OIA Industry Hangout at ShAFF

The OIA hosted an Industry Hangout for the fourth year at Sheffield Adventure Film Festival (ShAFF); an annual, free evening event with a low key, upbeat atmosphere, aiming to bring together areas of the industry who might not attend the annual conference.

ShAFF is the largest urban adventure film festival in the UK and the single biggest event for the influential Peak District/Yorkshire/Derbyshire outdoor market with an actively engaged 3,500-strong audience.

It is based at the Showroom Cinema and other nearby venues and it’s also the headline social event for the Outdoor City Weekender. Adventure activism was the primary theme of the festival, the long-term aim is for ShAFF to be a catalyst for people to take action, for people and planet, giving them the experiences and tools to make this happen during the event.

The evening began with a panel called ‘Kicks for Free’, which approached the Adventure Activism theme for the festival from an Industry perspective, followed by a networking social. The panel was produced by Jane Campbell, ShAFF Activism and Sustainability lead, chaired by Dom Ferries of MTB initiative Trash Free Trails, and education officer for Surfers Against Sewage and featured John Horscroft, Outdoor Journalist and Ride Sheffield leader; Emma Woolley, UK Head of Sustainability, Decathlon; James Borrell – Tentsile ambassador, conservationist and research fellow at RBG Kew, and Alistair Maltby – Operations Director, The Rivers Trust.

An informed and lively discussion following the panel. Claire Carter, OIA Engagement officer, introduced OIA Development Board members Terry Stephenson, Montane, Alex Messenger, BMC and the three stood to articulate OIA and DB work alongside that of the European Outdoor Group (EOG) to support and lead sustainability in the industry, as well as their own work on Montane’s packaging, and the BMC new Hills 2 Oceans initiative, respectively.

Emma Wooley, UK Head of Sustainability at Decathlon said, ‘The Panel was really enjoyable, I learnt a lot and definitely has encouraged me to push Decathlon to be more vocal on our sustainable actions. I’d like to share the experience with my other sustainability colleagues in other countries to encourage them to do similar things in their local environments.’

Developing engagement for a wider cross-section of the industry is a key aim for the OIA, and hosting this event at ShAFF; a youth-friendly, a future-facing event is a great touchstone for us.