Fjällräven ranked highest in its category by consumers in Sweden, in Europe’s largest brand study on sustainability.
LOUISVILLE, Colo., March 16, 2023 /PRNewswire/ – For the fourth year in a row, consumers in Sweden have voted Fjällräven as the country’s most sustainable brand in the category, ‘Clothes and Fashion Brands’ in the 2023 Sustainable Brand Index. With the help of 80,000 consumers across eight countries, the Sustainable Brand Index measures and analyses nearly 1,600 brands across 36 industries on sustainability. Carried out annually since 2011, the independent study examines how sustainable brands are perceived by consumers.
“Strong outdoor brands cannot survive today without solid sustainability practices. It’s extremely encouraging that the work Fjällräven is doing is seen and valued by consumers,” said Martin Nordin, Executive Chairman at Fenix Outdoor. “I’m proud that Fjällräven is not the only brand within the Fenix Outdoor group that ranked on top of its category. Naturkompaniet took the top spot, too.”
“Acting responsibly towards nature has guided Fenix Outdoor since the very beginning, so this recognition for two brands in our group is important.”
Founded in 1960, Fjällräven has built its global reputation on creating outdoor clothing and equipment with a focus on durability, functionality, and sustainability. “Our vision is to be the most sustainable and premium outdoor brand in the world, so we’re delighted that consumers trust the Fjällräven brand and our efforts in driving sustainable innovation and placing strict regulations on ourselves to set new sustainability standards,” said Martin Axelhed, Fjallraven CEO. “Swedish consumers are known to place a particularly high value on sustainability, so to be acknowledged as an industry-leading brand in Sweden proves we’re going in the right direction.”
“The focus of our sustainability efforts is to make a positive contribution or, as we call it, to leave basecamp in better shape than we found it. We’re very pleased that the hard work Fjällräven is doing in everything from responsible sourcing of materials and transparent CSR reporting to eliminating forever chemicals is making an impact and is recognised by consumers,” said Aiko Bode, Chief Sustainability Officer at Fenix Outdoor.
How Fjällräven is leading the way in sustainability
As the study suggests, being perceived as the most sustainable outdoor brand in Sweden is one thing, but leading the way in sustainability takes significant action – and over the years, Fjällräven has led the way in minimising its environmental impact. One of the most underappreciated, but most important facets of sustainability is longevity. Fjällräven has become well known for designing timeless clothing and equipment for lifetimes of wear, using materials that are tough, durable and easy to repair. It also educates its global community of outdoor enthusiasts on how to look after their gear through ‘care and repair’, in-store events, which are becoming increasingly popular.
By 2011, Fjällräven had already developed its first waterproof hardshell material, Eco-Shell, made without the use of harmful perfluorocarbons (PFCs) in the DWR impregnation – and was educating its customers on how to re-impregnate shell garments using PFC-free solutions. By 2015, the company had phased out all PFC-impregnation across the whole Fjällräven range, from clothes to backpacks and tents. Creating PFC-free solutions and driving consumer awareness of the devastating effects of PFCs on the environment has been an important topic for Fjällräven. Today, it welcomes the new legal regulations on the horizon and is excited that more brands are joining the journey towards a PFC-free outdoor industry.
When it comes to animal-derived materials, a key part of Fjällräven’s sustainability big-picture approach is traceability. The company’s Down Promise guarantees 100% traceability and ethically produced down, using a production chain with strict and repeated controls of its suppliers and sub-contractors. The birds’ well-being is the top priority, followed closely by the high quality of the down. Prior to its implementation, long chains of production meant Fjällräven didn’t know exactly where its down was coming from. So, to ensure the highest standard of animal welfare, Fjällräven decided to take a closer look at its down supply chain and develop its own strict standards instead of relying on third parties and certificates. After years of work, the result was the Fjällräven Down Promise, which has been in effect since 2014 and is regarded as the best and most transparent in the outdoor industry.
Wool is another preferred animal-derived material used by Fjällräven that has significant outdoor functionality. In the past, the global wool supply chain has lacked transparency. For Fjällräven, however, defining its own strict regulations with suppliers in a transparent way has been a crucial part of its sustainability approach. A pilot project in 2014 with a local farm in northern Sweden allowed it to identify improved production processes and set its own standards on animal welfare and environmental impact. Today, Fjällräven partners with New Zealand-based ZQ Wool which accredits and works with farms across New Zealand and Australia and ensures wool supply, quality and integrity. Above all, it ensures animal welfare, as well as environmental and economic sustainability, which are all in line with the high standards Fjällräven has defined. For ZQ Wool, Fjällräven is now the biggest buyer of ZQRX wool, the leading standard of ethically sourced wool. In comparison to ZQ-certified wool, ZQRX also creates a standard for holistically managed farming practices, which helps to improve soil quality and sequester carbon.
Elsewhere, fabric waste is being tackled head-on with a limited collection of clothes and equipment created using leftover fabric gathered from Fjällräven’s mills and factories. Titled Samlaren, or ‘Gatherer’ in English, the collection highlights how resources can be repurposed in a conscious and sustainable way to such a degree that what is first considered waste can be remade into a valued, collectible item. The next Samlaren collection will be available on April 18, 2023.
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In 1960, Åke Nordin founded Fjällräven in his basement in the town of Örnsköldsvik in northern Sweden. Today the company’s timeless, functional and durable outdoor equipment enjoys a global presence and can be found in over 70 countries. Fjällräven’s product range comprises outdoor clothing and accessories for men and women as well as backpacks, tents and sleeping bags. Fjällräven prioritises acting responsibly towards people, animals and nature and and encourages and sustains public interest in the outdoors. The company is the initiator of two popular outdoor events, Fjällräven Classic and Fjällräven Polar, which attract thousands of participants every year.
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SOURCE Fjallraven North America