50 Year Old Fjällräven Wins Sustainability Award


All photos: Fjällräven's FaceBook page

Fjällräven, the Swedish outdoor gear and clothing company, has been celebrating its 50 year birthday of late, with a few prizes picked up for a new eco products. Most recently they scored a Sustainability Award from the Scandinavian Outdoor Group (SOG), for their Eco-Trail jacket which is due to go on sale for the upcoming Summer season of 2011.

The EcoTrail features a fabric they are calling Eco-Shell, which is a three layer waterproof and breathable cloth, made of recycled polyester and is fully recyclable through Teijin's EcoCircle program. But we've seen this before from other companies, so what prompted the SOG jury to comment, "With this jacket Fjällräven takes one step ahead of other environmental-friendly outdoor companies. A truly sustainable solution for an outdoor jacket." ?It might be that in addition to the Eco-Shell material, Fjällräven's Eco-Trail jacket is also 100% flurocarbon free. Fjällräven note that "the fluorocarbon, PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid), is being investigated by the EU as to whether it should be classified as dangerous," and for this reason are phasing out fluorocarbons from all their rainshells. Such chemicals are used in outerwear as a finish on the exterior of the fabric to increase its resistance to water and dirt, kind of like the Teflon non-stick treatment on frypans. These treatments are more commonly referred to as DWR (or durable water repellents). But there are concerns that perfluorinated substances, like PFOA, may have a range of environmental side effects like Impeding reproduction in mammals and being suspected carcinogens.

Thirdly Fjällräven's Eco-Trail jacket is "climate compensated", meaning the company offsets (via Tricorona) the carbon emissions generated by the production and transport of their EcoShell products by funding renewable energy projects certified to WWF's gold standard for carbon offset schemes.

But before the Eco-Trail jacket award was their Keb pants, which last year picked an OutDoor Industry Awards for best new trekking trouser.. The award winning Keb trousers include Fjällräven's G-1000 Eco fabric, which is a blend of recycled polyester and organic cotton (The pants also some nylon reinforcing in extra high wear areas.)

And maybe when their Abisko pack is available for retail sale during the northern summer of this year, it too will garner some awards. This large capacity rucksack is made from 100% recycled nylon fabric, which is said to offer excellent strength and durability.

Not that these are isolated environmental initiatives from Sweden's most respected clothing brand. Take a look around Fjällräven's web pages on corporate responsibility and you'll much more information. Such as their Code of Conduct (PDF). You'll note that Point 8 Wool, feather, leather and other products from animals, refers to a topic we were discussing earlier this week, namely the ethics of down production. The company put it this way: 'Animals shall never be subjected to harsh or cruel treatment. Fjällräven does, for example, not accept: plucking of feathers, including down, from live birds, mulesing of sheep, [or] any product from an animal which has been slaughtered without stunning.'

Fjällräven
More Swedish Eco Outdoor Brands
Klättermusen Will Pay Customers To Recycle Already Recycled Packs
Klättermusen Wins Another Award, For Their Organic Cotton Bilskirner Jacket
Houdini Escapes the Clutches of New Oil With Their Recycled Sportswear

Tags: Clothing | Recycling | Sweden

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