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About Helly Hansen
From our home in Norway, Helly Hansen has been making professional-grade gear to help people stay and feel alive for more than 140 years. It all started in 1877 when sea captain Helly Juell Hansen found a better way to stay protected from the harsh Norwegian elements. Soon thereafter, Captain Hansen and his wife Margrethe launched a business producing waterproof oilskin jackets, trousers, sou’westers and tarpaulins made from coarse linen soaked in linseed oil – and the legend was born!
Helly Hansen gear is worn and trusted by professionals on oceans, mountains and worksites. As the #1 apparel brand for SKI Professionals, you'll find HH at more than 200 ski resorts and guiding operations worldwide, and worn by more than 55,00 ski professionals. Our sailing gear is worn by world-class sailors across all five oceans, and we’re proud to partner with and participate in some of the sport’s most iconic regattas and sailing associations. As a leading Scandinavian workwear brand, you’ll see us at work sites where performance, protection and safety matter most. We continue to support Captain Hansen’s legacy with a long list of first-to-market innovations developed through insights from those working and recreating in the world’s harshest environments.
After 140+ years in business, we know that long-term success can only be achieved by respecting and promoting ethical values, human rights and the environment. We are committed to continue advocating for the responsible use and enjoyment of the oceans, mountains and the greater outdoors. By applying a holistic and scientific approach to all our decisions, we strive to ensure our actions support the possibility for people and the planet to thrive. In doing so we take into account the whole life cycle of our garments by taking into consideration every action from choosing our materials, all the way through to the impact a garment has at the end of its life.
Materials & technologies Our aspiration is to make products that can live through generations. Long-lasting products require durable materials, which is a priority for us and an advantage for the environment. Therefore, we constantly work to develop and choose materials with the lowest environmental impact.
Manufacturing - fair working practices The textile and garment industry is made up of a complex supply chain stretched all over the globe. It covers industries such as chemical suppliers, yarn spinners, material suppliers, and garment manufacturers, often situated in countries with weak social regulations.
Use - long-lasting products For the past 140 years, Helly Hansen has developed and tested its technologies together with professionals living and working in some of the world’s harshest environments. Their spirit, experiences, and feedback are woven into every detail and every fibre of our garments. We design these garments to be durable and long-lasting for even the toughest critics.
End of life Central to our sustainability efforts is our focus on the quality, performance and longevity of our products. With growing internal awareness around the textile waste challenges and opportunities to utilize products and materials in a second life, we are currently evaluating and researching possibilities for Helly Hansen to be a positive part of the circle.
Through the years Helly Hansen has been driven by the pursuit of perfecting its craft through market-leading innovation and implementing new technologies to increase safety in the field while ensuring the well-being of the environment in which it operates.
Helly Hansen through the years
1877 Captain Helly Juell Hansen launches a legend Norwegian captain Helly Juell Hansen wanted to find a better way to protect his sailors from the harsh, Nordic weather. By applying linseed oil to cotton canvas, he created supple, water-proof apparel. Soon after, he and his wife Margarethe started producing “oilskin” jackets and pants in Moss, Norway. Their waterproof gear was an immediate success, landing our first product award at the World Expo in Paris in 1878.
1949 Helox - the next evolution in waterproof Helox waterproof fabric featured a thin sheet of translucent PVC plastic that was sewn into coats took to make them waterproof. It was a revolutionary technology that became a must-have protection for outdoor use. With a production of 30,000 coats each month, the success was almost immediate and was used by the Norwegian delegation at the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki.
1961 Fiberpile - the technical mid-layer is invented Helly Hansen partnered with Norwegian Fibre Pile Inc. and developed the original Fiberpile – the first fleece. It featured a high warmth to weight ratio and maintained its thermal qualities even when wet, making it a favourite of lumberjacks and outdoor enthusiasts. The concept lives on and the modern version of ProPile is still in production today.
