At best, April Fool’s Day falls into the categories of “pointless” and “mildly irritating.” At worst – on the rare occasions that a brand decides to actually pour resources into production off the back of low-level japes – it strays into the territory of “genuinely harmful.” With the release of a new Hydration Jacket, however, Salomon has managed to make this peculiar tradition into something genuinely worthwhile.
Teaming up with previous collaborator Greater Goods and non-profit initiative Opening Up The Outdoors (OUTO), this latest venture may have been designed with tongue firmly in cheek, but it was created with the intention to do good.
You might be wondering how much good you can do with a single item, but this isn’t a regular drop. There’s no “a share of the profits will go to” or even an “all profits will go to” caveat. As a one-of-one, there’s no need to recoup the losses on production. In fact, given the extremely limited edition, it’s also makes for an impressively low-impact option: as far as production goes, there’s very little involved at all.
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The details, then.
An organization describing itself as focused on the “continued inclusion, education, and enjoyment of outdoor spaces by people of the global majority,” OUTU will benefit directly from the release through a raffle-based system: to be in with a chance of owning the vest, the only real requirement – terms and conditions taken into account, of course – is a donation made to the initiative.
At this point, you’re probably unsure where the joke lies; none of this is funny, after all. The humor, though, comes in tangible and absurdist form. The Hydration Jacket itself is a chimeric monster – with “3 × 21 reservoirs, 7 × 500ml soft flasks, 3 x soft cups, 10x additional nutrition pockets,” and, of course, “1 x first aid kit/survival blanket,” the collaborative creation is a masterclass in dysfunctional functionality.
As its mission statement explains, OUTU was founded in 2021 “to ensure that everyone, regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual identity or physical ability is welcomed and included when they step outside,” and with an aim to create and foster “an outdoor community and industry that is truly diverse, equitable, anti-racist and accessible to everyone.” All of which seems more than worth the entry fee.
Having opened to entry on the first, the raffle runs until April 10th for the price of a €10 (or more) donation to to Opening Up The Outdoors. And, in the meantime, if you’re looking for more low-impact outdoor gear, check out the latest offering from Satisfy Running.