SUSTAINABLE INNOVATION FOR THE GREAT OUTDOORS
The entire purpose with our brand, is to inspire people to get off their backs and into the wild. Make nature a bigger part of their lives. But it’s not always as uncomplicated as it sounds. Because our aim is also to preserve nature in the shape we found it. Our sustainability policy – The Fjällräven Way – is the needle’s eye that guides us in what’s right and wrong. It’s simple and transpar- ent, and comprises all aspecs of research, development, production, transport, and recycling.
What is the Fjällräven Way?
It’s how we choose to construct our new waterproof hardshell entirely out of recyclabe polyester and fluorocarbon-free impregnation – while compensating unavoidable emissions. It’s how we have set up a unique Down Promise, where we trace and guarantee each feather back to an ethical production. It’s constantly increasing the share of ecological cotton in our G-1000 weave. It’s controlling that local labor conditions are fair. It’s consistently pondering new materials, questioning whether each item can be made with even less footprint. But it’s also about projects targeted at issues we feel greatly for. One of them involving a furry white fox, living on the brink of extinction.
The Arctic fox lives above the treeline in northern Scandinavia, and is an important part of the Nordic fauna. It’s a tough, curious and adaptable species living in lairs that can be hundreds of years old, and curled up it can sleep through -40oC arctic nights. However, they will disappear if nothing is done.
The biggest threats are access to food, and being pushed out by it’s larger cousin – the red fox. Important measures involve supplementary feeding as well as keeping the red fox at bay with hunting. ”Also, you can move fox cubs from different batches during good years in order to prevent inbreeding” says Anders Angerbjörn, Arctic Fox Expert and one of the driving forces behind the ’Save the Arctic Fox’ initiative. The government is ultimately responsible for implementing sufficient efforts to save the Arctic fox, but funds are always lacking. This is why Fjällräven is sponsoring a full time research position at Stockholm University which partly consists of field studies, dna-sampling as well as active monitoring and supplementary feeding in the mountains.
The Fjällräven Down Promise
Fjällräven takes ethically produced, high-quality down to new levels of transparency and traceability
After several years of work with its down production, Fjällräven can now claim to have one of the outdoor industry’s most controlled and transparent down production processes. This means that Fjällräven can guarantee with full certainty that the down used in its products is not only of premium quality, but also produced in an ethically responsible way.
When the first alarms on animal welfare were raised back in 2009, Fjällräven initiated an investigation into its down production process even though it already had controls in place. After years of hard work on many levels, Fjällräven has now established a fully transparent chain of production, which in practice means that the company can trace all of its down back to the farms where the birds were raised.
Having achieved this, Fjällräven launched its Down Promise: Ethically- produced down of the highest quality during the fall of 2014. “Just as we place high demands on all our products in general, we are also very careful to ensure that our down is produced in an ethical manner. This is why we have invested so much energy into ensuring an upright and controlled process the whole way”, says Aiko Bode, Chief Sustainability Officer for Fjällräven and the Fenix Outdoor Group.
“We have come far on this journey but we are not finished yet. It is an ongoing task where we are constantly making improvements and listening to and learning from experts, so that all the steps in the production process are continuously meeting the highest possible standards from an animal welfare perspective”, says Aiko Bode.