The St. Petersburg-based outdoor company Red Fox has temporarily stopped production of all outdoor products due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Russia’s outdoor industry has been badly hit by the virus, and citizens are no longer allowed to travel and exercise outside their homes. As a result, there is virtually no demand for outdoor products, said Alexander Glushkovsky, general director of Red Fox. “Currently, almost all outdoor projects, travel clubs and sporting goods stores in Russia are suspended or closed,” he said.

Due to the lack of demand, Red Fox has switched its production to the manufacture of medical face masks. Since April, the company has been producing around 20,000 masks per day. According to Glushkowski, this step was essential to maintain the company’s profitability. Several other Russian companies have done the same.  

“We hope that this is only temporary. Or maybe we can take advantage of this and produce masks for extreme weather conditions in the future,” said Glushkovsky. The company did not need any additional investment to start producing masks, and it uses the same raw materials that are needed to make outdoor products. The outer layer is made of a breathable, absorbent fabric; inside, Red Fox uses a special spunbond and meltblown fabric, which is also used for medical clothing. However, as prices for nonwovens, including spunbond fabrics, have risen in Russia in recent weeks, the production costs for masks have now also increased, which could cause new problems for the company.