Fjallraven Kanken Art Blog

Sustainability is one of the core tenants here at Nordic Outdoor and the newest initiative from Fjällräven perfectly fits with our key values. For Spring Summer ’19 the Swedish Outdoor brand have introduced their ‘Arctic Fox’ program. The program will use the funding from the sale of selected products to give back to projects that protect and preserve flora, fauna and outdoor life. The first of these special edition products has now arrived at Nordic Outdoor with the release of the limited run Kanken Art Collection which is available In-Store and Online. You can read more about the Arctic Fox Initiative and the Kanken Art Collection below or you can shop the range here.


Fjallraven Arctic Fox Initiative

Fjallraven 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 newly launched Arctic Fox project will provide a springboard for new products and bright ideas which help protect the environment and inspire more people to spend time in it. The new 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.

The first products Fjällräven have produced to support the Arctic Fox Initiative are the limited edition Kanken Art backpacks.


Special Edition Kanken Art

Meet Kanken Art

One of the most iconic Scandinavian designs began life in 1978 when Fjallraven founder Ake Nordin looked to create a simple backpack which would make carrying school gear easier and more comfortable for the population of Sweden. At the time back problems were spreading across Sweden and this simple idea was aimed to tackle this pressing problem in style. Since the first Kanken was released in 1978 the style has grown to become instantly recognisable worldwide and has even been protected by the Svensk Form as a piece of art and a piece of Swedish cultural history.

For Spring Summer ’19 and as a springboard for the newly formed Arctic Fox Initiative Fjallraven commissioned two Swedish artists to produce special edition Kanken prints which have become the new Art Collection.

Kanken Art Collection

Cecilia Heikkilä is a graphic designer who, among other things, has written and illustrated children’s books. Nature and animals are synonymous with her work and her “Fable” design is influenced predominantly by Nordic nature.  “To me, the forest and nature are places for unpredictability and coincidence, in both a dangerous and beautiful way. But I believe that the closer we come to nature, the more we want to protect it. This is what inspired my pattern for Kånken Art,” says Cecilia. For her contribution to the iconic Kanken Cecilia has created a forest animal inspired print which is available in both a green and blue fable colourway.

Erik Olovsson is also a designer working within the fields of product, furniture and graphic design. He runs his own studio in Stockholm, aiming to have an intuitive and experimental starting point for his projects. “Kånken was always around when I was growing up and it’s deeply rooted in my childhood. So it’s been an honour and interesting challenge to work on this project,” says Erik. “I have many memories hiking in the mountains with my family when I was a kid. To experience the shifting landscape and the ever-changing weather that created new sceneries in front of us was something grand and meaningful to me. My Kånken Art is an abstract way of describing the layers of nature connected to my own memories of the mountains.” 


The Fjallraven Kanken Art Collection is now available In-Store and Online at Nordic Outdoor (£84.95). You can shop the special edition at www.nordicoutdoor.co.uk or alternatively in Edinburgh, Glasgow or Keswick.