Klättermusen x Britta Marakatt-LabbaGear
Klättermusen launches first-ever brand collaboration in partnership with Swedish textile artist Britta Marakatt-Labba
Written by Harriet Osborne // Photography by Klättermusen
We head to Oslo to meet Swedish artist Britta Marakatt-Labba to chat about her debut collaboration with renowned Swedish brand Klättermusen.
In a world where brands are in competition to shout the loudest, the Swedish mountain equipment brand Klättermusen takes a different approach.
Founded by Peter Askulv and a tight-knit group of local climbers in a small DIY workshop in the mountain village Åre, Klättermusen has been quietly pioneering solutions to enable outdoor enthusiasts to explore further, faster, and for longer since 1975. The brand’s unassuming nature is in the name, which translates to ‘mountain mouse’ – to avoid attracting attention and be intentionally ‘uncool.’ But the outcome is quite the opposite.
Forging their own path requires courage, patience, perseverance, purpose, and self-belief. Qualities that resonate with the people their equipment is designed for: outdoor enthusiasts seeking durable and rigorously tested products made for the mountains.
The pioneering spirit that originally spurred Klättermusen into existence remains at the heart of the company today, from the people working behind the scenes to how the materials feel and the angles of the pattern-making. And now, their commitment to doing things differently has evolved into their first-ever collaboration with Swedish textile artist Britta Marakatt-Labba.
‘We know that collaborations aren’t new,’ Ida Holmen, Klättermusen Global Head of Marketing, told us at the launch of the collection in Oslo. ‘So if we’re going to partner with anyone, it really has to mean something. It has to be something special.’
Ida first reached out to Britta during lockdown in 2021. ‘She replied within minutes,’ Ida told us. And without asking for any details, Britta replied, ‘Yes, I’m in!’
This small exchange speaks volumes about the heritage of the brand, the people who wear it, and its impenetrable influence in remote corners of the globe. Britta, hailing from a Sámi reindeer-herding family in Övre Soppero, Sweden, draws inspiration from her culture to create distinctive artwork, combining sketches, watercolour, and embroidery. ‘My interest in art started very early in my childhood. My sister did a lot of embroidery, and I studied her. It was fascinating to see the needle go up and down and create a pattern.’
The collaboration between Klättermusen and Britta seamlessly merges their shared values of craftsmanship, heritage, and environmental stewardship. Britta’s visual stories, rooted in Sámi culture and the environment, are prominent in the collection, which is made for fast and slow adventures. Women wearing red horn-shaped hats – historically forbidden in her village because of their association with the devil – are skillfully embroidered onto everyday crewnecks, long sleeves, and T-shirts with the hats turned around to show ingenuity, strength, and power.
A darker side to Britta’s storytelling is depicted in the shadows of a bright yellow Sámi drum: a ceremonial instrument traditionally made of wood and reindeer skin, representing the forestry and mining activities on traditional grazing grounds. Technical jackets, tank tops, and rucksacks are adorned with a screen print from hundreds of tiny stitches making up the Northern Lights, which can be seen from Britta’s home.
For Britta to produce her art, she arrives at blank canvases with the same courage that Klättermusen’s founder Peter had many years ago. ‘You have to start somewhere. So I put a small sketch on the textile, and you must be brave. You never know exactly where you will end up. But you must trust yourself and know it will work out in the end. Of course, sometimes I sit there and think, “What on earth am I doing?” If I’m standing still on a piece of work like this and my mind is stuck, I must go outdoors and walk to clear my head. Then, when I come back, I have the answer.’
Through this collaboration, Britta hopes to inspire a sense of connection to our own heritage and the environment. She wants wearers to experience the transformative power of art, not just confined to gallery walls but carried closely in the mountains. ‘Art is expensive in the gallery. But in this collection, people can wear art close to their bodies while hiking, climbing, or when they wake up in a tent. They can see this piece of art, and I hope it can give you some guidance.’
The Klättermusen x Britta Marakatt-Labba collaboration is available now. Find out more: Klättermusen.com