1970 Lifa – the birth of technical baselayer HH’s LIFA revolutionized the industry with the introduction of the first technical baselayers. LIFA moves moisture away from the body allowing users to stay warm and comfortable. It has been used by professionals on every ocean, many of the world’s tallest peaks and was included in Outside Magazine’s list of The Most Influential Gear of All Time in 2012. LIFA remains the cornerstone of what we believe is the best technical base-layer available today.
1984 Helly tech - the waterproof and breathable solution Helly Tech waterproof and breathable technology was launched in the 1980’s, winning awards and setting the new standard for performance and protection. It also provided the final layer for the 1986 introduction of the Helly Hansen 3-Layer System, an industry-first program educating people on how to dress for the outdoors. Today, Helly Tech fabrics are engineered to deliver the specific demands of professional’s skiers, sailors, and at workplaces around the world.
1990 Lifa merino - the perfect blend of lifa and merino The Prowool (renamed LIFA MERINO) baselayer for cold weather conditions was launched in the late 90’s, combining LIFA Stay-Dry Technology with Merino wool for both moisture transport and added warmth. Designed for professionals facing the coldest conditions it quickly became the go-to piece for performance, warmth and comfort in extreme environments.
2004 Footwear - expanding into professional grade footwear In response to demands from professionals around the world, footwear was added to the product line. One of our first efforts was an award-winning sailing boot. Today, Helly Hansen broad range of shoes and boot are worn by professionals and enthusiasts on mountains, oceans, streets and workplaces around the world.
2008 Odin - an award winning, 3-layer approach for mountaineers Launched summer 2008, the Odin gear is the materialization of our 3-Layer System. Made for serious mountaineers and athletes, it’s a complete, technically evolved checklist for all high-altitude environments and conditions. The Odin collection won the Red Dot Design Award the same year.
2012 H2 flow - a better solution for temperature regulation Helly Hansen introduced the new H2 Flow Technology in 2012 with the H2 Flow Jacket, which won an Award for Design Excellence from the Norwegian Design Council. The patented H2 Flow Jacket features an airflow venting system and a protective barrier. It allows adventurers to efficiently regulate their body temperature.
2015 Magni - setting a new standard for performance at work Inspired by the son of Thor in Norse Mythology, the Magni line was introduced and immediately set a new standard for protection, durability, and performance in the workplace.
2016 Elevation jacket - the ultimate freeride jacket The Elevation is our most award-winning jacket ever! It is a durable shell designed, developed and tested with professional freeride skiers. It combines a new Helly Tech Professional fabric with an unparalleled level of breathability and protection, and our innovative H2Flow temperature regulating system which dramatically improves your comfort.
2017 THE 140 COLLECTION In commemoration of our 140 Year Anniversary, we introduced The 140 Collection. The collection tells the story of Helly Hansen by featuring the key technologies of our history. The retro stylings and signature Helly Hansen technologies make this collection a favorite amongst Helly Hansen aficionados. Explore the 140 Collection.
2018 Lifaloft - lighter. Warmer. The award-winning and exclusive LIFALOFT insulation by Primaloft is 20% lighter and yet warmer than standard insulation. Developed out of feedback from the Ski Team Sweden Alpine, who wanted more warmth and more versatility with less bulk and minimal weight, Helly Hansen has combined its proprietary Lifa fibers with synthetic fibers from Primaloft to develop this unique and revolutionary insulation.
2020 Lifa infinity pro - the next level of responsible waterproof/breathable technology Our most innovative and sustainable waterproof/breathable technology to date, LIFA INFINITY PRO is a first-to-market technology that pushes the envelope in apparel design. Through advanced textile engineering and development, this technology is made without any added chemical treatments while still delivering the extreme waterproofness and breathability of HELLY TECH Professional construction.
Over the years these major innovations helped shape Helly Hansen into the trusted brand it is today, providing the best products at the highest level, whether be it on oceans, mountains or worksites. We take pride in the trust we have built with our professionals but also in delivering the same grade of garment commercially.
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