„Bring your board, bring your bike, bring your skis, bring your gear, bring your kids, bring your love, bring your dreams, bring your passion, bring your life.“, so die Mission der Marke Thule, die 1942 in Schweden gegründet wurde und erfreulicherweise seit 2019 Blog Bohème auf unzähligen Reisen begleitet.
Aus diesem Grund war es höchste Zeit, einen Blick hinter die Kulissen von Thule zu werfen. Wir haben mit Henrik Eriksson, Design Director Outdoor & Bags gesprochen, um mehr über die neue Kollektion „Revolve“ zu erfahren. Das Interview wurde auf Englisch geführt.
Henrik, Thule has started as a manufacturer for ski and roof racks. Today the product range includes basically everything for outdoor enthusiasts. What’s the success story of Thule?
Thule’s success with all these product ranges for an outdoor lifestyle can be summed up with our tagline “Bring your life”. This refers to the fact that whatever your passion in life, whether it be surfing, skiing, kayaking, traveling, running with your kids or simply exploring new places in the city with your family, Thule has the ideal solution to enable you to do this. In other words, Thule helps you transport anything you care for safely, easily and in style so that you are free to live your active life.
“Form follows function,“ is the design principle at Thule. What do you have in mind when creating new products? Are you influenced by technological innovations, trends or people?
Our design philosophy is defined by three guiding principles – our products must be fit for purpose, genuine and inspire passion. This means we solve real problems for people who are living active lives. To be able to do that we need to know the needs and requirements of the end users of our products. For us, to be genuine means to execute designs where shape and material choices are honest and true to the function of the product. We strongly believe that a product’s functionality and form perfectly informs the beauty of its design (in fact, they are inseparable) and will inspire passion in the end user experience.
On a Thule product you will never see a feature or design element that is extraneous to the function of the product. We are inspired by a lot of different things; for sure, technical innovation but more so by people. We monitor trends and relate to them with a clear focus on a product’s functionality. We will never be trendy just to be trendy – that would completely contradict our design philosophy.
Swedish products are known for impeccable craftmenship combined with modern design and function. Is this something you have in your DNA, the way you grew up in Nordic countries probably?
For over 75 years now Thule has placed great emphasis on design and engineering excellence so, yes, it always has been part of our DNA. And it’s not only us who think this – we have won many prestigious design awards and our products are exhibited in design museums across the world.
Is it crucial for you and your team to spend a lot of time outdoors to try the products yourself?
Our teams regularly and rigorously test products in outdoor situations. Or teams are passionate about the outdoors so our products naturally fit into their lifestyles. We also have a team of ambassadors called the Thule Crew, professional athletes or sportsmen who test our products to the limits while they are competing or going about their jobs. We also have our own world-leading test facility in Sweden, the Thule Test Center, where we have developed over 25 custom Thule standards that have raised the bar for security substantially and in many cases surpass established ISO standards.
You were significantly involved in creating „Thule Revolve“, a series of hardside suitcases. What are the benefits for travellers using the series?
Our first hardside luggage line Thule Revolve is perfect for long or short trips. It’s very robust thanks to the polycarbonate shell exteriors that can withstand a lot of impact (today’s baggage handlers are not the most delicate of people). Thule Revolve also has a TSA-approved locks, YKK zippers and an intelligent closure system that prevents and deters people opening up your luggage illegally.
It has also been designed to give maximized packing space inside, meaning you can take more with you on your trips. There is also an eight-wheel system that enable smooth rolling over a variety of surfaces, from carpet to cobblestone.
Speaking of the environment, what are you working on, to make outdoor products more sustainable and what are your goals for the future?
Thule is fully committed to sustainability and throughout our history, we have always had the fundamental values of sustainability in mind. Thanks to rigorous testing during the design and development phase, we build our products to last for a long time – high-quality products with a long lifetime are better for the environment than items that get thrown away after a season or two.
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