining the design ethos and inspiration of SAGE NATION and HH-118389225. The collection sees Helly Hansen’s leftover AW21 sales samples such as shell jackets and storm hoods redesigned into garments including a poncho, wrap skirt and waist bag. Trousers and shorts have also been reworked with box pleating and the Helly Hansen’s iconic 3-in-1 parka features updated panelling and envelope pocket detailing. The products bear the unique design stamp of SAGE NATION – one based on core values of ‘purpose, perspective and balance’.

In partnership with lifestyle and cultural magazine eye_ c, each of the items was auctioned off through eye_c’s online store in December. The proceeds from the auction will be donated to UK-based organisation We Go Outside Too (WGOT), which aims to provide more access and experiences in the outdoors for underprivileged communities. We will be working with WGOT and Helly Hansen to use those funds and deliver Outdoor Activity Days in the UK next year. The activities will focus on sailing, watersports and water safety, which represent the roots and heritage of Helly Hansen.

It has been a pleasure working with Helly Hansen on this project. The HH logo has been something I grew up seeing. It was a brand that always symbolised reliability and purpose. The long heritage of HH has meant that it has become a brand that can be worn by anyone from any background who values product and practicality. This is something that I value.

SAGE NATION founder Sage Toda-Nation
We Go Outside Too (WGOT) is the brainchild of Marlon Patrice. Having experienced the healing benefits of nature first hand, Marlon started posting online about his personal expeditions and that generated interest from others, who wanted to know more about his travels. Instead of telling them, Marlon decided to invite them to events and WGOT was born, soon becoming a safe space for the inner-city community to engage with what had traditionally been considered a pastime predominately for the white population.
 
Through We Go Outside Too, young people have been able to camp for the first time in areas that they never knew existed. Adults and young people have the chance to escape the rat race, retreat and give time to grounding themselves in the outdoors. From Shropshire, to the Jurassic Coast, to the Lake District, the journey continues to transform the distorted narrative that the black community isn’t out there.

I have always wanted to try sailing, but with it being such a high cost activity, I didn’t have the opportunity and had no idea where to start. When this initiative arose with Helly Hansen, I spotted that there wasn’t one person of colour in social media posts - that made me feel uncomfortable and was not inviting. So, it’s really great to now be able to work with Helly Hansen and the #itsgreatoutthere campaign to take some important steps in the right direction.

Marlon Patrice

This is a really exciting and imaginative project that is getting the #itsgreatoutthere message to new people and will soon directly benefit individuals who have previously had few or no opportunities to get active in the outdoors. It’s also a great example of collaborative working and we’re grateful that Helly Hansen is working with us to roll out the initiative and get WGOT onto the water. We look forward to teaming up with WGOT and colleagues at Helly Hansen to deliver loads of Outdoor Activity Days in 2022, and hope that it’s the start of a partnership that will introduce many more new people to nature.