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Sunday, 21 September 2003


The Sunday Telegraph reports that FAIRYDOWN, the mountaineering equipment brand used by Sir Edmund Hillary when he became the first person to ascend Everest, will be dropped because it is seen as having homosexual connotations. Although FAIRYDOWN sleeping bags and outdoor clothing and equipment have been made in Christchurch, New Zealand since 1930, the name is proving too sensitive for overseas markets, particularly in London and Sydney. Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay both used FAIRYDOWN products during their ascent of the world's highest peak in 1953. Said Sir Edmund, with typical British understatement: "At our highest camp at 28,000ft it was a bit on the chilly side". Added Hugo Venter, of brand owners Arthur Ellis & Co., "Australian men particularly don't want to have FAIRYDOWN on their shirts". The products will now be marketed under the name ZONE, although the word FAIRYDOWN may still appear in small print on the label.

The IPKat regrets that Australian mountaineers have so little confidence in their sexuality that they can’t bring themselves to use FAIRYDOWN clothes and equipment.

More brands to tempt the pink purse here, here, here and here.

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