Why is Fjällräven so expensive?

Why is Fjällräven so expensive?


The history of Fjallraven begins a lot like
most other outdoor apparel company origin stories: with a young adventurer unsatisfied
with their gear. In this case, the adventurer is a twenty-something
Swede named Ake Nordin, who was frustrated with the clunky wooden backpacking frames
of an older generation. And so in 1960, nestled in a town in Sweden’s
High Coast, Ake began to tinker with alternative designs, eventually creating what became his
first aluminum framed backpack. Ake sold this first backpack and the Fjallraven
brand was born. Soon after, outdoor enthusiasts exploded onto
the scene in the 1970s, and as a result, Fjallraven became a mainstay in the Swedish outdoor community. Slowly, as their famous Greenland Jacket gave
way to other popular gear like the Kanken backpack, the company transformed into a global
outdoor brand. And at the core of the Fjallraven lies a deep
commitment to the natural world. Much like its counterpart Patagonia, Fjallraven
sells high-quality adventure gear at sometimes jaw-dropping price points. But, for both, this price point is often justified
by their ethics and attention to quality. So, is Fjallraven actually an eco-conscious
company like they claim? And does that justify their price? Fjallraven’s approach to sustainability
really started 25 years ago, in 1994, with the arctic fox, which just so happens to be
the logo of their company and the English translation of Fjallraven. As climate change began to drastically alter
the Scandinavian habitat, these cute little animals began to disappear from the landscape,
and by 1994 there were between 40-80 arctic foxes left in Scandinavia. So, Fjallraven did the only thing they thought they could. They partnered up with the EU and
sponsored research and conservation efforts for the arctic fox. Since then the fox’s numbers have climbed
to over 200! Although this could be seen as a marketing
ploy, these values are also central to the creation of their product line. Especially now, as Fjallraven pours its attention
into creating products like the Re-Kanken. A completely environmentally-friendly overhaul
of the wildly popular Kanken backpack. The Re-Kanken is woven from a single yarn
made of 11 plastic bottles, which allows the backpack to eventually be recycled at the
end of its use. Fjallraven was also the first to utilize the
SpinDye process in their production line, which allows pigment to seep into threads
by spinning and dying them simultaneously. Apparently, this process uses 75% less water,
67% fewer chemicals and 39% less energy. And now, Fjallraven is transitioning that
production technique to its other products. In addition, it’s removed PFCs, a chemical
pollutant used to waterproof outdoor gear, from all of its apparel, and drafted a Code
of Conduct for suppliers that prioritize animal welfare, workers rights, and sound environmental
practices. So, Fjallraven is undoubtedly doing a lot
to minimize their environmental impact, but they are still a for-profit company. At the end of the day, they’re trying to
make money. So do their ethical actions justify their
product’s price? When you walk into a typical Fjallraven store,
you’re confronted with two things, well-made products, and a big price tag. Flip over the tag for a bag like the Re-Kanken
and you’ll find a large 90 next to the dollar sign. Or if you’re looking to buy one of their
Greenland down jackets you’ll be out 500 dollars. Unfortunately, Fjallraven doesn’t publicly
disclose how much they spend on materials and labor, so it’s hard to say exactly how
much of a profit they are making. Their price point seems to be guided by a
combination of the cost of quality long-lasting materials, their commitment to the environment,
and also the upcharge that a recognized brand can incur. In my opinion, if you are looking for new
gear and you have enough money to spare, Fjallraven is a good bet because it’s firmly committed
itself as an industry leader in eco-conscious production. The unfortunate truth is that it takes more
time, effort, and money to create socially responsible and environmentally ethical apparel,
and Fjallraven is doing what it can be given the restraints of an unsustainable industry. But really, as I talked about in my Patagonia
video, the most eco-friendly and cheapest thing you could do would be to buy used gear
or better yet to not buy at all.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

100 Comments

  1. To be clear, the most eco-conscious this you can do is to not buy anything. This is if you want to buy something and you want to buy new. So, what do you all think? Is Fjällräven worth the price? If you own something from Fjällräven, let me know whether you like it or not. (edit: sorry to all Swedes. I butchered the pronunciation of Fjällräven. Here's how you really pronounce it: https://youtu.be/8dcI32pdaqM?t=46)

  2. Why is it bad that a brand tries to make money if they at the same time try to make it environment-friendly? It is even a good thing to be profitable to be able to produce further products in the future.

  3. are they including the environmental costs of production in the price? as in, internalizing the externality onto the consumer?

  4. Okay ngl had one of these for a year from the official site and used it for school. That bag broke after a year. Compared to my thrifted backpack this was pretty sad. Anyone else have a problem like this?

  5. I suspect it's more popular now thanks to its price point which most people equate to a status symbol rather than people knowing it's history or message.
    All these companies claim to be Eco friendly, nature focused and have the best technology…I have no issue with the bags but some of the models don't seem particularly very comfortable though

  6. A girl in my class has one, she’s always bragging about it.
    She’s always saying, “It’s good for the environment, that’s why I got it.” Yet, she LITERALLY buys 2-3 water bottles per day from the high school canteen.

    😤

  7. Why does the app «good on you», that’s supposed to let people know how environmentally friendly different companies are, rate Fjällraven as low?

  8. Expensive is when the products value is not justified by the price. These backpacks are not expensive because the value is so great. Same with their $200+ coats. You get what you pay for. It’s quality stuff!

  9. theres a girl my class who has one and doesn't even take it too school because "it looks weird"
    tbh she the brattiest girl
    i would die to have one

  10. I have had my Kanken backpack since early 2016 so it's been about 4 years now and that thing is still going strong. No signs of compromise or wear; jusg a little dirty. Definitely worth the price.

