Extreme weather clothing innovator teams up with mountain climber adventurer
A world-leading manufacturer of extreme weather clothing, Aclima was established in 1939, specialising in merino wool outdoor clothing products.
Aclima keep a close eye on the farms producing the wool they use. They visit these farms regularly, believing that well-treated sheep produce the best wool, and should therefore be treated accordingly.
Because of the environment in which most of Aclima’s products are used, creating prototypes and testing them are key components in their innovation and development process. Their belief in high quality also includes global protection of their brand and trademark as part of the process.
One user of Aclima’s products is the Norwegian Armed Forces, and this is where Vibeke Sefland first became aware of them. She is one of several brand ambassadors that collaborates with Aclima. These brand ambassadors use, test and provide important feedback to Aclima as they use their products in extreme conditions. Vibeke is therefore uniquely qualified to provide Aclima with valuable feedback to aid their innovation and development process. This process includes prototype creation and testing, constant improvements and adjustments with feedback from users and testers, and does not stop until the product is just right. Vibeke even takes the time for regular satellite phone conversations between her and Aclima’s product developers throughout her climbing expeditions!
Designer Rita Johansen from Aclima and the explorer Vibeke Sefland make up a good team. Here they are testing out the latest version of a balaclava. (Photo: Patentstyret)
Being an ambassador of the heart, not of the wallet, Vibeke says: "It was me that contacted Aclima and asked to be their ambassador! Not only their products appealed to me, but also their attitude. I had used their clothes and they were great, but in addition, I found out about their focus on animal welfare, which is also very close to my heart.”
Other users of Aclima’s products, such as the police, fire fighters, fishermen and outdoor enthusiasts, combine to create customer loyalty and build brand identity. This connection between manufacturer and customers is key, and Aclima demonstrates the successful synergy of the collaborative process in its clothing innovation and global brand building. Vibeke, who lives in a tent when she is in Norway and whose closest neighbour is a moose, says that it is a win-win situation between manufacturer, innovation developers and brand ambassadors to create and develop these products.