May 16, 2021

What’s behind Fjällräven’s new Samlaren collection?

4 min read

Fjällräven is launching Samlaren. The new limited edition collection, the name of which means “The Gatherer” in Swedish, is debuting for s/s 2021 and is made by using leftover fabrics from Fjällräven’s mills and factories, combined in numbered limited editions characterized by new designs and playful color combinations.

The first product drop, to be launched on March 1, offers a collection of reinvented classics made out of surplus G-1000 fabric patchworks. The items include the Swedish outdoor brand’s classic Greenland Jacket, its iconic Kånken backpack and updated versions of its tote bag and cap.

Henrik Andersson, the brand’s head of design & innovation, and Christiane Dolva Törnberg, head of sustainability, described the reasons behind this project.

How was the Samlaren collection born?
Henrik Andersson (HA)
: Samlaren was born out of leftover fabrics from our own production. We realized that perfectly functional and durable materials were left on our shelves, as we could not use 100% of them in our regular production. We wanted to turn this from being a problem into creating products of value. That’s how we created the first launch of our Samlaren concept. The manufacturing itself did not take too long, as we have based the designs to a large extent on classic, proven Fjällräven products, and the material was ready. However, we had to mix them together in a cool way, therefore the matching and piecing together of the products required a bit of a different approach, as the stock levels differed for different materials and colors. But it was an inspiring set of challenges.

Henrik Andersson, head of design & innovation, Fjällräven

Henrik Andersson, head of design & innovation, Fjällräven

What did you learn from this experience? Will it inspire you in designing the rest of Fjällraven collections in the future?
HA
: It is not entirely new. We strive to minimize our spill and to use our resources in the best way, practices we have been familiar with for a long time at Fjällräven. In Samlaren we certainly took this a step further by using only leftover materials and colors. For sure, we learned that clear restrictions can actually foster creativity and force us to find ways we may not have thought of.

How might the next Samlaren collections evolve?
HA
: It will depend on what materials we have on stock. Products could be rather similar or venture into new areas and fields of use. Our long-term goal is to limit the need of this concept by becoming even better at minimizing leftover materials.

Greenland jacket from Fjällräven's Samlaren collection

Greenland jacket from Fjällräven’s Samlaren collection

Fjällräven says it makes every effort to act responsibly towards people, wildlife and the environment, and take an interest in outdoor life. How does it achieve all this?
Christiane Dolva Törnberg (CDT): To put it simply–we love nature and our mission is to get people out to walk with nature. And we know that spending time outdoors is good for us. That’s why we focus on acting responsibly. We do that by carefully scrutinizing everything we do to ensure we minimize our negative impact and, whenever possible, be a force for positive impact. That means treating sustainability not as a separate concept but rather have it as a core principle guiding everything we do. That could be ranging from how we create and design products, what materials we choose, how we work with our partners in the supply chain and how we communicate with those who use our products.

Christiane Dolva Törnberg, head of sustainability, Fjällräven

Christiane Dolva Törnberg, head of sustainability, Fjällräven

What other future projects or products on the same sustainable track will Fjällräven focus on?
CDT
: To a certain extent the best we can do is to integrate environmental considerations into every single product we launch. And we do that with a focus on material choices, repairability, durability and phasing out substances of concern such as PFC treatments. Everything we do has an impact. It is important to realize that, and that we can do a lot to ensure that our impact is as small as possible. With that comes hard work across all products, but also innovations and specific projects such as Samlaren. Examples are our EcoShell line with shell garments impregnated without the use of PFCs, Re-Kånken made from recycled PET bottles and other similar projects. One highlight for us is our recovered wool concept made with wool that would otherwise have gone to waste in Sweden. We use it in new, innovative ways in our products.

Samlaren tote bag by Fjällräven

Samlaren tote bag by Fjällräven

Are consumers behaving differently or more environmentally consciously of late, especially after the arrival of the pandemic?
CDT
: I am not sure if Covid-19 has given us any specific examples of consumer behaviors, apart from obviously buying more via e-commerce. We do also see a lot more people discover that spending time in nature is a great activity, perhaps forced by restrictions due to the pandemic. But in general they are interested in investing in products that last and that have a conscious approach to sustainability and are coming from brands with values they’ve been able to identify with for some time. We are happy to see that this interest is constantly increasing.

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