A sit down with Fjallraven: Q&A
Yellow Wood: Hello! Let's start out by having your introduce yourself and describe your role at Fjallraven.
Hello! My name is Stephanie Bunker and I am the Sales and Marketing Coordinator of Fjallraven, North America.
YW: Give us a brief background on the Fjallraven brand. Why a fox?
Fjallraven is Swedish for Artic Fox. We were born in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden where Åke Nordin sought to improve the cumbersome, dysfunctional outdoor gear of the time.
YW: The brand has seemingly exploded in the US market in recent years. Where did that come from?
I believe this comes from two things. First, the Kånken! This clean, simply designed backpack comes in a multitude of colors and different sizes. The Kånken really
introduced Fjallraven to most of North America. Second, is our heritage. I believe seeing the brand on the streets of NY or Boston was a fun walk down memory lane for folks who grew up in Sweden, or whose parent’s grew up there. Staying true to our roots, we have many styles that are the same or adapted from our original pieces. We are creating sustainable, durable, and functional outdoor gear, not chasing trends.
YW: If there is one, what single item tells the Fjallraven story - past, present and future?
Our Greenland collection celebrates 50 years this year. Within that collection is our Raven Jacket. The Raven has been a quintessential piece and is timeless.
YW: G-1000 is legendary. For those who don't know what it is, can you explain it and how it can elevate one's outdoor experience?
G-1000 is a cotton/polyester blended fabric impregnated with wax for natural water protection. Åke was in need of a lightweight, durable fabric that would dry easily, but still resist moisture. By applying a coast of a beeswax/paraffin mixture, he used his wife’s hairdryer to integrate into the fabric to create a water resistant, windproof material. It can be applied while you are on the trail for additional protection, and doesn’t need nasty chemicals to be protective. We believe in it and today we have 6 different types of G-1000 for the different climates and activities.
YW: What's coming down the pipeline right now that you're really excited about?
Pants! We’ve been making pants for years, but our pant line is expanding, especially for women. With updated cuts and amazing material, our pants are built to withstand. The only legging you’ll find me in on the trail is our Trekking Tight. I have a few other favorites though…Kebs, Abisko Light Trekking Trousers...
YW: What's the general focus of your efforts right now?
We want people to get excited about being outside! Fjallraven is not about getting the highest the fastest. We want people to experience the outdoors, whether it’s walking through the park or a week long backpacking trip, we have the gear for it and want people to be confident in their purchases. Educating people on what to pack, how to layer, where to go is just as important as your on trail snack selection. We aren’t just about providing the product, we want to provide the experience.
YW: What sets Fjallraven apart?
Dedication. Since 1950, we have been creating sustainable, durable, and functional outdoor equipment. We continue to create the incredible gear, but aim to do as little harm to our environment as possible. We have our own goose farms to ensure our down is completely traceable and of the highest quality for our parkas. Reducing waste in design, production, and end use of product is important to be sustainable. If we want to continue to enjoy the outdoors, we have to act responsibly in how our industry affects it.
YW: If there's one activity the brand performs best with, what is it?
Trekking! That can be as far as you want to go, at whatever pace you are comfortable with. Up the mountain, around the lake, or a stroll through the city, trekking is what you make it.
YW: Fjallraven has become a lifestyle brand just as much as it is an outdoor brand. Was that intentional?
Fashion is a form of expression. Wearing Fjallraven says more than “I like to spend time outdoors.” It says that you believe in caring for the Earth, making conscious choices, and educated purchases. Pairing great colors with great product makes it sense to incorporate into your lifestyle.
YW: Describe Fjallraven and all that it can offer consumers in a few words.
Oye, this is tough to put into a few words. I’ll answer this in regards to what Fjallraven has offered me. Experience, enlightenment, and excitement. (Unintentionally all starting with “e”!) We live in a fast paced competitive world and Fjallraven has reminded me to enjoy where I am in the moment. Take in the view, the deep breathes, the distance you’ve traveled and what lies ahead. Stop rushing and enjoy the time it takes to get there, wherever it is.
YW: What makes Fjallraven employees laugh?
Margaritas. We’ve been known to enjoy a few.