Every summertime for the past 16 years, the Swedish exterior gear and clothes firm Fjällräven has invited individuals up above the Polar Circle in Sweden for a weeklong expedition amongst the glacier-covered tops and also stretching expanse. Understood simply as The Fjällräven Classic, it’s perhaps one of the most fun and family-friendly hiking event on the planet.
This year’s Sweden occasion sold out in seconds as individuals demanded the opportunity to spot reindeer, falls, and also the continuous sunshine of the Arctic summer. Fjällräven deals with all the logistics, from providing food for each and every individual to manning checkpoints along the way, and also, in extremely Swedish style, there is no genuine purpose. The suggestion is for the travelers to have overall adaptability, to go as rapid and also far as they desire every day, camp any place they desire, and make the experience wholly their very own. “People register for The Fjällräven Classic from throughout the globe,” claims Jean-Marie Shields, the company’s VP of Brand Experience for North America and a Swede herself. “It’s so Swedish. The occasion is extremely public and comprehensive.”
It’s been such a hit– more than 2,000 individuals now make the journey to Sweden every summer– that a few years ago Fjällräven determined to take the program on the road, and also there are now much shorter variations of the occasion in Denmark, the U.S., Korea, and also Hong Kong. Next year, the program will certainly increase further, to Germany, China, as well as the United Kingdom. (This year’s UNITED STATE version, currently in its fourth version, will explore the mountains surrounding Colorado’s Copper Hill this September 6 to 8.) “With The Classic, we’re devoted to making it immersive,” claims Fjällräven’s North American Chief Executive Officer, Nathan Dopp. “The concept is that the most effective intro to a backcountry experience is one that you, the hiker, specify, not a guide. Wish to hang around for an hour because swimming hole? Go for it. Intend to lug a guitar so you can play and also sing around that night’s campfire? Of course, bring it.”
The Fjällräven Standard isn’t the only thing Fjällräven has actually offered the States. While the business was founded in 1960 and has gained a worldwide track record for making items that are as easy and elegant as they are durable as well as functional, it didn’t officially launch its U.S. operations until 2012. Ever since it’s opened 24 stores in the UNITED STATE, with enthusiastic plans for further expansion over the next five years. Translation: Fjällräven’s blowing up.
If you haven’t yet strayed into a store or asked a pal exactly how to articulate Fjällräven (fyall-raah-ven), you have actually possibly at least spied its logo design, a curled-up red fox (fjällräven implies “frozen fox”), bobbing down the street, probably on the company’s most iconic item, the Kånken. This common little knapsack, long brought by European youngsters, ruptured right into pop culture in the late aughts, locating fans amongst American influencers, Oriental pop stars, as well as everyone in between. The pack was seen on Madonna’s kids as well as the two-year-old daughter of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. To sustain this zeitgeist, Fjällräven provides the cram in lots of designs and also hundreds of color combinations.
Yet what many people do not know is that the Kånken has been around, practically unmodified, considering that the late ’70s, first created as an improvement on the standard handbag for Swedish schoolchildren. “I have actually had my Kånken for greater than thirty years,” says Shields, the VP of Brand Name Experience. “I would certainly use mine on expeditions with my granny in the north of Sweden regularly. Hers was yellow, and also my earliest memories of being really immersed in nature are from following my granny’s little yellow Kånken with the woods.”
Today, the Kånken is simply one of the numerous products Fjällräven makes, however its layout story– as a straightforward and also clever service to a genuine trouble– goes to the origin of everything the brand name does. The company’s founder, Åke Nordin, matured along Sweden’s High Shore, exploring the region’s notoriously sturdy mountains, expanse, as well as boreal woodlands. Utilizing his dad’s devices and mama’s sewing maker, he designed his initial piece of equipment, a wood-framed backpack, in his cellar. Hence started Nordin’s long-lasting quest to solve issues, to create equipment that was better than anything offered, consisting of light-weight down sleeping bags as well as the innovative Thermo Outdoor tents, a nylon and also polyester tube-style outdoor tents that was lighter, tougher, and method much more breathable than the hefty canvas tents of the day.
By the late 1960s, Fjällräven had come to be the best vendor of gear for Swedish explorations. The polar travelers were so enamored with their Fjällräven devices that they asked Nordin to design their garments too. To do so, Nordin took a textile that had actually been too heavy for his camping tents and also a lesson from his youth– along with waxing his skis, he would certainly additionally wax his pants to make them a lot more water resistant. After months of tinkering, among the exterior world’s most sturdy fabrics was birthed: the G-1000, a densely woven fabric made from recycled polyester as well as organic cotton made much more durable and also wind- as well as water-resistant by the firm’s exclusive Greenland Wax, a special mix of beeswax and also paraffin.