See you Outside
In 1913 Sweden, in a small town called Grundsund a battle was raging with the elements and the elements were winning.
Oceans, seas, and rivers have long been natures larder. Providing food for tiny villages to large seaports and everywhere in between. Communities have harvested fish, whales, and all other species of marine life to ensure their own survival.
Even in the harshest of times working on the water has always been a cherished and respected way of life and the weather has always been at the forefront of any sea farers mind.
A fisherman’s life as always been a hard one and still is. If change is something you fear, then being a fisherman would never do for you as this is all about change. No year, month, week, day, hour minute are ever the same. Just as day moves to night or the sun goes round the moon, or the swell of the ocean is pulled by the tide a fisherman’s life moves with it.
Grundsund has always been a fishing community and to this day fishing is still the heart of this village. Located on Skafto this picture-perfect place is a hidden gem of boathouses and original small cottages cradled by the rocky shore, harbour, and canal.
In the middle of the 1700’s great shoals of herring started to appear and make their way into the bays along the coast of Sweden. This mass of herring population lasted for at least half a century and became a main stay of employment for the population.
Grundsund soon became a significant base and shipping community and when the fish moved out of the area unlike its fellow villages, which became seaside resorts for the wealthy, Grundsund remained true to its heritage and remained a small fishing port.
Although in the 1700’s and for a long time after fishing was having the highlife, fishermen were not.
From the beginning of time fishermen have gone to sea ill equipped in the clothing they wear. Mostly a fisherman’s uniform consisted of a woollen cable knit sweater and some trousers he may have rubbed some oil on to try to weatherproof and a woollen hat.
In the 1900’s more fishermen died at sea from getting soaked through to the skin and getting cold than drowned.
Around 1910 a young man met a young woman via a personal ad. Hanna was from a small island called Groto and Julius was from Grundsund. Both were from small fishing families. Both had lost relatives at sea. 18-year-old Hanna came with a dowry of 5000 kronar a lot of money in 1910.
By then Julius was 30. He had left school and been expected to work as a fisherman, but he had had other ideas and was always seen as being handier with his head than his hands and adept at thinking outside the box.
He got a position as a man servant to Baron Von Max Wendel a wealthy textile mill owner. After staying with the Von Wendel family for three years Julius came home and opened his own grocery store, supplying necessities to the local fisherman and their families. He would make work wear for them out of the old flour sacks.
After realising that the fisherman needed something better than an old flour sack Julius and his new wife, and her dowry went to visit Baron Max von Wendel’s mill to order cloth. After a lot of trial and effort, testing and experimenting they came up with a garment that would withstand a fierce downpour and a harsh wind.
Didrikson1913 had arrived.
There are now 100 people employed by Didrikson’s. The head office is in Boras and there are sales offices across Europe and one in Asia.
Everything is designed inhouse in Boras, the design is created, materials chosen, pattern components are produced, and the functionality of the garment is put through its paces.
The people of Didrikson’s are proud of the company’s heritage no matter where in the world they are. When they move forward, they take the Didrikson history with them. They realise that in the beginning they were protecting the fisherman from the water but now the water needs protecting too.
Using a supply chain that adheres to PFC-free impregnation treatments and using sustainable materials and dying processes as well as never using animal derived products such as fur, leather or down results in a company that is ready to give and not just take.
Using single component materials rather than mixed materials helps the process of recycling and it is the aim of Didrikson’s to make all their garment’s recyclable in the future. Making clothing which is rigorous and hard wearing is ensuring the longevity of each garment.
There children’s range has name tags inside to include five or six names so the item can be passed down from sibling to sibling, cousin to cousin, friend to friend as one child grows.
Didrikson’s have come a long way from the first years of putting linseed oil on cloth, there quality clothing is high tec and high spec. The colours are subtle just as the country it came from.
The elements are still a battle at times but with Didrikson’s armour you are more than a match.
So go up a mountain, down a country lane, around a town or on a boat, wherever you go I will see you Outside.