"Children spend most of their time outdoors" says the founder of Isbjörn of Sweden
October 29, 2012 0 Comments
Well-informed parents know Isbjörn of Sweden. A Scandinavian outdoor brand that specializes in quality children’s clothing. While there is little constructive discussion about a women’s quota in Germany, Maria Frykamn Forsberg runs the brand Isbjörn of Sweden, founded by myself. By chance, this premium label and Kinderoutdoor.de asked what happened in the Krabbelgruppe …..
Kinderoutdoor.de: “We would rather bet on our vision than to offer imitation products. That’s what other companies should do. For us, it’s always about the next dream, “said Steve Jobs, founder of Apple in 1984. Was it your dream to create your own outdoor label for children?
Maria Frykman Forsberg: The dream of ISBJÖRN of Sweden is to offer the best functional outdoor clothes on the market for children aged 0-12 years, while conserving natural resources. ISBJÖRN should be the first choice for the environmentally conscious and active young family.
Maria Frykman Forsberg: Yes, Camilla and I met there in a toddler group with our first babies in 2001. I had an idea to do something different when it came to baby clothes, anything else on the market. There I either found cotton children’s clothing or it was less appealing and too impractical for an active outdoor mother with a baby. Camilla was a developer and designer. She inspired and advised me on how to improve my idea. After a few months, we decided to work together on the project and found ISBJÖRN of Sweden.
Kinderoutdoor.de: Why is the polar bear your brand logo??
Maria Frykman Forsberg: Looking back, an interesting question. Our original idea consisted of the most popular animal of babies and children: the brown bear. But our clothes are designed to endure a harsh climate and be dressed daily, to land in the washing machine once a week, and to be able to put on three children later. As logo came only the toughest bear on earth in question. So who is better suited than one was the big white polar bear?
Maria Frykman Forsberg: Without question, the breathability. This is also a cost factor when using expensive materials. Pure waterproofing is easier and cheaper to offer. Many people say children do not need breathable materials in their outdoor gear. I think that’s a very strange and cynical way of thinking about the most active people on the planet. Our children spend most of their daily time outside the preschool kindergarten in the open air. Any adult who tries to be physically active outside without wearing breathable clothing knows that it is almost impossible.
Kinderoutdoor.de: The foundation of sustainability at Isbjörn voof Sweden are four R’s. Can you explain that please?
Maria Frykman Forsberg: REDUCE – We want to inspire our customers to buy less outdoor gear, and then those that last longer and are of good quality. Sustainability is the key! In this way we conserve our natural resources.
REUSE – We guarantee that our customers can use ISBJÖRN equipment for up to three children if they care for the garments accordingly. In this way, you can save money because you do not need to buy new outdoor clothing or can pass the used textiles to the child of a friend.
REPAIR – ISBJÖRN of Sweden has very high quality standards and therefore a complaint quota of less than 0.1%, which is unique. We take pride in keeping our promises to our customers. But should something ever have to be repaired, we are always ready for this service.
Resue – This is the final step, we bring used ISBJÖRN od Sweden garments back to a factory that makes new polyester and nylon fibers. This step is still ongoing, but in our long-term plans for our Scandinavian and European markets.
Kinderoutdoor.de: At what age should children start with outdoor activities?
Maria Frykman Forsberg: My children started doing so after 3 months. It all depends on the activity and development of the baby. Our babies loved it when they pulled on sledges behind our skis in winter. You have never slept better. In addition, I felt safe and satisfied when they were properly equipped. For parents it is always nice to be outside with the children. If they are older, you can take the children in the Kindertrabe while hiking.
Kinderoutdoor.de:There are typical German peculiarities in the outdoor fashion for children?
Maria Frykman Forsberg:The German customer is very price sensitive, but also pays attention to the quality and environmental friendliness. We try to earn the trust in the German market and to keep our promises. ISBJÖRN of Sweden is on the right track to achieve that.
“Wet and cold is not inspiring for anyone,” says Maria Frykman Forsberg, co-founder of the Swedish children’s fashion brand Isbjörn of Sweden.
Photo: Isbjörn of Sweden; Annika Pasken
Kinderoutdoor.de: Children often deal roughly with their outdoor clothing. Some adults wear their expensive hardshell jackets for shopping in the city. Why do adults spend a lot more money on their outdoor gear, but save on the kids??
Maria Frykman Forsberg:Enigmatic, right? The main reason is that children grow out of the outdoor gear very quickly. In the meantime, they have to put on some junk … Actually, this type of reasoning is very short-term and definitely not the best for the development of children. Many kids hate being outdoors, and I’m convinced it’s because they’re forced to not wear such good equipment. They freeze and sweat in their clothes. Wet and cold is not inspiring for anyone.
Kinderoutdoor.de: Germans want to save money. In the food discounter drive some in the Mercedes Benz. Often the parents find there outdoor clothing as a bargain and are curious what these cheap textiles can. Is there something like that in your country in Sweden??
Maria Frykman Forsberg: Yes and no. Much has happened since we launched ISBJÖRN of Sweden in Sweden in 2005. At the time, no one believed that it was possible to sell premium outdoor children’s equipment on the market. But time has proven that the skeptics were all wrong. The Swedish market is a great outdoor market and many young active families put a high level of pretense on the outdoor gear for their kids.
Kinderoutdoor.de: What can I expect from Low-Budget-Textil??
Maria Frykman Forsberg: In terms of function, they can have a water resistance up to 10,000 mm, but for a breathability is not or only very low available. Cheap products can not be made from recycled fiber, environmentally friendly and humane. All of these things cost money, which in the end flows into the material and the price of the product. There is no such thing as a free lunch.
Maria Frykman Forsberg: All our materials are classified Oeko-Tex 100. From autumn / winter 2013 all outer materials are bluesign ® certified. From fall / winter 2013 we offer 100% flourcarbone free clothing. Since 2009, all our fleece models and winter winter lining have been made from 100% recycled polyester fibers.
Maria Frykman Forsberg: Yes, they definitely do. My children use the entire collection and I listen to their opinions very precisely. They also suggest designs and colors, making them a very prolific part of ISBJÖRN of Sweden. The baby clothes, let’s test from friends who have babies. Our children are older now.
Kinderoutdoor.de What is typical Scandinavian relation to design of children clothes?
Maria Frykman Forsberg: Clear design belongs to ISBJÖRN of Sweden as to many other major Scandinavian outdoor brands. We have fathers who know how great it is to buy a jacket for the daughter or the son that resembles their own.
Kinderoutdoor.de For many German families, Sweden is the number one outdoor country. Do you have an insider tip for Sweden??
Maria Frykman Forsberg: avoids the obviously tourist places. Loneliness and the true greatness of Sweden can be found in many places. I personally love Harjedalen in the north of Sweden, near the Norwegian border. Here it is ideal for cross-country skiing and hiking. The Stockholm archipelago, Blekinge and the west coast are also great to explore with the kids – kayaking and rock climbing are ideal activities in summer for families with children over five years old.
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