Wool has always been one of Fjällräven’s core materials. But like most outdoor brands, it used it to craft baselayers and sweaters. But a few seasons ago Fjällräven decided to try using wool in different ways - as jacket padding and to create a moulded backpack backplate – and it’s so pleased with the results,
it’s bringing wool to its most popular family: Kånken. Kånken Re-Wool will be available in stores from November 2020.
For fall & winter 2020, Fjällräven has used recycled wool, what it calls Re-Wool, to create this new, special edition Kånken. It’s made from a combination of G-1000 HeavyDuty Eco S and a wool mix fabric that consists of 80% pre-consumer recycled wool from Prato, Italy and 20% recycled nylon for enhanced strength.
"The weave type is called Melton,” says Fredrik Hyltén, Fjällräven’s Hardwear Designer. “It was first developed in Britain and used for its durability and weather resistant qualities. It has a smooth, felt-like surface. We feel it gives Kånken a lot of personality while telling a really great story about recycled wool.”
And that recycled wool story is pretty special. The wool is mainly pre-consumer leftovers that’s colour sorted, shredded and re-spun. This means it saves water and energy, because there’s no need to redye it and it also uses up a ‘waste’ material. Read more about Fjällräven’s Re-Wool here.
“We used to focus on the end functionality and sourced wool based on that,” says Christiane, Head of Sustainability at Fjällräven. “Now, instead of taking the product as a starting point, we take the raw material as the starting point and see what we can do with it. We’re realising that wool can be a lot more than baselayers and knitted sweaters.” Fjällräven now uses so much recycled wool, the Textile Exchange has listed Fjällräven as one of the top 10 brands for its use of recycled wool by volume. But recycled wool is just part of the sustainable wool story at Fjällräven.
Fjällräven uses a range of wool types so functionality isn’t compromised while sustainability is maintained throughout the supply chain. In addition to using up ‘waste’ material though recycled wool and recovered wool, the other key aspect of sustainability Fjällräven focuses on is traceability. If you know where your wool is coming from, you can be sure sustainability within animal welfare, society and the environment is enforced. And Fjällräven believes sourcing from many different places is the best way to ensure long-term sustainability and a resilient supply chain.
“Instead of focusing on one type of wool, we’ve gone in multiple directions to serve different purposes. For long-term sustainability, I think it’s important to have this approach. You can tailor it to what you need and make the system even more resilient,” says Christiane. “But our main priority is traceability to ensure high animal welfare standards and land management practices that protect the environment.”
Fjällräven wants to support those farms that are working well in terms of animal welfare and land management. That’s why it works with ZQ Wool for sourcing fine merino wool, Swedish recovered wool – which is also using up ‘waste’ wool from the meat industry – for rougher wool that’s ideal insulation material and why it collaborates with Swedish farm Brattlansgården for fine quality wool and holistic land management practices. In all these examples, Fjällräven has full traceability in its supply chain.
“In the future, I think we will work even more with virgin wool that has a positive impact through regenerative agriculture and land management,” says Christiane. “And because traceability is important, as it encompasses animal welfare and environmental sustainability, we want to use more recovered wool and stimulate the market for this kind of wool in countries where it’s still thrown away.”