Swedish design items made to be used
Swedish design is made to be used. To fully experience it, observing is not enough. You need to feel it, smell it, touch it and put it to work. So, instead of buying a souvenir that you put on a shelf to watch, why not bring home a Swedish design object that is functional, sustainable and of good quality. Here are 12 items from all over the country, made to be used. Again and again.
Sandqvist Hege backpack
Hege by Swedish bag-maker Sandqvist is a backpack that works equally well for the urban office worker as the nature-loving hiker. The design is minimalistic and clean with a timeless look, and the interior is spacious with an 18 litre capacity. The canvas is made from organic cotton and is durable enough for all kinds of use.
A Good Bottle
A Good Company was started to inspire people to shift to more conscious shopping. They are completely transparent with their impact on the environment and account for everything from energy and water consumption to carbon emissions from their production. Their water bottle is a response to the billions of plastic bottles that pollute our planet and is made of recycled stainless steel.
Hövding bicycle helmet
Hövding is a bicycle helmet that works similar to an airbag and inflates to cover the head in the event of an accident. Until then, it's neatly packed in a discreet collar that leaves your head free from bulky protection. The idea was born in 2005 as a thesis by Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin, who studied industrial design in Lund. Today, Hövding is classified as the world's safest head protection for cyclists. Besides being safe, it may be the most stylish protection you can wear when exploring Sweden by bike.
Icebug was founded in 2001, making shoes that are meant to have the world's best grip, allowing more people to experience the outdoors. Starting out with running shoes, they now also produce footwear for walking and hiking, suitable for both city pavements, trails in the forest and seaside cliffs.
Täljogram wood-carving kit
Täljogram was founded by crafter and designer Felix Wink, who wanted more people to experience the satisfaction of carving a fresh piece of wood. The company now distributes fresh pieces of birch – possible through vacuum packing - tools and books on wood-carving, on a monthly subscription. A great way to wind down after a day of adventure or work – get hands-on and be creative.
Ordning & Reda is a Swedish company that makes and sells notebooks. The design of their products is typically Scandinavian, with a minimalistic style and functional features. Libra is a classic notebook and was their first product. It has been updated throughout the years and now comes with a hardcover made from sustainably sourced cloth fabric and FSC-certified, acid-free Swedish paper. But it is still limp-sewn, using traditional bookbinding techniques. A notebook worthy of your deepest thoughts – or just your spontaneous reflections on your journey.
Ballograf is Sweden's only pen-maker and has had its factories in Gothenburg since it was founded by Eugen Spitzer in 1945. The quality of the pens is ensured with a lifetime guarantee on the pressure mechanism, and they contain archive-proof ink, which is required by authorities and companies with strict policies. So when you write down your adventures in Sweden, you can be certain that your stories will never fade away.
Woolpower sit pad
Woolpower is a company based in northern Sweden that makes functional garments and wool products. With sustainability in mind, the sit pad is made of recycled materials from their other products. Due to this, the colour and material will vary but a minimum of 50 per cent merino wool is guaranteed to keep you warm when you take a rest on your excursions.
Sovelfat Kulturen was created by Swedish designer Kristina Stark. It's made of wood and can be used to serve finger food or delicacies, or as a pedestal to display precious objects. The design is made to elevate what you put on it, to make it easier to reach and make it stand out in the room. Or on the picnic blanket.
Ekelund’s linen factory dates back to the 17th century and combines traditional weaving with new technology. The factory is located in Horred, close to Sweden's textile centre of Borås. Their patterns range from classical to modern, and they design blankets and kitchen towels with illustrations from some of Sweden's most beloved children's books, such as Alfons Åberg and Pettson & Findus.
Iris Hantverk bath brush
By tradition in Sweden, brush binder has been an occupation for people who are visually impaired. At Iris Hantverk, six visually impaired craftsmen are making brushes in their factory in Stockholm. Their bath brush without a handle is made of oil-treated oak and horse hair, to make it sturdy, durable and give a soft cleaning. In the shower or in the lake.
Muohta (Snow) is a handmade silver brooch, designed by Sami artist and jewellery maker Erica Huuva. The brooch is a contemporary piece made in the Sami tradition. Traditional Sami jewellery is made in natural materials, such as reindeer horn, leather, wood, birch root and silver. Long before modern transport, the Sami were involved in trade with parties far from their own lands, with silver being a preferred currency. A large silver brooch was both a beautiful piece of jewellery and asset placement. It’s a reminder of a long history of cross-cultural and cross-national exchange. And for you as a visitor today, it becomes the perfect conversation starter.