Scan Magazine, Issue 106, November 2017

Page 30

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  The Best Christmas Gifts From Sweden

Left: The bags and backpacks in the Crud line are made from 18-ounce waxed cotton canvas, providing it with its own unique patina after years of use. Photo: Mikael Kenta. Top middle: The Gjöra gloves have been developed for hard use under tough conditions. Photo: Fredrik Telléus. Bottom middle: With a view of creating utilitarian pieces that are primarily functional and durable, Bechet’s main focus is on the materials. Photo: Fredrik Telléus. Right: Swedish founder Alex Bechet set up Crud, a small company making high-quality Scandinavian bags and accessories. Photo: Mikael Kenta

Durable gear that ages with grace and dignity As an opposition to modern society’s throw-away fashion culture and seasonal trends, Swedish founder Alex Bechet set up his very own brand, Crud – focusing on sustainability, locally sourced materials and domestic labour. By Line Elise Svanevik

Crud – which derives from the Latin word ‘crudus’, meaning ‘raw’ – was created two years ago with one thing in mind: to make high-quality gear that can be passed down to the next generation. “This is not ‘Made in China’,” explains Bechet. “I wanted to use natural materials and make gear that would last for many years – like vegetable-tanned leather and waxed cotton canvas, two beautiful and natural materials that develop their own unique patina and become very personal to the owner after some time and use. Bechet explains the style as slightly old-fashioned with a modern touch – but he is not trying to reach everyone. “Our products are for people who appreciate high quality and a simple yet functional design. It’s a bit more expensive than the average, but I think people appreciate small-batch goods produced under controlled conditions these days, especially 30  |  Issue 106  |  November 2017

now that everything is mass produced. People want to find products that they feel represent them and their lifestyles in a more sustainable way,” he adds.

Natural materials “The leather used in our products is exclusive and has been used by both Louis Vuitton and Hermes, in addition to other big brands,” says the founder. “It’s from Tärnsjö Garveri, which is one of the only tanneries left in the world to use vegetable tanning.” All bags and backpacks are equipped with tough brass zippers, high-quality steel hardware, felt – a by-product from the wool industry, made using 100 per cent pure Swedish sheep’s wool – and durable 18-ounce heavy-waxed canvas from Great Britain and Scotland. Bechet believes that it is important to be able to use Swedish labour. “As long

as the skills in craftsmanship are found here in Sweden, we will use it. Not only is this a step towards preventing the knowledge and skills from being lost; it also boosts local growth,” he explains. “This is one of the company’s core values and an important part in calling Crud a true Swedish brand. There are a lot of brands out there today who mask themselves with Swedish names while mass producing their gear in Asia. They are simply riding the wave of success that is often associated with Swedish-made quality gear when, in fact, the materials are being sourced from countries with low wages and the products are made under poor conditions.” Bechet continues: “I’ve never been interested in owning a lot of things, like people do today. I want something utilitarian that works for multiple purposes – but with this attitude, you need to make high-functioning, good-quality gear that only becomes more beautiful with age.”


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