Didriksons Materials and Sustainability
There is no escaping the fact that the outdoor clothing, and regular clothing, industries account for a lot of pollution and environmental damage in the world today. When you factor in material production, dying practices and the factories putting the items together it all starts to add up. And that’s before we even factor in transport to and from factories and shops and other fairly hefty factors.
Therefore in our opinion we as an outdoor clothing retailer have the very important responsibility of carefully vetting our brands for their sustainability credentials before selling them on to you. We take this duty very seriously, it’s one of the key tenets at the heart of everything we do as a company and we feel obligated to do the research so you don’t have to.
When you buy a product from one of our stores or our website you can rest assured knowing that the brand who produced your item did so in an environmentally responsible manner. Didriksons are one such brand and are a dream to work with due to their transparency throughout their chain of production.
To start with it would be helpful to take a quick rundown of what Didriksons do and why they do it. Regular readers of our blog will know all about how Didriksons got started and if this applies to you we recommend skipping on to the next section!
A brief overview of Didriksons
Didriksons was born from the minds of Hanna and Julius Didrikson in 1913. This husband and wife team both came from poor, rural fishing communities in Sweden. Both had experienced the loss of family members to the sea due to bad equipment and decided they wanted to try and make a difference.
And so Didriksons was born. Over the following years the company worked hard to produce waterproof clothing for commercial fishermen and naturally enough they soon progressed to making waterproof clothing for civilians.
Whilst they may have moved away from commercial fishing, the company never lost sight of its core mission; keeping people warm, dry and comfortable. This is reflected in their company philosophy today; “Don’t challenge the elements, Adapt to them.”
Another core principle that has its roots in their rural fishing beginnings is the respect Didriksons has displayed for our planet and the environment in every step of its production process.
Didriksons Loose Fiber
The debate regarding synthetic versus down padding has been going on in the outdoor clothing industry for decades. Both have their merits but equally their rather hefty downsides. Unless you're willing to pay a premium price, goose down is likely to be sourced using ethically questionable means. Synthetics can be damaging to the environment.
Didriksons latest technological developement attempts to provide a good answer to this! Loose Fiber is a synthetic padding made using up to 75% recycled polyester fibers. This gives all the natural benefits of a down filling at a fraction of the environmental cost. It's easy to clean, insulating and long lasting. Good for the planet, and the geese too!
If you'd like to try it out for yourself it can be found in the Didriksons Stella Coat and the Paul Jacket.
Clean Water Production
Didriksons began their life as a company protecting people from water. Whilst they still do this expertly the 21st century has made it clear that the world’s water is just as in need of protection from us.
The production of outdoor clothing can be incredibly water costly and the dyes used can be dangerous to the environment. Didriksons combats this by only using biodegradable dyes and using innovative production and dying methods.
For example the lining in almost all of Didriksons clothing is dyed using a technique called solution dying. This is less harmful and uses considerably less water than regular dying and allows the garment produced to be considerably more environmentally friendly.
On top of their dying process Didriksons show their commitment to clean water in their membership of the Swedish Chemicals Group, or Kemikaliegruppen, which exists to disseminate the latest info on chemical and environmental issues related to its member companies.
Didriksons make every effort to avoid dangerous chemicals in their production process. Waterproofing in a sustainable fashion can be a bit of a minefield. Whenever Didriksons need to chemically treat an item to waterproof it they are careful to alway use fluorocarbon free chemicals in the process.
Built Sustainably to Last
Another key cornerstone of Didriksons green strategy is very simply building clothing that will stand the test of time. Whilst it may seem counter productive to an outside viewer, Didriksons want their coats to last you decades rather than one or two seasons.
Whether it’s due to workmanship or going out of fashion a huge number of clothes are discarded every year and replaced by more. This takes a huge toll on the environment and is an area a company like Didriksons combats directly.
Thanks to the excellent materials used and the century of experience Didriksons have, a Didriksons product will work well for many years when treated right.
Didriksons are always innovating and coming up with new ways in which to make a positive impact. A fantastic example of this can be found in their latest lines of kids clothing.
Buying kids clothes, especially coats, can be outrageously sore on your wallet. You shell out for a high quality coat for your young adventurers then turn around for 5 minutes and they’ve outgrown it! The answer for many households is to buy cheap and just keep replacing and disposing as the years progress.
Thankfully Didriksons have a brilliant answer to this problem. The sleeves of many of their junior coats can be extended up to a full size, allowing a much longer period of use than their competitors.
Like the adult coats made by Didriksons, the kids coats are built to last as well. When it comes time to pass the coat on to the next member of your family, the name tag features space for plenty of names.
The Manufacturing Process
Whilst the manufacturing of Didriksons products is outsourced, the company takes extremely careful measures to ensure that the requirements and standards of Didriksons are met. THis extends to both quality of product and the environmentally friendly nature of production. It’s also important to Didriksons that the working conditions and quality of life of the workforce responsible for their production is up to scratch.
With this in mind Didriksons have a representative office closely located to their suppliers and manufacturers. This allows Didriksons to ensure that the quality levels and working conditions are up to their very high standards.
To conclude, Didriksons are transparent in their production methods and our customers benefit greatly from this. Their website is full of information on the ways in which they are committed to our planet's health and we recommend taking a look to find out more.
Of course you can always head down to one of our stores or give us a call and we’ll happily talk you through Didriksons or any other brands sustainability credentials.
To read more about sustainability at Nordic Outdoor, take a look at our sustainability statement here.