Survivalism: when brands capitalize on our fears of the apocalypse

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Commercialized Survivalism: Between Foresight and Opportunism

In front of the bunkered and imposing structure of the Bünkl stand, a crowd gathers, curious to enter this 15 m² survival space designed to resist any form of threat, nuclear or chemical. Karim Boukarabila, at the genesis of Bünkl, testifies to a pronounced increase in interest in these shelters since the appearance of Covid. It reflects the growing anxiety of individuals in the face of various scourges such as terrorism or industrial disasters similar to that of Beirut. Although the cost of access to this promise of security reaches 100,000 euros, the market, still embryonic, attracts a public that is worried but not disconnected from reality.

The Awakening of French “Preppers”

More and more French citizens are equipping themselves for alarming scenarios, without necessarily affiliating themselves with survivalism. Rather, they describe themselves as planning ahead or seeking self-sufficiency. Whether by storing food or learning the techniques of living in nature, their presence is notable at the Survival Expo, where we meet both naturalists and weapons enthusiasts.

Survivalism, a movement born in the USA during the Cold War, evolved to respond to a multitude of everyday dangers. Bertrand Vidal, an expert on the subject, however, reminds us that the apocalyptic side remains well anchored, fueled by contemporary health or environmental crises.

Survivalism, a New Source of Influence

Mainstream thanks to television successes like “Koh-Lanta”, the concept of survival is attracting attention on social networks. Alexis Brus, a former soldier turned influencer, embodies this success. For her part, Eléonore Lluna offers training ranging from an introduction to survivalism to immersive experiences on a desert island, responding to a growing demand for resilience and autonomy.

Among equipment specialists, brands like Decathlon and Au Vieux Campeur are riding the “bushcraft” wave, learning an autonomous lifestyle in nature, which has become an integral part of the survivalist movement.

The Autonomy Market: Innovation and Quality

The outdoor sector has been enriched by a demand for robust and quality products, often derived from military equipment subsequently adapted for civilian use. This is particularly the case for knives originally designed for French elite units and which are now marketed for the general survivalist public.

The Delicate Balance of Brands Between Safety and Ethics

Companies like Terräng MP-Sec France, although they benefit economically from this trend, remain vigilant not to associate their products with paramilitary groups or extreme ideology.

The Rise of Freeze-Dried Food and Survival Kits

Freeze-dried food companies are seeing their sales explode, as are “catakits” designed for emergency situations, previously the preserve of navigators or NGOs, and now popular with a wider audience. Even educational and municipal institutions are interested in preventing crises.

Thus, the French government is pushing to prepare emergency kits. Survival is no longer a distant concept but integrated into the collective imagination, a growing market where practicality and fears of an uncertain future intertwine.

The Teachings of Eléonore Lluna, Influencer of Autonomy

A prominent figure in the survivalist scene, Eléonore Lluna moved from the nursing profession to that of a survival instructor. Prolific on Instagram, she shares her expertise on living independently of society. The courses offered by Time on Target as well as its publications in the magazine “Survival” democratize the practices of survivalism.

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