Eco & Ethics Spotlight - Fjallraven - Sustainable Materials

Scandinavian brands have lead the way in sustainability over the last few years with outdoor brand Fjallraven making it a key tenant of their brand. In this weeks Eco & Ethics Spotlight we look at the sustainable materials the imprint uses in all their products.

Nature is Fjallraven's biggest source of inspiration. It’s also where they draw their materials from and where the impact of consumption is most keenly felt. No decision is taken lightly. When considering a material they evaluate its efficiency, functional qualities, chemical composition and the amount they’ll need before making a choice. To help them make a decision, they use a Preferred Materials And Fibres List that grades materials in terms of their impact on the environment. And this list is constantly updated, reflecting new research and new materials.

It doesn’t matter how sustainable it is, if a shell material doesn’t keep you dry they won’t consider it. Fjallraven must balance a material’s functionality and efficiency with its environmental impact. Wherever possible they use organic, renewable and recycled materials. They also prioritise traceable natural materials. And, of course, a material that lasts is better than one you have to replace after a winter or two. Fjallraven divide their materials and fibres up as follows: excellent, like recycled wool, organic hemp and Tencel®; good, such as recycled polyester, G-1000 Eco and traceable wool; OK, like polyamide, cotton, metal buttons; and those they don’t use, such as PFCs, PVCs and angora wool.

The Fjällräven Chemical Guideline helps Fjallraven  navigate the complicated world of hazardous and banned chemicals. They are constantly updating and revising this list based on new information. This is done with support from the Swedish Chemicals Group – of which Fjallraven are members – that’s overseen by the Swedish Research Institute for Industrial and Sustainable Growth (Swerea). They keep Fjallraven updated on the latest research, legal requirements and chemical information. And, of course, they thoroughly lab-test our products for proof of compliance.

Fluorocarbons have long been favoured by the outdoor industry for their water and dirt resistance. But they’re bad news for the environment. So in 2012 Fjallraven decided to switch to fluorocarbon-free impregnation throughout our product range.  These chemical compounds don’t readily break down in nature. They can be transported vast distances, stored in living organisms and even work their way up the food chain. They can also affect reproduction and hormone production in mammals and are suspected carcinogens. For Fjallraven the choice is simple. When it comes to impregnation, they just say “no” to fluorocarbons.

However, removing them completely from all parts of our products is challenging. Right now they're looking into how they can remove PFCs from their zips without losing any functionality. You can read more about this on Fjallraven's blog.

When Fjallraven use materials of animal origin, such as down, wool and leather, they don’t make any compromises. Animal welfare is their highest priority. This is their promise to you. You can find out more here.

Fully traceable down has been the reality at Fjällräven since 2014. With their Down Promise you can rest assured that when you purchase a down product from Fjallraven no birds were harmed, we know exactly where the down comes from and that it’s of the highest quality. You can find out more here.

We hope this information allows you to make the best choice for you when purchasing outdoor wear. 


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