Top 10 Swedish Clothing Brands You Should Know

Sweden is a country of fashionable people who prefer natural fabrics to synthetics. The country even allows a casual dress code in the office, allowing employees to explore all types of styles. As a result, many clothing brands compete for market share, but some brands are preferred over others due to the durability, environment and good taste of their products. Therefore, below is a list of top ten Swedish clothing brands that you should know about.

1. Fjallraven

According to the Fjällräven website, this clothing brand was born from Ake Nordin’s vision to make nature accessible to more people. Ever since Nordin grew up in deep forests, he explored nature, and the need for a backpack that would carry all his gear led to the birth of Fjällräven. The first product he ever made was a wooden backpack. However, when launching his clothing brand, he created an aluminum frame backpack. Fjällräven has since become the go-to brand for anyone looking for high quality clothing and gear for the ultimate outdoor experience.

2. Tretorn

The founding of Tretorn was inspired by the harsh climatic conditions that farmers had to endure in Sweden. The company therefore began by manufacturing galoshes (waterproof rubber shoes) in 1891. The designs were so innovative that galoshes quickly became popular, encouraging Tretorn to manufacture its first sneakers, specifically for tennis players, in 1900. In 1903 the brand made the first rubber boot for farmers and in 1930 Tretorn produced its first canvas shoes. The garments have a reputation for making products that last – rain boots won’t leak or crack after years of wear. It’s no wonder that in 1915 King Gustav appointed Tretorn to the Swedish royal court.

3. Haglöfs

From the Nordic perspective, Haglöfs is Northern Europe’s largest manufacturer of outdoor equipment. Its story begins in 1914 when Wiktor Haglöf, a Swedish carpenter, made a small backpack to withstand long journeys and bad weather. He used a sewing machine borrowed from a neighbor and sold the backpack to farmers and school children. It was an instant success allowing Haglöf’s business to grow and hire employees to help distribute the products. By 1975, the brand included products that met changing customer demands.

4. Satila

In 1896, Johannes Nilsson began weaving fabrics from linen and cotton and selling them to shops in Gothenburg. In 1910 he switched to small-scale knitting, and in 1943 Nilsson’s son took over and named the factory Nilssons Trikafabrik. After World War II, the company began importing machinery from Germany to facilitate production and focused on knitting different products such as mittens, socks, sweaters and hats. However, since the 1970s, beanies have become the flagship product thanks to Ingemar Stenmark, a Swedish skier who took beanies to international level with the “Stenmark cap”.

5. House of Dagmar

This clothing brand is quite new compared to the rest since it is only 16 years old. It evolved from a collaboration of three sisters: Kristina Tjäder, Sofia Wallenstam and Karin Söderlind. The siblings wanted to continue the legacy of their late grandmother, Dagmar, who was a model and tailor. A year after the launch of the clothing brand, ELLE awards House of Dagmar the “New Designer of The Year” award. In 2011, the sisters won the Guldknappen Award, Scandinavia’s most prestigious design award. House of Dagmar is one of the few clothing brands that focus on sustainability.

6. Elvin

Daniel Mand told men’s fashion magazine that her clothing brand aims to create clothes that transcend the seasons. He added that the clothes go well with everything you have in your wardrobe. With such a mission, it’s no wonder that Elvine is on the list of top Swedish clothing brands you should know. Mand founded the company in 2001 and named it after his grandmother who was a seamstress.

7. Hestra

Hestra’s story began in 1936 when Mats Magnusson, a farmer, moved to Hestra and started making gloves for loggers in the area. When a ski slope was created nearby, skiers began to visit the area and Magnusson took the opportunity to make gloves for them. The entrepreneur’s sons also became skiers and when they took over the family business, they focused on making gloves for skiers. Production has increased and Hestra sells more than two million gloves a year in more than 30 countries. The brand has subsidiaries in the United States, Germany and Norway.

8. Earth

Tierra dates back to 1983 when Anders saw that there were good deals in the manufacture of outerwear. Her notable achievement was when the clothing brand made clothes for an expedition to Mount Everest in 1991, but she lacked experience in the field. The success of this challenge convinced Tierra to keep moving forward believing that nothing was impossible. In 2002, she made clothes for an expedition to the North Pole. The name of the clothing brand comes from the three climatic zones of the Andes, in South America. Her connection to the mountains has allowed Tierra to make clothes that can last a long time, no matter what the weather is like in the Scandinavian region.

9. Why Red

Roland Hjort founded Whyred in 1998 with business partners Jonas Clason and Lena Patriksson. According to a interview with Refinery29, Hjort worked as the head designer of the contemporary menswear range at H&M. He then moved to London in 1994 to work as a designer for an Italian brand. Hjort revealed that his clothes are made with functionality in mind and he vowed never to imitate another brand.

10. Sandqvist

Anton Sandqvist was a civil engineer tired of the monotony of his job. He bought an industrial sewing machine in hopes of tapping into his creative side in a quest to challenge himself. In 2004, he created a bag that would meet his needs after failing to find one on the market. It took him 30 hours to finish making the bag, and when it was done, everyone wanted to know where he bought it. Sandqvist started out making 100 bags and after 18 months had 15 retailers across the country. In 2010, he quit his job to focus on his business. Today, the bag brand is known for its durable bags and backpacks.

Michael O. Stutler