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Young man launches Snobodi brand after Europe trip cancelled during Covid

An Australian outdoorsman who saved for years to go to Europe only to have Covid cancel his trip has pivoted the savings into a fashion label for the slopes – and it has seen immediate success.

Hugh Wilcox, 24, booked a months-long trip overseas after finishing his university degree in 2020 but the global pandemic didn’t allow for the dream holiday to come to fruition.

Instead the Victorian graduate looked ahead to the upcoming Aussie ski season – which was later cancelled due to further Covid lockdowns – before he gave up on his desire to travel and decided to pour his money into a business instead.

An Australian outdoorsman who saved for years to go to Europe only to have Covid cancel his trip has pivoted the savings into a fashion label for the slopes – and it has seen immediate success

Hugh Wilcox (pictured), 24, booked a months-long trip overseas after finishing his university degree in 2020 but the global pandemic didn't allow for the dream holiday to come to fruition

Hugh Wilcox (pictured), 24, booked a months-long trip overseas after finishing his university degree in 2020 but the global pandemic didn’t allow for the dream holiday to come to fruition

Snowbodi, a range of sustainable and effective skiwear, was born in April 2022 after two years of conceptualising, planning, designing and testing, and earned Hugh a whopping $10,000 pay check on the very first day of sales.

‘I had been saving and dreaming of this trip to Europe for years. Unfortunately that’s when Covid hit and like many others, the dreams of my first Europe trip came crashing down around me,’ Hugh told FEMAIL.

‘What was devastating to me at the time actually ended up being a blessing as the days we spent in lockdown ended up being the opportunity I needed to realise what I wanted to do.’

Initially believing Covid would pass quickly, Hugh shifted his attention from the failed European summer trip to a potential local snow season. 

Snowbodi, a range of sustainable and effective skiwear, was born in April 2022 after two years of conceptualising, planning, designing and testing, and earned Hugh a whopping $10,000 pay check on the very first day of sales

Snowbodi, a range of sustainable and effective skiwear, was born in April 2022 after two years of conceptualising, planning, designing and testing, and earned Hugh a whopping $10,000 pay check on the very first day of sales

Initially believing Covid would pass quickly, Hugh shifted his attention from the failed European summer trip to a potential local snow season

'This is when I realised there were absolutely no products out there that aligned with my values and also my style. I found that most brands where international but I'm all about supporting Aussie owned,' he said

Initially believing Covid would pass quickly, Hugh shifted his attention from the failed European summer trip to a potential local snow season

‘This is when I realised there were absolutely no products out there that aligned with my values and also my style. I found that most brands where international but I’m all about supporting Aussie owned,’ he said.

‘I also feel that technical outerwear is a big investment and should be something you love and own for years to come but I found creative designs were lacking in the industry. 

‘I had also been doing a lot of research into environmental initiatives and had read about some ethical manufactures that were using recycled materials and could produce high quality outerwear. The idea just snowballed from there.’

Hugh planned to launch his fashion label Snobodi before the ski season in 2021 but once again Covid had other plans and most Aussies were forced to cancel their winter trips.

‘Once again I was absolutely shattered but once again my failed plan ended up being a huge blessing as it ended up giving us another year to continue to design and also test out the gear overseas in Alaska,’ he said.

Hugh planned to launch his fashion label Snobodi before the ski season in 2021 but once again Covid had other plans and most Aussies were forced to cancel their winter trips

Hugh planned to launch his fashion label Snobodi before the ski season in 2021 but once again Covid had other plans and most Aussies were forced to cancel their winter trips

The official launch was April 24, which saw the pieces fly out the door despite no money being spent on formal marketing

The official launch was April 24, which saw the pieces fly out the door despite no money being spent on formal marketing

The official launch was April 24, which saw the pieces fly out the door despite no money being spent on formal marketing.

‘We’ve had absolutely no financial investors. I have always been a saver and juggled multiple jobs whilst studying at uni full time,’ he said.

‘I had been saving like mad for Europe and was hoping to buy a property in the future. I was super lucky to have had most of my cancelled trip refunded so when the refunds started to come though I used that along with the spending money I had saved to get things started. 

‘You could say Snobodi has cost me a summer in Europe plus a small house deposit and it’s been the best decision I’ve made.’

The wildland jacket is the company's key product which comes in a variation of colours, alongside beanies, scarves and fleeces

The wildland jacket is the company’s key product which comes in a variation of colours, alongside beanies, scarves and fleeces

The wildland jacket is the company’s key product which comes in a variation of colours, alongside beanies, scarves and fleeces.

Twenty five 600ml recycled water bottles go into making each jacket.

‘The colour Tundra has probably been our biggest seller so far,’ Hugh added.

Hugh already has plans for next year’s collection which will include hoodies and puffer jackets.

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk