In the 1960s, outdoor clothing was not as functional as it is today. Its shortcomings became clear during the Scandinavian Greenland Expedition of 1966 (for which Fjällräven supplied the backpacks and new revolutionary thermo tents). After returning home, the expedition members had in-depth discussions about outdoor equipment and clothing with Fjällräven’s founder Åke Nordin who then started thinking about producing a jacket and pair of trousers for outdoor use.
Åke made a climbing jacket from a specially developed fabric that had proven to be too heavy for his lightweight tents – this was the very first Fjällräven garment. The jacket was tested when trekking in the mountains and the fabric had exactly the properties that Åke was looking for in outdoor clothing; it was light, very strong and it dried fast. The only improvement needed was the fabric’s ability to resist moisture. Åke remembered how as a boy together with friends at the ski jump in his hometown of Örnsköldsvik, he had taken to not only waxing his skis for a better glide but he had also “waxed” the seat of his pants to keep himself dry.
Åke experimented with a mixture of beeswax and paraffin that he applied to the fabric with the help of his wife’s hairdryer. And it worked – the wax made the fabric both water resistant, windproof and even more durable.
One of the outdoor world’s most durable fabrics was born. Åke named it G-1000, the G being for Greenland. The wax was named Greenland Wax and the jacket was launched in 1968 as Greenland Jacket – a favourite in outdoor wardrobes still today.
Over half a century after Åke Nordin designed the Greenland Jacket, G-1000 fabric and Greenland Wax are more appreciated than ever. A good example is our technical trekking garments Keb Trousers and Keb Jacket that were awarded with international prizes for both functionality and their environmental qualities.
In the true spirit of Åke, Fjällräven has continued to develop the fabric, which is now available in several versions . All share the benefits of the original, but each has its own own specific properties as well.