Like most origin stories of rainwear brands also the story of Grundéns begins with fishermen who needed to stay dry while performing their dangerous job at sea. This story took place on the Swedish west coast in 1911 with the production of oilskins. After running their production line for 2 decades the switch was made from oilskins to rubberized fabrics and another 2 decades later PVC became the fabric of choice due to better durability, quicker production, and lower prices. Today the company still produces heavy-duty PVC rainwear for commercial fishing, and an extra line for sport fishing has been added. Below the green Grundéns clipper jacket, photo coming from the Instagram profile of the Salmon Sisters who put Grundéns commercial raingear to the test in Alaskan waters.
Where Grundéns differentiates itself from other rainwear brands that have their origin in commercial fishing operations is they have added a line of “lifestyle” clothing which is a crossover between heavy-duty PVC raingear and fashionable trendy raingear. As this line stays close to the origins of the company, but adds some features that make the rainwear more fashionable, it is certainly worth exploring a bit further. See below the Brigg 310 jacket from their online catalogue.
Commercial raingear is normally a combination of waterproofness and durability only available in a wide cut to avoid getting to hot in the rainwear as PVC does not have any moist and heat regulating capabilities. The lifestyle line of Grundéns combines this PVC look with a much more fashionable cut, making the coat less bulky. Especially noticeable are the sleeves which have adjustable cuffs. While this seems like a minor change from workwear, it has a tremendous effect on the overall look of the rainwear. The available colors stay close to workwear but are much softer than other workwear gear available on the market. Even the yellow and orange colored raingear will do well in an urban setting while keeping the close link to normal heavy-duty raingear. A collection of stunning rainwear pictures can be found on the website of “Another Studio” with Grundéns raincoats in an urban setting.
The current lineup of Grundéns lifestyle rainwear that looks most interesting to me are the previously shown Brigg jacket 310 in orange and the Sandham jacket 309 in yellow. Both combine heavy-duty rainwear features with trendy rainwear details making them stand out in my view. Like most fashion items the collection of Grundéns changes regularly, with some older jackets still getting a lot of love. Noticeable are the Atlas jackets (and rain pants) that stand out to me due to their simplicity and overall beauty. While they are not listed in the current catalogue anymore you can still buy them online at some shops, but better be quick.
Another line that is not in production anymore is the collaboration between Grundéns and the Swedish fashion brand Elvine. The resulting range of rainwear was introduced in 2013 and still stands out because the crossover between modern and fashionable streetwear with classic heavy-duty PVC raingear. Especially the slim fit makes this line stand apart.
Interestingly Grundens even has a workwear line specially for women: the Sedna range was introduced in 2016 and has a slightly different cut than the regular ranges of rainwear to better fit women. While the working lines normally have a very generous cut to begin with I do like the idea of workwear that maybe better accentuates the female shape.
While at first glance the rainwear looks a bit plain, its true beauty comes out when it gets wet as shown by the pictures below from the Instagram profile of the AKSalmonSisters. Because its purpose is commercial fishing the materials will be more geared towards safety (bright color) and durability (thicker material) than fashion, but that does not mean a raincoat, or rainsuit, like this would not fit in an urban setting.
I am loving the overall look of the Grundens Sedna gear and I think it nicely strikes a balance between the feminine shape and pure ruggedness of commercial fishing on sea.
The complete range of Grundéns rainwear was quite unfamiliar to me before diving deeper into it to be able to write this. But I must admit I am positively surprised by the brand and how they combine classical workwear with modern details to make it fashionable. I realize that the brand is best known and available in the USA and Sweden, but as soon as I come across some of their rain jackets it will be hard to let them pass.