Environmentally-conscious festive season shoppers looking for sustainable gifts will have a wealth of choice when Fjällräven, the Swedish heritage outdoor brand known for producing high-quality outerwear, apparel and gear since 1960, opens its South African retail store at the Victoria and Alfred (V&A) Waterfront in Cape Town on 13 November 2019.

According to the recently released Accenture 13th annual holiday shopping survey, sustainability will be high on users’ minds this festive season. This in line with a growing trend of “responsible retail,” where shoppers are more concerned about the environmental and social impact of their purchases.

The Fjällräven Store in Cape Town offers a wide selection of conscious products for South Africans that want to make sustainable choices and are looking for gifts that give back to nature.

“What’s so exciting at Fjällräven is that sustainability isn’t treated as a separate project; it’s at the core of everything we do,” says Christiane Dolva, Head of Sustainability at Fjällräven.

Fjällräven has made sustainability and minimum environmental impact a critically prioritised aspect in all its operations – from the design, production and materials used – right through to the initiatives that the brand supports and the suppliers it works with. 

South African users can look forward to finding the following Fjällräven products in store this festive season:

  • The Fjällräven Re-Kånken Mini Pink Rose (RRSP at R1699) and Re-Kånken in Black (RRSP at R1999), which is made from polyester made from recycled plastic bottles and can be adjusted to fit both children and adults. Read more about the brand’s recycled polyester here: https://www.fjallraven.eu/about-fjallraven/materials/recycled-polyester/
  • The Keb Wool T-shirt for men (RRSP at R1899), which is made from traceable Merino wool. This allows users to track where the wool in their products comes from and ensures it is produced ethically. Read about how Fjällräven thinks about sustainability and wool here: https://www.fjallraven.eu/about-fjallraven/materials/wool/
  • The Ulvö 23 in laurel green (RRSP at R2899), a versatile daypack for men and women in waterproof, durable Bergshell fabric. Besides its excellent durability, it is compliant with the high environmental standards that Fjällräven has as Bergshell is made from with 31% recycled nylon (from post-production) and a yarn process that halves the CO2 footprint. Read more about this material here: https://www.fjallraven.eu/about-fjallraven/materials/bergshell/

Fjällräven SA can be found at Store number 209 on the upper level of the V&A Waterfront. The brand has collaborated with Just Like Papa, a Cape Town outdoor store based in the popular Harrington Street that specialises in curated collections of premium-quality adventure products. Sole distribution rights for Fjällräven products including all brands under the Fenix umbrella are held in South Africa by 187 Distribution PTY Ltd. 

Just Like Papa is a concept born out of a love for adventure and a deeply-rooted passion for self-reliance. It embraces taking on projects done by hand. It’s about fixing things. It’s about making things. It’s about getting one’s hands dirty the way grandparents did. It’s the flick of a knife, the strike of a match, a change of a tyre. It’s lacing up the old boots, without dusting them off and shouting ‘timber’ instead of buying the wood. It’s bringing tales of the great outdoors back to the city, but more importantly, having all the tools necessary to make life in the city feel more like the great outdoors. It’s practical and uncomplicated. It’s every day being an opportunity for a new adventure – no matter where. No matter when. No matter how big or small. It’s about choosing adventure. And then totally owning it.

Sustainability at Fjällräven: Developing and producing on nature’s terms
How has Fjällräven made sustainability and minimum environmental impact a critically prioritised aspect in all of its operations? Fjällräven’s products are made with longevity, durability and sustainability in mind. Wherever possible it uses organic, renewable and recycled materials. Materials are selected from as sustainable sources as possible, animal welfare and social sustainability is also always considered.

You can read more about the brand’s approach to sustainability here https://www.fjallraven.eu/about-fjallraven/sustainability/.

Fjällräven prioritises traceable natural materials. When considering a material the brand evaluates its efficiency, functional qualities, chemical composition and the amount needed before making a choice. To help make a decision, Fjällräven uses a Preferred Materials and Fibres List that grades materials in terms of their impact on the environment. The brand looks at materials and fibres 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 not used, such as PFCs, PVCs and angora wool.

Fluorocarbons have long been favoured by the outdoor industry for their water and dirt resistance. But they’re bad news for the environment. In 2012 Fjällräven decided to switch to fluorocarbon-free impregnation throughout its product range.Sustainable production is key: Fjällräven has a Code of Conduct that all suppliers and partners must agree with before doing business with the brand.

The retailer offers training and support on this. Fjällräven also has a list of restricted chemicals that is constantly updated, and suppliers need to abide by this in order to continue doing business with the brand. Read more here: https://www.fjallraven.eu/about-fjallraven/sustainability/production/In 2013 Fjällräven joined the Fair Labor Association (FLA) (http://www.fairlabor.org/). The FLA promotes workers’ rights and improved working conditions globally. It’s enabled Fjällräven to improve its approach to ethical sourcing around the world.Fjällräven’s long-term goal is to reduce its impact on the planet. But the retailer can’t completely eradicate its emissions. So the brand climate compensates some of its products, such as Eco-Shell garments, the Fjällräven Classic treks and business travel. When the brand compensates its emissions, it supports renewable energy projects that have been verified by the UN and certified according to the Gold Standard, an independent quality assessment of carbon dioxide emission reduction projects.

It’s supported by more than 60 non-profit organisations, including Greenpeace International and WWF International. Fjällräven’s goal is to reduce its CO2 emissions by 25% by 2020 and become completely carbon neutral by 2025. The brand is following updates on climate change closely and adapts its business accordingly. This also means collaborative action to solve the challenges that comes with committing to drastically reductions of greenhouse gas emissions, such as within the partnership in the Swedish Textile Initiative for Climate Action as well as commitments on policy level such as Fjällräven’s commitment to the UN Global Compact. In line with this, it has also signed the Fashion for Climate Action initiative, which is founded on the UN’s “Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action”. This initiative gathers leading fashion brands, retailers, supplier organisations, and others to collectively address the climate impact of the fashion sector across the entire value chain. Fjällräven hopes that its actions and the commitment to the Global Climate Action Initiative will inspire customers, communities and governments to raise their climate ambition in a united effort to limit global warming to 1.5°C.
Read more on this initiative here: https://www.press.fjallraven.com/en/press-release/fjaellraeven-applauds-the-un-global-climate-change-action-initiative-and-looks-forward-to-collaborat.html

Fjällräven, in cooperation with Stockholm University, supports initiatives that aim to protect the Scandanavian Arctic Fox, which is in danger due to the effects of climate change. The Fjällräven Arctic Fox Initiative, launched in 2019, supports projects and ideas that aim to protect nature and inspire more people to spend time outdoors – on an international scale.  Funding is supported from the sale of Fjällräven products. Current beneficiary projects include a beach clean-up network, an organisation that aims to protect the outdoors by teaching people to enjoy it responsibly and a Swedish non-governmental organization offering health boosting activities.   

Leave a Reply