It all started with an expedition to Greenland, some unsatisfied explorers and Åke Nordin’s pioneering spirit. The rest is history. The best way to introduce the jackets and parkas of the Fjällräven Fall & Winter 2019 collection, is to outline the story of the first ever Fjällräven jacket. And to explain the best choice of jackets / parkas for this year’s Fall & Winter activities, the material guide below compares the different functionalities of outer materials and paddings. Read more in the Press Kit or find inspiration in our Lookbook.
In the summer of 1966, an expedition of Swedish and Norwegian alpinists and glacier researchers landed in the rugged mountain village of Kulusuk on the southeast side of Greenland. For a year and a half they had been preparing meticulously for the extreme challenges the Arctic would throw at them. One of the initiators, an experience alpinist called Per Åke Sjöman, had first met Åke Nordin, Fjällräven’s founder some years earlier. Sjöman contributed tent drawings and Åke custom-made four two-man tents of reinforced nylon for the expedition. Fjällräven also supplied the group with backpacks and three smaller thermo tents for the expedition.
On their return home six weeks later, the expedition submitted a written report testifying that tents and backpacks had been tested successfully in “extremely harsh conditions”. The Fjällräven equipment had withstood the expeditionary stresses “surprisingly well”. There was only one area of dissatisfaction - the clothing provided to the team. This came not from Fjällräven but from other suppliers, and had fallen somewhat short of expectations. They discussed this with Åke, who immediately saw the opportunity to solve another outdoorware challenge. He set out to make a jacket.
He remembered a fabric he’d once considered using for a tent but had proven too heavy for the purpose. It turned out to be perfect for a jacket, the only thing needed improving: the fabric’s water-resistance. He thought back to his times as a ski jumper at Paradiskullen, remembering waiting at the top of the jump for his turn. And how he and the other jumpers, while waiting, had taken to waxing not just their skis but also their trouser seats to repel moisture and keep the chilly winter at bay. Why not try the same idea with the material for his jacket? The Greenland Jacket, the famous G-1000 material and Greenland Wax solution was born.
"The unlikely combination of a rejected tent material and a wax of ski jumpers’ skis forms the backbone of some of the world’s most iconic outdoor jackets of all times."
Åke felt the new jacket would work perfectly for mountain climbing and outdoor recreation. He named it the Greenland Jacket, after the Swedish-Norwegian expedition.
Nature is Fjällräven’s constant source of inspiration. Just like Fjällräven’s founder Åke Nordin sourced materials directly from the environment around him - the team still does today. Many of the Fjällräven materials are developed in-house, others with some of the best suppliers in the industry. At Fjällräven, it’s not just about creating products that live up to your expectations; it’s also about developing materials that stand up to the rigors of the trail, while keeping the impact on the environment as small as possible.
Here’s an overview of the most popular materials sourced at Fjällräven:
Since launching G-1000 in 1968 with the first ever Fjällräven jacket, a range of different versions has been developed. They’re all hardwearing, ventilating, wind-resistant and offer pro-tection from uv rays. By adding Greenland Wax the become water-resistant too and even more wind-resistant and durable. Each of the five G-1000 versions, G-1000 Original, G-1000 Lite, G-1000 Silent, G-1000 Air and G-1000 HeavyDuty has its own specific benefits.
Every outdoor brand needs a functioning shell garment. But when Fjällräven created Eco-Shell, the goal was not only to create a tough, breathable material that resisted wind and rain; but also a material that did all that without unnecessarily harming nature. Eco-Shell offers both breathability and protection from rain, sleet and snow. It’s the combination of the pfc-free durable water repellency (dwr) treatment on the outer layer and the hydrophilic membrane underneath, that ensures sweat escapes but water from the outside doesn’t get in.
When it comes to making use of wool, Fjällräven is a pioneering company. It’s arguably one of nature’s most functional materials. And you’re most likely aware of its ability to keep you warm by trapping air between its fibres. But did you know that, strictly speaking, wool isn’t an insulator? It’s a heat regulator. This is because it can help you keep your cool as well as keep you warm and cosy. For the Fall & Winter 2019 collection Fjällräven is using ever more recycled wool, it’s expanding its use of traceable wool, it’s continuing its use of Swedish wool and adding recovered wool. Fjällräven plans to convert its entire wool supply chain to either traceable or recycled / recovered by 2020.
The Fjällräven down journey started in 1974 when Fjällräven founder, Åke Nordin, promised to make a jacket that provided welcoming warmth through the coldest of Swedish winters. The jacket was the Expedition Down Jacket. The Fjällräven Down Promise is today recognised as one of the best in the outdoor industry. Find out more here. Down is a truly outstanding insulator. Its ability to trap your body heat and keep you warm is virtually unparalleled. But down isn’t the optimal choice when it’s wet. An alternative is wool but also G-Loft Supreme, Fjällräven’s synthetic padding. You can read more about the difference between Down and G-Loft Supreme here.
In most cases Fjällräven chooses natural materials over human-made versions. But when you need warmth in cold, damp conditions, then synthetic insulation is your best bet. G-Loft® Supreme is made from a blend of thin, hollow poly-ester fibres- 10% of which are recycled - which have a natural, cluster-forming ability that creates small pockets of air, just like down feathers. G-Loft ® Supreme regains its original form afer it’s been compressed. This ‘memory effect’ is due to the fibres of recycled polyester. They’re more rigid than their virgin counterparts, giving the material its springiness. And this ability continues after repeated washes and long-term use.