SALLANCHES, FRANCE. O’Sin Snowboards has joined forces with French and Italian environmentalists to take a stand against air pollution in the pristine Chamonix Valley. With the re-opening of the Mont Blanc Tunnel to truck traffic, air pollution will have a significant impact on the alpine environment that is the home of the O’Sin brand. The company has taken a unique approach to raise awareness of environmental degradation caused by truck traffic in the tunnel through development of a limited edition snowboard called the “Cham”.
The graphics on both the top and bottom of the Cham snowboard reflect the company’s support for banning large truck traffic through the tunnel. The top graphic, drawn by local Chamonix artist, Charlie Adam, depicts a group of protesters sitting down at the entrance of the tunnel to prevent trucks from entering the Chamonix Valley. The base graphic is the simple internationally recognized red slash running diagonally inside a red circle through the silhouette of a truck, i.e. “No Trucks”. Both graphics reflect O’Sin’s passion for the big mountain alpine riding experience that is at the core of the brand’s spirit. The company’s headquarters are located in the heart of the French Alps at the foot of Mt. Blanc, in the Chamonix Valley. Board testing, development and culture are firmly rooted in the alpine heritage of the Chamonix region.
Adam, who also produced a series of posters that may be seen throughout the Chamonix region was chosen as the artist for the project because of his past association with O’Sin and his passion for the clean air that Chamonix has enjoyed since the tunnel was closed in March, 1999. Working with O’Sin International Brand Manager Bertrand Becque, Adam designed the board graphic to stimulate awareness of the grassroots anti-truck movement with the eventual goal being to limit, or end, use of large cargo trucks through the tunnel. The tunnel was closed three years ago when a truck carrying flour and margarine caught fire, inside the tunnel. The resulting blaze killed 39 people and took firefighters two days to bring under control. Repairs and safety concerns have until recently, kept the tunnel closed to all automotive traffic.
Three hundred fifty Cham boards were produced with the special limited edition “No Trucks” graphics. Part of the profits generated from the sale of the Cham boards will be donated to French environmental movements focused on preserving the Chamonix Valley’s natural resources. According to Bertrand Becque, “This project sends a clear message that the O’Sin brand is all about our passion for riding the big mountains and protecting them for future generations. When forces, seemingly beyond our control, have a negative impact on something so profoundly dear to us, we must react. The Cham board graphics send a clear message that we will go to great lengths to protect our mountains, our core spirit and our heritage.”