As at home in the wild as they are on the streets of the city, Fjällräven are a brand that defy being walled-off in one particular area. They’re climbing mountains, they’re trekking 110km across Northern Sweden, they’re researching climate change in Greenland and, of course, they’re on the back of every urban hipster worth their salt (see the Kånken).
2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the company’s first ever Greenland Jacket and to celebrate this occasion they’ve released a new collection of jackets that each harks back to that original.
The fascinating history of this product, the Greenland Wind Jacket, is a clear reminder of the brand’s credibility when it comes to the outdoors.
In 1966, Fjällräven’s backpacks and innovative condensation-free tent were taken on an expedition to Greenland by a collective made up of Scandinavian alpinists and scientists.
Upon returning from the trip, Fjällräven’s founder Åke Nordin, who started the business in his family’s basement using backpack prototypes he’d made as a boy scout, asked the group how they’d got on with the kit. The expedition members, like so many of Fjällräven’s customers since, couldn’t speak highly enough of Ake’s gear; adding that they only wished he also made clothes because their boiled wool and leather get-ups had proved less than ideal.
This got the idea train rolling and pretty soon Åke was searching out solutions to the various problems faced by outdoor clothing. He finally hit upon an answer with a jacket, made from a fabric he’d developed for tents, that was treated with a mixture of beeswax and paraffin – a concoction inspired by his days out skiing with friends when they’d all wax the back of their ski trousers to keep the snow off.
That was the first ever Greenland Jacket.
“It’s made of recycled polyester and organic materials; an indicator of the brand’s dedication to sustainability and environmentalism”
Half a century on and Fjällräven are staying true to their roots without being stuck in the past.
The aesthetic of this particular item in the new collection, the Greenland Wind Jacket is one of the tributes to that original jacket, and yet it improves on it by having a shape that’s more ergonomic and less boxy. This particular adaptation is made from a recycled polyamide which is impregnated with a water repellent treatment free from any nasty PFCs; an indicator of the brand’s dedication to sustainability and environmentalism.