Discover Tretorn, the Swedish brand taking sustainability to the next level
Marrying style and substance, Tretorn has evolved from 19th-century rubber manufacturer to innovative eco champion
Rain Jacket From The Sea and Bioplant Jacket might sound like unlikely names for garments, but these titles perfectly describe Tretorn’s innovative products. Part of the brand’s Eco Essentials initiative, the former is made out of regenerated nylon from discarded fishing nets found at the bottom of the sea, while the 100% biodegradable Bioplant Jacket (even its zip will degrade) is made from plants such as sugar cane and tapioca.
It’s this highly original approach to sustainability that caught the eye of Martha Hibberd, Partner & Assistant Buyer, who selected Tretorn to be part of John Lewis & Partners’ new independent menswear brands offering. ‘It was Tretorn’s innovative use of raw materials and focus on sustainable production that caught our eye,’ explains Martha.
Tretorn’s philosophy has always been to create products that endure. Its Eco Essentials initiative was launched in 2016 with the aim of manufacturing 50% of its rainwear responsibly by 2020. It has already smashed that goal and the figure now stands at 80%.
This approach may be fresh, but the brand has proudly been in business since 1891. Founded in Helsingborg, Sweden, its name was derived from the three towers on the city’s fortress – ‘tre torn’ means three towers (and is pronounced traytorn). It started by specialising in the sort of garb required to navigate farmland: rubber boots and rainwear. In the 1930s, Tretorn employed its rubber expertise to branch out into sneakers and by the 1960s its Nylite trainers – dubbed the world’s first luxury tennis sneaker – was the sporting shoe of choice for tennis supremos.
‘We believe that the future of innovation is sustainable innovation,’ says Fredrik Ekström, Tretorn’s head of marketing and communications. ‘It’s in our DNA.’