  11. Wow. My soon-to-be stepdad bought me a $300 backpack that didn’t even last a three years. He should’ve bought this instead.

  12. I love my Kanken, I’ve had mine for 3 years and the straps are still looking like new. I think it’s worth pay more for quality. Unfortunately there is a very thin line between paying for quality and paying for a name. Luckily fjallraven sit just behind that line unlike some company’s (Micheal Kors, Gucci, Calvin Klein, off white). I didn’t mind paying £100 for my bag because it’s so good, I wouldn’t recommend it more

  13. I have a Fjallraven that I use for school, I've had it for four years now and it is in perfect condition still. I did not know all the ecological values behind it. I'm glad to know, however I still find it very expensive, mine was 150$ CAD before taxes.

  14. Fjallraven :
    Release 90 bucks bagpack

    People :
    Omg why so expensive?

    Chanel:
    Release 5000 bucks small hand bag

    People:
    That’s cheap and worth to buy, let’s buy it!! It’s fashion!!

  15. See I have the Fjallraven Rucksack No.21, so I feel cool for having a Fjallraven backpack but I dont feel basic because its not the typical small square one every girl has. Ive had it for 7 years and this bitch is still kicking it strong!!!!!
    I used it for senior year of highschool, college, and now its my work bag fro my full time job, worth the price

  16. U know that the Jackets dont cost alot of money for nortic brands, 66 dergrees north jackets go for over 600 us dollers. Cus thats wat u need in Iceland/Finnland/Norway and Sweden, u need a good jackets and thats just what they cost:)

  17. I feel ashamed for owning a Kanken just for school now

    But hey, My clumsy ass spills water often and it doesn’t soak my books so fight me

  18. This dudes never been shopping for outdoor gear lol… $300-$500 for a high quality jacket is a fair price for something that will last you years. The fact that it's made environmentally ethically is even better. There's nothing wrong with being a for-profit company if it is done responsibly. It seems that is what they doing.

    But sure, go buy the second-hand, $20 dollar, sourced from chinese child labor jacket instead and tell yourself you are part of the solution

  19. Fjällräven: This is outdoor gear that helps the enviorment!
    VSCO girls: SKSKSKSKSKKS and i oop- now i have somewhere to place my hydroflask!

  20. I love mine, I use it so much that it feels strange if i wear a normal handbag/shoulder bag. Definitely a great investment!

  21. Yeah so I’m from Sweden, and my mom is 46. When she was 9 yrs old fjäll räven was the like the Adidas nowadays. She had one of these backpacks. I’m 12 and I’m still using moms 37 yrs backpack of Fjäll räven.

  22. i feel like im the only one who thinks the fjallraven backpack is ugly and not practical? the big pocket is so tiny! I have a 15in laptop! It will never work for me!! And for backpacking, I have my camelback!

  23. In Bulgaria we use a lot of old soviet era heavy duty canvas and leather backpacks and the military dufflebag the (мешка)

  24. I have one Fjällräven backpack 13” and I use it as a school bag. I think it’s really cool as a backpack as it comes with many colour. Normally I just carry the laptop only, however its capacity is not as large as Doughnut. Doughnut bag has multiple pockets and Fjällräven has only one pocket which is not so convenient. Doughnut bag is way more comfortable to be carried and it comes with many colours too.If you don’t want to spend so much money for a school bag I will recommend Doughnut bag. But keep in mind that if you are not going to carry laptop in Doughnut bag, the shape of the bag will become really weird.

  25. 15$ bag, used it 5 years at university. Perfect quality, perfect space organization, nothing to complain about. I understand their attencion for the environment but the price cannot be justified by the quality of their products.

  26. I recently got a black kånken ( the classic ) for school (Ik not the point of the bp) but I also use it when I’m going out and don’t wanna take an actual “bp” and it’s a really good bp accept that it gets dirty easy and it gets “scratched” very easy and it’s hard to pull books out , the backpack itself is very pretty and good for outdoors but if you’re school isn’t outdoorsy (what the backpack was made for) maybe get a different backpack?? Idk I’m still gonna but more bcz they’re really pretty 😂😭

  27. So I am in the middle of an exam and part of it is doing some research on outdoor brands. If you could fill this short survey it would be a great help!
    Here is the link: https://forms.gle/aLExQdAQaTBVo6Sh7
    Thank you in advance 😉

  28. The low price and high quality (which are not mutually exclusive) will be more helpful for the environment. So people will buy less of the same product instead go for the dividend market and eventually buy more then they need. For example, the kanken like product could start from 10% of the original price. What happened when people have a lot of chooses? They buy from the cheapest one they can afford and go upgrade when they can(because company like Fjällräven created this kind end game goal for them ). Eventually, they just end up buying a lot and waste a lot.

  29. Stop whingeing about the price – if you want quality then learn TO PAY FOR IT!!!!!! You buy cheap – you buy twice it’s that simple

  30. This video would be a lot better if it actually included a breakdown of materials and labor costs. Something being expensive does not make it either high quality or sustainable.

  31. Wore the same actual piece of green Fjällräven backpack my entire school time, from 1st grade through highschool, for a total of 12 years in 1970ies and 80ies. It was not hip at the time. That is what sustainability as opposed to buy & discard is about. Kudos to your channel.

  32. Why are there barely any comments about vs- and I oop- ….. Vsc – sksks
    😐
    Lmao I'm so sorry this is so cringe worthy 😂

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