Nature is our biggest source of inspiration. It’s also where we draw our materials from and where the impact of consumption is most keenly felt.
No decision is taken lightly. When considering a material we evaluate its efficiency, functional qualities, chemical composition and the amount we’ll need before making a choice. To help us make a decision, we 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.
Our preferred materials and fibres list
It doesn’t matter how sustainable it is, if a shell material doesn’t keep you dry we won’t consider it. We must balance a material’s functionality and efficiency with its environmental impact. Wherever possible we use organic, renewable and recycled materials. We 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.
We divide our 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 we don’t use, such as PFCs, PVCs and angora wool.
How we manage chemicals
The Fjällräven Chemical Guideline helps us navigate the complicated world of hazardous and banned chemicals. We are constantly updating and revising this list based on new information. This is done with support from the Swedish Chemicals Group – of which we’re members – that’s overseen by the Swedish Research Institute for Industrial and Sustainable Growth (Swerea). They keep us updated on the latest research, legal requirements and chemical information. And, of course, we thoroughly lab-test our products for proof of compliance.
Saying no to fluorocarbons
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 we 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 us the choice is simple. When it comes to impregnation, we just say “no” to fluorocarbons.
Our journey towards becoming PFC-free
However, removing them completely from all parts of our products is challenging. Right now we’re looking into how we can remove PFCs from our zips without losing any functionality. You can read more about this on our blog.
When we use materials of animal origin, such as down, wool and leather, we don’t make any compromises. Animal welfare is our highest priority. This is our promise to you. You can find out more here.
Our down promise
Fully traceable down has been the reality at Fjällräven since 2014. With our Down Promise you can rest assured that when you purchase a down product from us, it lives up to our strict animal welfare criteria which amongst other things means no live plucking; that we know exactly where the down comes from and that it is of the highest quality. You can find out more here.