The European Outdoor Conservation Association (Eoca) held its traditional fundraiser and launched a “two-year focus” program in favor a plastic-free environment at the recent Ispo Munich show, held on Feb. 3-6. The program is in line with a project being conducted by the European Outdoor Group (EOG).

During the four days of Ispo Munich, the European non-profit organization managed to raise €19,000, selling off the largest-ever selection of hammocks, skiwear, mugs, climbing harnesses and other items donated by its member companies. The final sum included a top-up granted by the trade fair itself as well as funds raised separately by three companies at their respective stands: Bergans, Klean Kanteen and Ternua. All the proceeds will go toward conservation efforts over the coming year.

As part of Eoca's new focus, called “Plastic Free, Mountain to Sea,” the association's own membership has pledged to collect plastic refuse from some 3,000 square kilometers of habitat, trail and beach over two years. The new initiative had a triple launch at Ispo Munich. It was announced to Eoca's members at an extraordinary meeting during the show, to the outdoor industry at the breakfast held by the EOG and, finally, to the press at Eoca's own happy hour.

Eoca has also announced the launch of Ocean Initiatives, a new fundraising project, to be implemented by Surfrider Europe. The project's target for 2019 is to organize 1,600 clean-up events, mobilizing 60,000 people in 47 countries. All money donated to Eoca via the donate button on its website until the end of 2020 will go towards this project, the association said.

Over the course of the trade fair, Eoca gained four new members. Premsons, which is based in India and claims to make the world's largest range of zero-carbon-footprint sports bottles, signed up before the show even began. The company was followed by Tarrago, a Barcelona-based supplier of products developed to maintain, clean, waterproof and care for outdoor apparel and footwear. The other two new members are Brettschneider Fernreisebedarf, a German supplier of mosquito nets (some from recycled polyester) and repellents, and Mizu, the U.S.-based supplier of reusable, stainless-steel bottles, mugs, cutlery and straws.

Six “sustaining members” pledged in 2015 to pay an annual €10,000 fee to Eoca above their dues for three years. They were Messe Friedrichshafen, the former organizer of the OutDoor show; Messe München, organizer of Ispo Munich and of the new OutDoor by Ispo show; the EOG; and three companies: Keen Footwear, Nikwax and Pertex.

As many of our readers know, Eoca is an association that funds wilderness conservation initiatives and draws its membership from the European outdoor industry. It has three sources of funding: membership dues, further pledges from its sustaining members and two rounds of fundraising per year. All dues are donated to grassroots conservancy groups, whereas further pledges cover administrative expenses for the association and its fundraisers. The Outdoor Industry Compass is a member of Eoca.