7 Scandinavian brands share their insights on the future of outdoor culture
In collaboration with Pitti Uomo 2021, we ask 7 Scandinavian outdoor brands to forecast the in-demand outdoor scene that has seen a rise in interest for the last year.
By KAJSA VIKLUND
March 04, 2021
— The love for the outdoors is imbued in our culture and as our mission is to get more people to discover the outdoors we are happy to see the increased interest in this area, states Sara Molnar, CEO of Peak Performance.
The brand says that it’s great to see that the interest in the outdoors and nature is growing since an active lifestyle is fulfilling and gratifying. Even before the pandemic Peak Performance saw an increase in interest for outdoor activity, not just in the Nordics, but throughout Europe and all other international markets.
Longevity, climate and circularity are three of the major pillars in Peak performance sustainability work. Among many things that the brand does to become more sustainable is the UN Fashion charter for Climate, as well as work with The Fabricant, a digital fashion house that enables them to develop parts of their last collection in 3D. The focus on trends for 2021 are products that make the customers feel good — the interest in health and wellness has reached new levels and people are being more conscious in their consumer behaviour.
As for the SS21 collection, the brand believes it brings us back to the roots. The line serves any outdoor activity and the campaign material highlights that feeling of joy from spending time together with your friends and family, whilst enjoying nature and doing multiple summer-related outdoors activities. Function that’s still stylish enough to wear in the city.
Birthed out of the variating, wet, and austere Danish climate, Norse Projects knows the value of adaptation. It has always designed between the urban and outdoor landscape and therefore naturally welcomes the mid-and post-pandemic outdoor boom. Being a Nordic brand, Norse knows and feels the identity of its region.
— Scandinavian outdoor tradition is a vital part of our design inspiration, influencing the choice of materials’ functionality and hand feel. There is a particular understanding in the Nordics that it’s not just about function but about how the product makes you feel, combining the emotional response to the uncompromising performance, explains Tobia Sloth, CEO.
A highlight for the SS21 launch is the Jens Gore-Tex Infinium. Utilising Gore-Tex’s Windstopper technology in a fabric with a recycled outer textile and PFC free DWR, and lined with Octa Mesh insulation, gives a lightweight, insulating but very breathable experience. The Jens is an overshirt/lightweight jacket suitable for layering and comes with pants to tackle rainy biking commutes.
— Across the world, it is clear that our customers need products that will work hard for them, performing in everyday situations, where comfort and usability are essential. Clothing should not be a barrier but help the user to feel confident in any case. Multifunctionality is key, Sloth concludes.
Tretorn is about democratizing outdoor life and making it available for everyone. The pandemic has helped people to realize what nature can offer and Tretorns aim is to show that it doesn’t have to be so hard. The brand is born out of Scandinavian weather which is a very diverse climate. This, the brand says, has made Scandinavian brands versatile and innovative.
Tretorn is not only seeing an increase in interest in outdoor life but also the use of outerwear in the city. Combining function and style has always been a key position for Tretorn and they say that they feel very comfortable in today’s fusion of the two. The opening for a new customer that is curious of the outdoor life lines up well with Tretorns design and philosophy.
— We are implementing new materials, both recycled and bio-based as well as focus on extending the life cycle of each product. We are also looking into repair service for our customers, both in-store and online, explains Filip Weibull Göransson, CMO of Tretorn.
Especially for AW21, Tretorn will put a lot of focus on second layers. Building layers and creating products that correspond to the changes are a big part of the product development process.
According to Jesper Danielsson, Head of Design & Innovation, The increased interest in outdoor culture is driven by two main trends.
— The pandemic has stopped us in our tracks and allowed people to question what is truly important in their lives. Reconnecting to nature and leading a sustainable life has become more important to a significant amount of people. The other driver is not new nor connected to the pandemic. The paradigm of “function informs fashion” has been on display for a long time.
Sustainability is fully engrained in everything Houdini does, from product to business models. Apart from moving towards a 100% circular offer in 2022, the brand is already pulling off some impressive innovative and sustainable work.
— We launched our favourite 2021 product in late 2020 with the Mono Air project. A 100% circular fleece powered by Polartec that sheds 80% less microplastics than a traditional fleece. It was just awarded the Outdoor innovation award for the Mono Air.
The project behind the Mono Air is completely open-source and available for anyone to draw inspiration from, as Houdini believes that the only way to create sustainable change is to collaborate with others,
SWIMS tells us that the interest in outdoor culture will continue to grow as more people are exposed to Nordic brands. The brand believes that the current pandemic will emphasize the importance of being outdoors, and having an active lifestyle after so many people have experienced lockdowns, quarantine and various restrictions to control the virus. The Nordics are known for our connection to nature and here health and well being is connected to the environment and respect for nature. Nordic countries are role models when it comes to this.
— In a sense, it seems like the rest of the world is now adopting the unique lifestyle that Scandinavia is known for – being active and enjoying being outdoors. Style is something we want, and function is something we need. We aim to create modern, functional and great looking products, says Alexander Eskeland, Co-founder.
For SS21 SWIMS are looking forward to launching several new innovative, functional and stylish products, for example, the Terry Stripe Loafers. The Loafer will be perfect for a day at the beach or pool, it’s antimicrobial, non-slip and feels luxurious. The brand will also be launching knit pieces made from recycled plastic bottles and soles made from algae.
Klättermusen told us that they have definitely seen an increase in interest to spend more outdoors and in nature. As a nordic brand, they feel that they have an inherited authenticity since the Nordic countries have a long history of spending time in nature, therefore it’s important to the brand to stay true to that.
— There are lots of new customers educating themselves about the industry, and we all have a part to play in being welcoming and accessible to all outdoor enthusiasts. We certainly hope it continues, there’s room on the mountain for everyone! says Ida Holmen, Global Head of Marketing at Klättermusen.
When it comes to trends, Klättermusen says they will never put fashion over function and their process is to design and refine but they are hoping to be able to balance both. The brand aims to create outerwear that will last a lifetime for customers and represent values that consumers can trust and relate to.
Klättermusen tells us that it will launch a range of existing products this year and among them are the Ansynja Jacket and pants the optimal summer rain jacket made from their well-tested fabric Cutan.
For Norwegian SERAC, the brand has seen a major change in its birthplace culture. The Norwegian outdoor scene has really boomed this year, as people can’t travel abroad or socialize that much. Many Norwegians have taken the opportunity to discover their own country, and such invested more in the outdoor section.
— The Nordics are ”outdoors” in everything we do. Most of us grew up in or in close proximity to the fjords or mountains. It’s a part of our DNA, much more so than most people from the Central European cities. We are sitting on a well of knowledge when it comes to dealing with functional active/outdoor-wear, and we should easily be at the forefront of nailing the next level of purposeful clothing, both on the mountain and in the city, explains founder Tore Mortvedt.
For Serac’s sustainable work, moving all manufacturing to Italy as well as sourcing most of the materials from Italy allows for a significantly lower carbon footprint.
In regards to this summer’s outdoor trends, Mortvedt believes in colours.
— I am guessing we’ll see lots of functional shell pieces around, with playful trims and colours. I feel colours have been asked for a lot, and if there’s something the Nordics are known for outdoor clothing, it’s bright colours.