THE JÖTTNAR STORY
From Arctic Norway to the mountains of Afghanistan, the two founders of British brand Jöttnar have covered some challenging terrain. Launched in 2013 by two former marine commandos and lifelong climbers and skiers, the company set out to design and produce technical mountain clothing for some of the world’s most demanding users.
Jöttnar was conceived in the Arctic Circle during a brutal winter training exercise in Norway. Its two founders, Tommy Kelly and Steve Howarth, had first-hand experience of the demands of operating for extended periods in harsh conditions and believed there would be an appetite amongst civilian users for gear that would protect in some of the world’s most inhospitable conditions.
“Our love of the high mountains, as well as a lot of hard-won practical knowledge of clothing performance felt like a solid foundation,” says Howarth. “As skiers and climbers, going faster, harder, steeper, higher have always been the things that drove us, and this inevitably channelled us into seeking out the highest performance and quality solution to each design challenge we faced. Clean lines, discipline and close attention to detail have become deeply embedded design drivers within the company.”
Built initially from a kitchen table, the company formed partnerships and acquired licenses with some of the industry’s major fabric and technology suppliers. “We’d noticed a dilution from other technical outdoor clothing companies, increasingly diversifying their product line-up to include lumberjack shirts, travel wear, dog walking jackets, shawls and branded laptop bags – that kind of thing. There was also a proliferation of soulless outdoor supermarkets, all competing to out- discount one another in what seems like a race to the bottom for those involved. This obviously affects product quality and performance and it was here that we saw our gap,” says Kelly.
Jöttnar has quickly carved out a niche in its home UK territory amongst the core climbing and ski mountaineering community, and acquired a reputation for the quality and functionality of its gear. As the volume of private customers has grown, so too have its professional and corporate users. Mountain rescue teams, ski patrollers, film crews, specialist military units and guiding outfits have all became customers, allowing the company to raise further funding and to continue investing in fabric technology and manufacturing.
“We sell online-only, directly from our website, so we can provide exactly the sort of experience that we'd expect ourselves. Selling via third-party retailers would have been the traditional route to growth, but I think the world’s moved on a bit,” says Howarth. “Our international, non-UK, sales now account for 40% of total and it’s brilliant to see the way in which our New Zealand and Australia sales have begun to take off this year. “
The company now ships to over 200 countries, delivering in most cases within 2-3 days. “We began providing free shipping to our Australian and Kiwi customers earlier this year, which seems to have been well received,” says Kelly. “The mountainous terrain and harsh winter conditions in New Zealand, and the ski scene in Australia are a good fit for Jöttnar and we’re really excited by the opportunities here.”
For further information visit Jöttnar’s website: https://www.jottnar.com/nz or contact them by email on email@example.com