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April 01, 2020

Fjällräven: The cult Swedish outdoor bag brand with a interesting history

Fjällräven bags with their contemporary block colours, durable materials, and the distinctive fox logo branding (Fjällräven means arctic fox in Swedish) have gathered a cult following around the world.

The brand has an interesting history. In the 1950s, in the Swedish town Örnsköldsvik, a 14-year-old boy scout named Åke Nordin decided to invent a new frame for his backpack. The clever teen was tired of his uncomfortable backpack so decided to design and create a better one. He created a wooden frame and used his mother's sewing machine to sew together with a new backpack out of cotton fabric. He was happy with his creation which he found balanced the load weight evenly and had better ventilation between the bag and his back.

Kanken bag

Fjällräven later became known for it's durable, mountain trekking clothing, bags, and equipment. Today, the brand is stocked throughout the world and its bags look good both outdoors and on the streets. Throughout its history, the company has always focused on creating hard-wearing, durable products that last.

blue kanken bag on beach


One of it's most iconic styles is the small Kånken backpack which was developed in 1978, inspired by Swedish shoulder school bags. Empire stocks Kånken backpacks in a wide selection of colours.

black kanken backpack

Fjällräven Kånken - Black

deep red kanken

Fjällräven Kånken - Deep Red

Range of bags and accessories

Empire stocks a wide range of Fjällräven bags and accessories including pocket bags (great keeping passports and wallets safe when travelling), branded keyrings, passport wallets, and gear bags (great to keep a first aid kit or toiletries).

pocket bag

Kånken Pocket Bag - Navy

Kanken Gear Bag

Kånken Gearbag - Dark Grey

Good for the environment

Nature inspires Fjällräven. The brand keeps in mind the environmental impact when developing its products. In 2012 the brand decided to no longer use fluorocarbons. Fluorocarbons are dirt and water-resistant chemical compounds popular in outdoor equipment and clothing, yet damaging to the environment. A number of products use recycled wool and polyester.

Fjällräven set up the Arctic Fox Initiative in 1994, a not-for-profit project that sheds light on the effects of climate change on the Scandinavian arctic fox population. The Swedish arctic fox population is slowly growing due to the funding of the project from the company and the EU.





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