There are some brands which just fit with our beliefs here at Nordic Outdoor and Houdini Sportswear is the perfect example of this. After stocking the brand for a brief period back in 2019 we are delighted to have them back in Nordic Outdoor for Spring Summer 2022 – the new collection is stuffed full of innovative outdoor products which have been constructed in the most sustainable manner imaginable. Houdini are a label who take their responsibility seriously and are committed to creating product which will not only enhance our experience of the outdoor but also act as a beneficial impact to the environment.
Who are Houdini Sportswear?
To understand what the Houdini brand represents we need to take a closer look at their history and what has helped form Houdini’s views of the world. The story of Houdini traces back to when a young Lotta Giornofelice was working in Chamonix as a climbing and off piste ski instructor and guide. During her time spent out on the mountain she identified a distinct lack of clothing which was expressly designed for stop-start activities where it was essential to keep muscle groups warm during the ’down periods’ without them overheating during high intensity activities.
Seeing the potential opportunity to improve the outdoors experience Lotta began working on a small collection of clothing designed for use by her local outdoor climbing community and others using the mountains. At this time an outdoor company run by a woman was unusual in the outdoor community but this didn’t phase Lotta who released her first small Houdini collection in 1993 with the help of American textile manufacturer Malden Mills (later Polartec) and a local tailor in Stockholm.
As soon as this first collection was released the response was immediate – people loved the introduction of functional outdoor clothing with a stylish and minimal aesthetic. Due to this the brand moved production to a much larger operation and the brand was truly born.
Since those early days Houdini Sportswear have become one of the best known and most loved outdoor brands in Scandinavia. While Lotta no longer is involved in the day-to-day operations at Houdini, her spirit and commitment to innovation still runs through everything Houdini do. The brands determination to be a positive impact on the world can be seen in the brands manifesto;
We are driven by a deep love for nature and the experiences it gives us. We also believe that nature has an intrinsic value, regardless of human needs.
We acknowledge that human activities have created a dire situation for the planet we live on. Companies have a big part in this, and therefore a big responsibility.
The current system, where products are produced, used and discarded at an ever increasing pace, is not working. Our mission is to transform into a circular system in harmony with our world. Nature itself is the blueprint.
Every resource we use is borrowed from nature and we will therefore treat it carefully.
We will fight overconsumption. We will contribute to the development and implementation of sustainable technology.
We will collaborate with others and share our knowledge.
We will speak for nature when no one else does.
We will question our own way of working and evolve to address the challenges we face.
We will encourage free thinking and individuality among ourselves.
Environmental, social and economic factors are interdependent and system change depends on all of them.
Our work is fuelled by passion and therefore we take our passions seriously.
We will keep exploring the world around us.
When it snows, we will go skiing.
When there’s surf, we will go surfing.
We will keep falling in love with nature, and we will bring our friends with us.
We will never stop having fun.
We will keep working to minimize our negative footprint, move beyond zero, and leave an entirely positive impact on the world.
Are Houdini a sustainable brand?
In short – Yes! Sustainability runs through everything that Houdini Sportswear do and they have cemented their place as one of the most innovative brands on the planet when it comes to sustainability and making a positive impact to the world around us.
As a flagbearer for sustainability the brand have been making moves to more sustainable production long before it was a buzzword – in fact only two years after the brand was formed in 1993 ‘Houdini Repairs’ was introduced with an aim to extend the lifespan of your Houdini products.
In 2001 Houdini put a marker in the sand with their ‘Part of the Solution’ commitment – deciding if the brand could not be a part of the solution but would be a part of the problem, they would close the company down. Following this commitment, the sustainability focus of Houdini has been front and centre of everything they do and is intrinsically linked with each collection.
From partnering with Bluesign in 2009 (only 7 years after the concept of Bluesign was created) to creating their first biodegradable products in 2010 the Swedish outdoor brand has always been at the forefront of sustainable innovation in the outdoor clothing community.
While the brand has always used innovative ideas such as the Houdini Menu or Opensource Garments to highlight their commitment to sustainability, it is this year that the brand have reached a true milestone in their bid to become the most environmentally friendly outdoor brand there is. For 2022 Houdini have reached Sustainability Status: 100% - meaning that 100% of the Houdini collection is recycled, recyclable, renewable, biodegradable or Bluesign certified. While the 100% status may make you think that Houdini are finished on their mission to be more sustainable – you would be wrong. This is just the beginning for the Swedish outdoor brand and we can’t wait to see the new and innovative ways they approach this problem in the future to create a more circular and sustainable economy.
Key products for Spring Summer 2022
As the brand returns to Nordic Outdoor for Spring Summer 2022 we have been delighted to see some of the brands staples and long term favourites return, along with a smattering of new and innovative outdoor styles. We’ve picked out three of our favourites from the new collection below for you to have a look at and find out a little more on.
Houdini Womens Power Houdi
Probably the most iconic style in the Houdini collection is the brands Power Houdi. Having been around now for almost 20 years this is a style which has seen minimal changes since its introduction in 2003. Constructed using Polartec’s Power Stretch Pro fabric, the Houdi is cozy, warm and comfortable while remaining near indestructible. Created for year round adventure the Power Houdi can be worn underneath a shell jacket on the slopes, taken climbing or worn just how it is in the city. The extended sleeves feature thumb loops to keep your hands warm and the high collar and tight fitting hood will help you beat the elements in colder weather.
The Houdini Power Houdi is Bluesign approved which requires the garment to be vetted by a third party to eliminate any harmful chemicals or substances right from the beginning of the production process.
Sometimes you need a new solution to an age old problem – introducing ‘The Square’ by Houdini. A modern alternative to the classic waterproof shell pants the Square is an ultra minimalistic waterproof unisex shell skirt. Designed to be stuffed in your bag for those days where the weather changes unexpectedly the Square weighs in at only 214g and the wraparound construction makes it incredibly easy to pull on and off.
Designed to eliminate the hassle of pulling on a pair of non-breathable, noisy and uncomfortable shell pants the Square is something for the more adventurous in outdoor style. When it comes to Sustainability the Square is recycled, recyclable, fully circular and Bluesign approved – it pretty much ticks all the boxes.
The One Parka
Houdini have become known for taking classic garments and reimagining them, improving them and putting the ‘houdini twist’ on them. The latest subject of their innovation is the classic parka which has been adopted by everyone from Mods to the US Navy. The Womens One Parka is a breathable, waterproof and lightweight style – designed to keep you stylish and dry year round. By removing the lining Houdini have reduced the weight of the classic parka and made it a year round style perfect for the Summer or with enough room underneath to wear warm baselayers for insulation. The minimalist design screams Houdini and the longer cut means that you will stay dry in even the worst of sideways rain.
Much like The Square, the One Parka ticks all of the boxes when it comes to being a sustainable product. Recycled, recyclable, fully circular and Bluesign approved – you can wear this one guilt free year round.
Where can I get Houdini Sportswear?
We’ve now taken delivery of the first of our Spring Summer selection from Houdini and it is available online now at Nordic Outdoor. If you want to get hands on with the garments then there is a selection available in our St James Quarter, Keswick or Bruntsfield store. Give us a call on 0131 552 3000 or send an email to [email protected] if there is a particular style you are looking for.