Continuing the theme of kit I was invited to attend a day of training at Crieff Hydro organised by Haglofs UK.
Avid readers of my drivel will know that I wear a lot of this kit, not because I get it for free but because it works for me !
The Haglofs UK Team were here to deliver training for shops that stock the brand, so that you the customer get the best service and advice to help you chose the best and most importantly the right product for what you want it to do !
Outline for the day
As part of the brand identity Haglofs are keen to push the brand as a leader of Technical Outdoor clothing with a keen eye on sustainability !
Their business concept is simple
“To offer a responsible , premium and authentic outdoor brand with products that deliver a high level of function, design and value for people who invest in an active outdoor life”
The brand has been kicking about for a while, even older than home brands like Berghaus.
It all started in the little hut above with Wiktor Haglofs, amazingly Haglofs still own this hut !
It started with packs made of canvas and wood with leather straps .
In 1935 the factory moved and in 1963 Haglofs had manufactured 20,000 packs and by 1964 had 25 employees.
In 1975 Wiktors son’s sold the company but the brand still sticks by the original values of taking a good product & make it with the most applicable materials available.
In 1993 the Tight Pack was released, this saw a more modern younger Haglofs, the millionth Tight pack was sold in 2008.
In 1996 Haglofs partnered themselves with Gore tex to produce clothing, their slogan in 97 was “save money-buy more expensive clothes”.
2000 and the Halgofs “H” as we all know it was released and has been used for the past 14 years.
2008 brought Haglofs UK to us and probably made Haglofs equipment a bit more readily accessible to us in the UK.
2010 Haglofs became a fully owned subsidiary to Asics and we can see the Asics influence creeping into the footwear range.
You would think that Haglofs would be shouting from the roof tops that they are 100 years old, instead in true Scandi fashion they are chilled out and its not a big deal.
One of the things that is a big deal is Ethical and Sustainable manufacturing.
Lennart Ekberg started working for Haglofs in 1989 and is now Director of Sustainability, in 2002 (earlier than a lot of other brands who shout about Sustainability) Haglofs upped the anti on this matter.
Its an interesting point which when you speak to people out there in the outdoors they either don’t give a crap or are highly passionate and educated about the subject.
If we love the outdoors so much then why would we not do everything we can to protect it so we can enjoy it more !
As it says above, 40 % by weight of clothing sold is Blue Sign approved, As Haglofs use other factories to make their products they take great care and time inspecting these factories and making sure they are working to the Blue Sign standards.
This in turn helps bring on Industrial change which can only be a good thing.
Approx 70% of this years catalogue is Blue Sign, Haglofs acknowledge that they want this to better and will continue to improve.
You can read how they are going about that HERE
One thing again worth highlighting is the traceability of the down used in Haglofs garments, there is no live plucked down in any Haglofs garments and they all have an individual ID number so you can trace the down.
Most of us have probably come across Blue Sign but something new to me was the Fair Wear Foundation.
Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) is an independent, non-profit organisation that works with companies and factories to improve labour conditions for garment workers.
FWF’s 80 member companies represent over 120 brands, and are based in seven European countries; member products are sold in over 20,000 retail outlets in more than 80 countries around the world. FWF is active in 15 production countries in Asia, Europe and Africa.
FWF keeps track of the improvements made by the companies it works with. And through sharing expertise, social dialogue and strengthening industrial relations, FWF increases the effectiveness of the efforts made by companies.
At the end of the day as well as all the production regulations that are put in place described above Haglofs still believe in making robust kit that lasts “so buy cheap buy twice” directly effects the environment and the modern throw away culture needs to grasp this.
In order to make the most durable equipment Fabric choice is crucial, designers will choose the most durable and usable fabric available and sometimes have the like of Gore Tex make up fabrics especially for them.
Another major point in quality is design and taping.
Above is AN OTHER manufacturers idea of a quality finish !
One Gun show from the Escape Route boys and its all over !
Attention to detail means the jacket works better and the customer has faith in the brand.
It takes an average operator 2 years to be trained to the appropriate standard to be able to tape Gore Tex like this !
Attention to detail on design like beard guards and using techniques like Tuck stitching and Laminated seams make garments lighter, more durable and more waterproof but do cost more.
Stu from gore Tex gave a quick run down on all the products which have been greatly simplified in grouping to stop confusion.
They are “Products” “Pro” and “Active”
Haglofs also sponsor events and not just High level ones.
In Scotland they have presence in the likes of the Strathpuffer and the Fair City Enduro.
The Spring / Summer 2014 Products are hitting the shelves as you read this.
Great news that L.I.M is back !
Trekking makes up a staggering 60 % of the products in the range.
The range is trousermagedon with every Climatic trouser being Blue Sign.
Rugged Crest Short
Mountain Rugged’s in “RED”
The trouser design as been tweaked slightly so that the lower leg is a bit less baggy but you can still get them over your boots but not stand on them when wearing trainers.
Again attention to detail on the women’s trousers.
The LIM Proof Jacket has some great features and is on my wish list. (Dan does not look so impressed )
The Escape Route boys are all happy in the LIM Barrier Pro Hood.
Another very different bit of kit is the Ares Jacket as modelled by Gus and I.
Some might call it a dog walkers piece but I can see its technical merits as a longer trekking piece.
Do you shop in House of Bruar too !
And lets not forget the funky colours like on the Lizard
No matter how hard I tried I never managed to steal the ROC Lite Pull !(trust me Gus was watching me like a Hawk so much so I did not get a photo!)
Ding Dong ! I so want one !
It was a good to see the shop staff getting in about the kit !