With over 38 million inhabitants, Poland is one of the most populous countries in Europe and not only has cities and cultural treasures worth seeing, but also a diverse natural environment. However, the outdoor market is still far from as strong as in Germany, for example.
According to surveys, only one third of the Polish population regularly participates in sports. More than 50 percent, on the other hand, do not exercise at all.
However, Piotr Turkot, President of the Polish Outdoor Group (POG), assumes that these figures won't prevail: "We are in a state of change. The standard of living is growing. More and more people are becoming more active and want to live healthier lives. We have observed the growing popularity in the running and cycling segments. Specialized activities such as indoor climbing, triathlon and mountain running are also growing," Turkot explained at OutDoor by ISPO.
Not least thanks to the efforts of POG: the association of 26 large companies is developing concepts and strategies to promote outdoor activities in Poland.
"It is clear that interesting and advanced products can attract people. When we have a product with a great story, it's relatively easy to convince people to buy it and use it properly - and ultimately be more active," Turkot says.
Polish brands that stand out are for example
- Fjord Nansen, a tent manufacturer
- Lesovik, a hammock specialist
- Comodo, manufacturer of socks in particular of alpaca and merino wool
- Pajak, a small family business specialising in sleeping bags.
Pajak is fully committed to recycling and upcycling. There was now recognition for so much innovation. Pajak was awarded Gold Winner with his sleeping bag 4Two at Outstanding Outdoor in the category Sleeping Bags. The 4Two is a sleeping bag for two that can be completely recycled and upcycled.
To achieve this, Pajak takes back old and used models and recycles everything together with its cooperation partner and toolmaker Kubala. Thus old zipper chains are reused for the handles of bricklaying tools. The other components of the sleeping bag, which consist of pure polyamide 6.6 (e.g. threads, fabrics, Velcro fasteners and straps), are processed back into high-quality yarns.
With Polish products such as these, POG wants to further advance the outdoor industry in Poland. With success: The outdoor market is currently growing by a whopping 11 percent. This means that the Polish outdoor market is developing much more positively than the current European market as a whole.
But Piotr Turkot still sees some room for improvement: "As the economy grows, the outdoor segment will pick up speed. The government supports families with children these days. For the first time there is financial support for every child in the family. As a result, people have more money for activities such as culture, education and, of course, sports."