A Collaboration That Makes A Difference
Part 2 of 4
September 14, 2023
RECCO was founded 40 years ago after a tragic avalanche accident spurred the founder to take on the task of making more people searchable. At the company's start, it was focused on winter-specific activities, but RECCO's applicability has expanded greatly since then. Thanks to partnerships with about 150 innovative brands, and the introduction of the helicopter based search system RECCO SAR, it’s now possible to quickly and effectively locate outdoor enthusiasts who are in distress across all seasons.
From the very beginning, RECCO's vision was to partner with like-minded companies in the outdoor space. Initially, the plan was to integrate RECCO technology in alpine skiing equipment: “We envisioned the RECCO reflector to be used together with ski boots,” explained Magnus Granhed, the founder of RECCO.
The system would also need to be available at a low cost, to make it financially possible to equip a high volume of outdoor products in a short period of time while facilitating the work of the rescue teams around the world. RECCO's vision quickly came to fruition as the brand found success through partnerships with ski clothing manufacturers.
With big support from the leading alpinist and skier at the time, Patrick Vallençant, the brands Nevica and Degré7 were the first ones to use RECCO reflectors in the 80’s. In the 90’s, RECCO became an official supplier of NATO, and remains so to this day.
The common mission to make more searchable
Integrating reflectors in shells and outerwear intended for alpine skiing quickly became a standard for snow safety. But the development didn’t stop there — it continued on to pave the way for a bigger mission. The helicopter-based search system, RECCO SAR, was launched in 2015, allowing even more people to be searchable and more easily located by professional rescue teams.
The RECCO SAR helicopter detector is the evolution of the handheld avalanche rescue system, which makes it possible to search a large area and locate a person in an emergency situation. The helicopter device allows rescue teams to search in rough terrain year-round — benefitting not just skiers, but hikers, climbers, hunters, runners and cyclists. All these groups belong, statistically, to the most searched outdoor enthusiasts.
This increased the ways the RECCO reflector could be used significantly and allowed brands to think outside the box. The possible integrations were no longer limited to winter products and nowadays reflector technology is spread across all product categories for every season.
Today there are 150 brands that integrate RECCO rescue reflectors in their summer, spring, winter, and autumn products, contributing to RECCO’s mission. Together with our brand partners, we’ve made millions of people searchable. And this is just the beginning.
Julia Granhed, Communications Manager
RECCO® advanced rescue technology makes outdoor enthusiasts searchable to rescuers in case of an avalanche accident or when lost in the outdoors. The technology builds on a two-part radar system. Rescuers carry RECCO® detectors that send out search signals which are echoed by RECCO® reflectors, carried by the user. RECCO® detectors are used worldwide at more than 900 ski resorts and mountain rescue organizations in 32 countries. RECCO® reflectors are integrated into select apparel, helmets, protection gear and boots manufactured by more than 150 leading outdoor brands. RECCO AB was founded in 1983 in Sweden and is owned by its founder Magnus Granhed and the publicly traded investment company Traction AB (listed on OMX Nordic Exchange Stockholm). More info at recco.com