Fjällräven Uses Leftover Fabric for Its New Product Line

It's aptly called Samlaren, which means 'gatherer' in Swedish.

Samlaren fabric scraps


When clothes are made, scraps are left behind. These bits and pieces litter the floors of factories and fabric mills, and are discarded upon cleanup. But sometimes, if a designer or company is willing to think creatively, they can turn these small, irregularly-shaped pieces into something new.

This is what Swedish outdoor gear retailer Fjällräven is now doing with a new product line called Samlaren, whose name translates to "gatherer" in English. It uses leftover and surplus G-1000 fabric scraps to make new jackets, hats, and backpacks. Not only does this practice divert waste from landfill, but it creates items that are on par with the company's conventional offerings. 

Samlaren women's jacket
Samlaren women's jacket.


A press release reassures buyers that "all pieces offer the same high level of functionality, durability and reliability that can be expected from any Fjällräven product but with upcycled materials and elevated design." (In other words, even better and way cooler!) The leftover fabrics are "carefully combined, in numbered limited editions with unique designs and playful color combinations." 

Fjällräven says this keeps with a tradition established by company founder Åke Nordin in 1964: "[He] stowed away a roll of fabric that didn't make the cut during the development of his ground-breaking Thermo Tent. A few years later, the very same roll of fabric was used to make the first legendary Greenland Jacket." That same Greenland design is what the company is using for its Samlaren line.

Samlaren men's jacket
Samlaren men's jacket.


Fjällräven's global creative director Henrik Andersson said the idea for Samlaren came from having stock levels of fabrics that "could not be used in the normal run of productions, this due to variation in color, limited quantities or similar. We really wanted to find use for these fabrics." As a result, the collection is designed entirely around what is available, rather than what people want. 

"We try to be as clever as possible when putting the fabrics together. For some fabrics we have very small quantities, meaning the production run will be very limited. The process is both simple and complex at the same time, a little challenging but very rewarding."

The long-term goal, however, is not to need Samlaren forever because waste fabrics would be minimized in the production process – the best kind of built-in obsolescence. But until then, this is a great solution to repurposing hard-to-use leftovers. Andersson continued, "We are reviewing the stock levels on leftover fabrics regularly, and will launch products somewhat frequently, maybe once a year. But it may be more or less frequent, depending on both what leftover fabrics get stocked, and how we can work with them."

Samlaren backpack
Samlaren Kanken backpack.


Christiane Dolva Törnberg, head of sustainability, said this reflects what people want. "It is very encouraging to see that more and more customers are asking the right questions before their purchase. We can definitely see an increased interest on the topic sustainability and that people are turning towards more sustainable products." 

A product made from repurposed fabric is certainly more appealing than one made from virgin material, and no doubt Samlaren will find an eager clientele. You can see the new line here, which launched on March 1, 2021.