Fjallraven Kanken Art: Free Horizon
The Fjallraven Kanken Art collection is now in its fourth year and continues to grow from strength to strength in its mission to use the iconic Kanken rucksack to bring attention to pressing environmental issues. For Spring Summer 2022 the outdoor powerhouse have toned down the design with the help of Swedish colourist, designer and photographer Tekla Eveline Severin. For the new collection Tekla has taken inspiration from nature and created a range of bags which uses natural lines and colour blocking to create a ‘Free Horizon’.
What is Kanken Art?
The Fjallraven Kanken Art collection was first introduced back in 2019 as part of the brands Arctic Fox initiative. The collection saw the brand link up with several artists who were provided free reign to ‘reimagine’ one of the most iconic rucksacks in the world. In creating these limited and recognisable styles Fjallraven hoped to raise awareness of environmental issues and start a conversation around sustainability and our impact on the natural world.
Since the first Kanken Art collection in 2019 the brand have invited Children’s illustrators, Furniture Designers, Animators and Artists to express their relationship to nature using the Kanken rucksack as their canvas. We have seen designs based around the ocean, the woodlands, the animals and the seasons and each design has highlighted environmental plights in its own unique way. As part of the Arctic Fox Initiative sustainability is at the heart of the Kanken Art collection and continues Fjallraven’s mission to protect and enhance the nature which we love so dearly.
What is the Arctic Fox Initiative?
As a company Fjällräven have always supported good causes and had a deep respect for the natural word. Part of its commitment to leaving “base camp” – whether taken literally at one of its Classic trekking events or metaphorically as a symbol for planet earth – in the condition it found it (or better), the Swedish outdoor brand has supported people and projects that take care of nature or promote an outdoor lifestyle.
In 1994 Fjällräven began supporting research into the Arctic Fox which is the brands namesake (Fjällräven translates to arctic fox in Swedish). Through working with a team of scientists from Stockholm University the brand has helped to create awareness of the plight of the Scandinavian Arctic Fox. Christiane Dolva who is the brands head of sustainability spoke further about the brands environmental commitment;
“Since the 1990s we’ve been involved in different projects that support the arctic fox and we’ve learned that climate change is part of the challenge threatening our namesake. So for us it has become a symbol for doing our bit to preserve nature. We figured that we can do a lot, but together we can do even more,”
“This is why we started the Arctic Fox Initiative, to expand the scope of projects we support and to have it as an umbrella for all our efforts in keeping nature in business for generations to come.”
The Arctic Fox project which launched in 2019 is designed to provide a springboard for new products and bright ideas which help protect the environment and inspire more people to spend time in it. The program takes a modern approach to sustainability and making a difference as the funding is decided by a jury and a social media based public voting system and based on the sales of selected products. The goal is to create more involvement in environmental issues in a wider group of people and to realize projects anywhere in the world that make a difference.
Some of the projects which have already received
Fjallraven Kanken Art Free Horizon
The 2022 edition of the Kanken Art collection is entitled ‘Free Horizon’ and sees the Outdoor brand team up with renowned Swedish colourist, designer and photographer Tekla Evelina Severin. Tekla is known for her strong use of colour which forms the starting point of all her work due to its strong power and ability to change meaning dependent on placement and context.
Taking inspiration from the natural world Tekla looked at how the simple beauty of a horizon line could create such a strong composition and she identified with the natural lines, pattern repetitions and symmetry. The question was obvious – what is bigger and more splendid than a straight and open horizon line?
Using the Horizon line as the base for the Kanken Art collection Tekla undertook a lengthy design period with the team at Fjallraven – carefully selecting the detailing on the buttons, trims and zippers. The resulting collection showcased the Free Horizon the three bold and striking colourways; Coast Line – Sky, Poppy Fields – Cotton Sky and Landsort which replicate three horizon lines which can be found across the natural world.
“I was first approached because of how I work visually with composition and colour as a photographer. I was delighted, because Fjällräven and I have similar values about the importance of nature. We are all a part of it and need to take strong actions to protect it. We have a shared belief that design plays a big role in product longevity and sustainability. Not just in terms of its functionality and durability, but in the timeless quality of its visual appearance.
During the process I learned a lot about Fjällräven as a brand, including its heritage and vision. I also learned a lot on a practical level about product development, production timelines and colouring processes for specific materials.”
-Tekla Evelina Severin discussing the Kanken Art collection
Kanken Art and Sustainability
The Kanken Art collection has sustainability at its heart. As part of the Arctic Fox initiative a percentage of proceeds from the sale of each Kanken Art rucksack are fed directly back to causes with environmentalism and sustainability at their core.
Not only this but the Kanken Art collection showcases Sustainability through Longevity thanks to its use of G-1000 material. Fjallraven’s signature material, G-1000 is designed to last in use for many many years and can be easily altered or repaired. Greenland Wax can be used on the Fjallraven Kanken Art collection to provide additional water resistance and this can then be washed off when breathability is more important. Through using such a durable and functional fabric the bag should need replaced on a much more infrequent basis and as we all know the key to reducing the impact of our consumption is simple; buy less.
The Fjallraven Kanken Art ‘Free Horizon’ Collection is now available instore and online at Nordic Outdoor. The new range is available in three sizes, Kanken Original, Kanken Mini and Kanken Laptop 15”.