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Jack Wolfskin: Marked by the Wilderness
In 1981, Jack Wolfskin was founded, a brand that is about as defining for Germans as German beer.
With the idea of making nature more accessible, Ulrich Dausien founded the Jack Wolfskin brand and developed equipment and weatherproof clothing for trekking. Even then, the motto was "Marked by the Wilderness", which still holds true today.
But to tell the story of the founding of Jack Wolfskin, you have to go a little further. As with so many success stories, Ulrich Dausien needed a bit of luck and good timing for his own. Being a passionate backpacker, he quickly realised that the market in Germany at the time was sparsely populated. So, the timing couldn't have been better because the hefty trekking and backpacking season was already in full swing. He had a bit of luck when he met a Taiwanese dealer at a hunting fair who had accidentally gone to the wrong fair. Instead of low-noise clothes made of loden and cotton, the Taiwanese Robin Hsu brought jackets made of nylon to a hunting fair.
The material was perfect for weatherproof clothing when travelling, so Dausien bought the entire range he had brought with him from the dealer and sold it from his flat-sharing room. Because the rush for the new products was so immense, he founded his first outdoor shop. By 1981, the chain of shops called "Sine" already had 13 branches. Ulrich Dausien decided that year to launch a new brand in which he had more say in product development so that he could better meet the needs of his customers. Nature as a development environment.
Jack Wolfskin: Development through outdoor experience
However, the newly founded company had neither a name nor a logo. This theme was to emerge a little later through an unusual encounter. On a trip to Alaska with his friends, Ulrich Dausien was injured by a bear while they were grilling a salmon. During the journey, the travel group walked in the footsteps of the author Jack London. A few days later, the group reviewed the attack and decided that a wolf could better convey the brand's values and that the wolfskin protects the wolf from the weather. Using the first name of the adventure author Jack, he set the name to Jack Wolfskin. He develops and tests Jack Wolfskin products with the employees made from the shop "Sine". Through direct outdoor field wear, the product's weak points can be identified, and improvements pushed forward. Innovations are created, and the courage to try out new things helps to drive the development of functional Jack Wolfskin clothing for outdoor enthusiasts. The success is quickly noticeable. Ten years after its founding, Jack Wolfskin is generating double-digit millions.
Further development of the Jack Wolfskin brand through sales
By 1991 the company was already so big that Dausien realised he could no longer cover development costs through sales alone. He sells the company to the US group Johnson Outdoors in the hope of making Jack Wolfskin a global brand. In 1994 the founder withdrew entirely from the company and devoted himself to another success story (McTrek).
In 1993, the outfitter reached the first milestone and opened the first Jack Wolfskin store in Heidelberg. In the meantime, the number of stores has risen to around 500, more than half of which are located outside Europe. In its 40-year history, the brand has matured into a global player.
Frankfurt to Idstein
In 1997, the company decided to leave the Main metropolis of Frankfurt and move to Idstein in Hesse. In the same year, the brand achieved innovation in testing tents. The tents were tested in the wind tunnel of sports car manufacturer Porsche. This replaced the time-consuming tests in nature, and new pole systems were developed.
2000 saw Jack Wolfskin's vibrant range gradually replaced by a cleaner and simpler design, the predominant colour now being black. In 2001, the 20th anniversary of the company was celebrated with an outdoor music festival. The three-day festival laid the foundation for many events now sponsored by Jack Wolfskin.
Sustainability and social responsibility at Jack Wolfskin
Throughout all the exciting years of Jack Wolfskin's history, four different values have been mainly observed, and great strides have been made. These four areas are the foundation on which Jack Wolfskin builds its products: active environmental protection, transparency, sustainability and social responsibility.
Via active environmental protection, the company understands the careful use of resources, doing without toxic chemicals and creating fair production conditions. The company's "Outdoors at Home" mission statement means being outside a lot and protecting the environment and nature. The use of recycled materials is not limited to the products; the store furnishings are also designed to be as sustainable as possible.
Member of bluesign & the Fair Wear Foundation
The transparency of the supply chain is of particular concern to Jack Wolfskin. That is why Jack Wolfskin is a bluesign member. In this way, the manufacturer wants to ensure that no chemicals are released into the environment and that they are used in closed processes.
The sustainability of the products is notably made from durable and repairable items. The Texapore membrane developed by Jack Wolfskin is the first membrane on the market based on recycled materials. Jack Wolfskin also offers a repair service for minor damage and holes. Jack Wolfskin pushes home its social responsibility through fair and humane working conditions, regardless of whether it is a producer or its own company. Jack Wolfskin is a member of the Fair Wear Foundation and has drawn up a code of conduct for all suppliers to ensure compliance with the required values.
The expertise of the Jack Wolfskin brand is emphasised today by numerous brand ambassadors and athletes from all over the world. Jack Wolfskin's most famous brand ambassador is ski racer Felix Neureuther.
Brand check Jack Wolfskin
- Jack Wolfskin is known above all for its sustainable and social commitment
- In addition to high-quality outdoor clothing, the company is also active in environmental protection, transparency, sustainability and social responsibility
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