All good adventures start with a backpack. And it’s with the backpack that Fjällräven was founded. For nearly 60 years the Swedish outdoor brand has been tweaking, honing and refining. And the 2019 spring summer season is the culmination of all that effort. Fjällräven has returned to its core and is releasing a collection of backpacks for a variety of uses from the coast to the mountain top, via a pit-stop in the city, to take you from home to nature and back again, whenever you want. But don’t wait too long. Because nature is waiting for you.
In the 1950s Fjällräven’s founder, Åke Nordin, spent many hours outdoors. He would trek in the remotest parts of northern Sweden, fish in the hinterland near his home in Örnsköldsvik, camp in the lowlands of central Sweden, kayak around the islands off the High Coast. While he never sought to tame or conquer nature, he liked to be comfortable. He became frustrated by the lack of functional equipment available at the time. Everything was too heavy, bulky or awkward. At the same time, nature was calling to him. He wanted to travel further, deeper and longer, carrying all his gear on his back. But his backpack consistently failed him. Rather than waiting for the outdoor industry to improve the backpacks of the time, Åke created his own. His v-shaped design, complete with supportive wooden frame wasn’t just a comfortable, light, swallow-all-gear backpack. It was the start of something much greater: Fjällräven.
Fjällräven’s first backpack was launched in 1960. Since then there have been many iterations; the range has expanded; technology has improved; more sustainable materials have been developed. And now, in 2019, more than half a century later Fjällräven is releasing a new collection of backpacks using a brand new waterproof material, that is both technical and sustainable.
Exclusively developed for Fjällräven, Bergshell is made from recycled nylon, lined with a TPU laminate and treated with PFC-free impregnation. It has a pioneering flat ripstop construction that brings both high abrasion resistance and high tear strength. Bergshell is used to make a mountaineering backpack, Bergtagen 38, two streamlined trekking packs, Keb 52 and Keb 72, and a range of daypacks (Ulvö) including a waterproof roll-top solution, Ulvö Rolltop and a modern hip or over-the-shoulder bag, Ulvö Hip Pack Large and Medium.
“Sustainability is built into everything we do at Fjällräven.” So says Christiane Dolva, Fjällräven’s head of sustainability. To prove this point, Fjällräven is updating and expanding its Save The Arctic Fox project to offer financial support to other causes that support nature. The new Arctic Fox Initiative will use funding from the sale of selected products to back projects that protect and preserve flora, fauna and outdoor life.
“Since the 1990s we’ve been involved in different projects that support the arctic fox and we’ve learned that climate change is part of the challenge threatening our namesake. So for us it has become a symbol for doing our bit to preserve nature. We figured that we can do a lot, but together we can do even more,” says Christiane. “This is why we started the Arctic Fox Initiative, to expand the scope of projects we support and to have it as an umbrella for all our efforts in keeping nature in business for generations to come.”
The first products to support this new initiative will be three special-edition Kånken backpacks. The first two are designed by Swedish artists, Cecilia Heikkilä and Erik Olovsson. They were commissioned to design unique prints representing their personal connections to nature combined with a touch of Kånken playfulness. The third has been created by Fjällräven’s own design team and features rainbow-coloured details.
You can find the Fjällräven SS19 Press Kit and the Seasonal Lookbook here.