Sadly, the arctic fox, the namesake of Fjällräven, is endangered in Scandinavia, partly due to the effects of climate change. A series of initiatives supporting the efforts to save the arctic fox have been in the works on for a long time at Fjällräven, in cooperation with Stockholm University. Thanks to supplementary feeding, plus the continuous inventory of environmental and demographic data to evaluate the effects of the conservation effort, the population is recovering.
The Arctic Fox Initiative was launched this year to support projects and ideas, on an international scale, that aim to protect nature and inspire more people to spend time outdoors. It has chosen its very first three winning participants for 2019 – The Beach Clean Network, Leave No Trace and Hej Främling! All are non-profit organisations, from the UK, USA and Sweden respectively.
In public voting on Facebook, followers decided which project should receive the most funding. Fjällräven has committed to providing €120,000 of funding generated from the sales of Kånken Art backpacks and the Kånken Rainbow. According to the Facebook results, The Beach Clean Network will receive €60,000, Leave no Trace will receive €40,000 and Hej främling! will receive €20,000 to support their efforts.
Hej främling! is a Swedish non-governmental organisation offering health boosting activities free of charge and open for everyone. It was founded in 2013 and has developed an integration method that thousands of refugees and local citizens have taken part in over the years.
The money received from the Arctic Fox Initiative will be put to use in providing activities such as running classes, mountain trips, skiing lessons, hiking, football, yoga, etc. for people in need across Sweden. Emma Arnesson, Director of Hej främling!, said, ”We are proud to receive this essential support to our organization. It makes it possible for us to provide 180 health boosting activities to more than 3.000 participants – and every activity makes a difference for each participant – that is truly fantastic!”
.Early in 2020, applications will be open again on the Fjällräven Arctic Fox Initiative website. Anyone can apply with a project that fulfils certain criteria. Organisations need to be non-profits with a main goal to protect nature and/or inspire more people to spend time outdoors. Funding is then decided by a jury and a public voting system and supported by sales of selected products.
As with 2019, all selected projects will get funding but the amount of likes each project receives within the voting period will determine who gets the most. The public voting is done via social media with the aim to reach out and get more people involved with the projects and raise awareness for the initiatives.