Sweden is a country of fashionable people who mostly favor natural fabrics over synthetic ones. The country even allows a casual dress code in the office, permitting employees to explore all types of styles. As a result, many clothing brands compete for a slice of the market share, but some brands are preferred to others due to how long-lasting, environmentally friendly, and tasteful their products are. Therefore, below is a list of the ten best Swedish clothing brands you should know.
According to the Fjällräven site, this clothing brand was born out of Ake Nordin’s vision of making nature accessible to more people. Since Nordin grew up in deep forests, he explored nature, and the need to have a backpack that would carry all of his gear led to the birth of Fjällräven. The first product he ever made was a wooden-framed backpack. However, when launching his clothing brand, he created an aluminum-framed backpack. Fjällräven has since become the go-to brand for anyone looking for high-quality clothes and gear for the ultimate outdoor experience.
Tretorn’s founding was inspired by the harsh weather conditions farmers had to endure in Sweden. The company, therefore, began by making galoshes (waterproof shoes made from rubber) in 1891. The designs were so innovative that the galoshes quickly became popular, encouraging Tretorn to make its first sneakers, specifically for tennis players, in 1900. In 1903, the brand made the first rubber boot for use by farmers, and in 1930 Tretorn produced its first canvas shoes. The clothing has a reputation for making long-lasting products – the rain boots do not leak or crack after years of wear. It is no wonder that in 1915, King Gustav appointed Tretorn to the Swedish Royal Court.
According to Nordic Perspective, Haglöfs is the largest outdoor gear manufacturer in northern Europe. Its story began in 1914 when Wiktor Haglöf, a Swedish carpenter, made a small backpack to withstand long journeys and adverse weather conditions. He used a sewing machine borrowed from a neighbor and sold the backpack to farmers and school children. It was an instant hit enabling Haglöf’s business to expand and hire employees to help with product distribution. In 1975 the brand included products that met the changing demands of customers.
In 1896, Johannes Nilsson began weaving fabrics from linen and cotton and selling them to stores in Gothenburg. In 1910, he shifted to knitting on a small scale, and in 1943, Nilsson’s son took over and named the factory Nilssons Trikafabrik. After the second world war, the business started importing machines from Germany to facilitate production and focused on knitting different products such as mittens, socks, sweaters, and beanies. However, since the 1970s, beanies have been the major product thanks to Ingemar Stenmark, a Swedish skier who took the beanies to an international level through the “Stenmark cap.”
5. House of Dagmar
This clothing brand is fairly new compared to the rest since it is only 16 years old. It evolved from a collaboration of three sisters: Kristina Tjäder, Sofia Wallenstam, and Karin Söderlind. The siblings wanted to continue with the legacy of their late grandmother, Dagmar, who was a model and tailor. A year after the clothing brand was launched, ELLE awarded House of Dagmar the “New Designer of The Year” prize. In 2011, the sisters won The Guldknappen Award, the most prestigious design award in Scandinavia. House of Dagmar is one of the few clothing brands that focus on sustainability.
Daniel Mand told Men’s Fashion Magazine that his clothing brand aims to make clothes that transcend seasons. He added the clothes blend well with whatever else you have in your wardrobe. With such a mission, it is no wonder that Elvine is on the list of the best Swedish clothing brands you should know. Mand founded the company in 2001 and named it after his grandmother who was a seamstress.
The story of Hestra began in 1936 when Mats Magnusson, a farmer, moved to Hestra and began making gloves for the lumberjacks in the area. When a ski slope was made nearby, skiers started visiting the area, and Magnusson seized the opportunity to make gloves for them. The entrepreneur’s sons also became skiers, and when they took over the family business, their focus was making gloves for skiers. Production expanded, and Hestra sells over two million gloves annually in more than 30 countries. The brand has subsidiaries in the United States, Germany, and Norway.
Tierra dates back to 1983 when Anders saw there was good business in making outdoor clothing. Its notable achievement was when the clothing brand made clothes for an expedition to Mount Everest in 1991, yet it lacked experience in the field. The success of that challenge endeared Tierra to continue making strides by believing that nothing was impossible. By 2002, it had made clothes for an expedition to the North Pole. The name of the clothing brand stems from the three climatic zones in the Andes, South America. Its connection to the mountains resulted in Tierra making clothes that can last long no matter the weather in the Scandinavian region.
Roland Hjort founded Whyred in 1998 with business partners Jonas Clason and Lena Patriksson. According to an interview with Refinery29, Hjort worked as the head designer in the contemporary menswear range at H&M. He then moved to London in 1994 to work as a designer for an Italian brand. Hjort disclosed that his clothes are made with functionality in mind, and he vowed never to imitate any other brand.
Anton Sandqvist was a civil engineer who got tired of the monotony in his job. He bought an industrial sewing machine hoping to tap into his creative side in a quest to challenge himself. In 2004, he created a bag that would fulfill his needs after failing to find one in the market. It took him 30 hours to finish making the bag, and once done, everyone wanted to know where he had bought it. Sandqvist began by making 100 bags and after 18 months, had 15 retailers nationwide. By 2010, he had quit his job to focus on his business. Today, the bag label is known for its durable bags and backpacks.
Written by Lily Wordsmith
Read more posts by Lily Wordsmith