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Melker of Sweden has started the in-house production of their world-famous kayaks on the picturesque island of Rindö in the Stockholm archipelago.

Let’s look at the innovative steps Melker is taking to revolutionize the sustainability of the kayak industry. We will also hear from Pelle Stafshede, CEO & Creative Director of Melker of Sweden, who shared their inspiring mission.

Realizing the Dream: In-House Production on Rindö

Melker's Pelle Stafshede Inspecting kayaks.

Pelle Stafshede, CEO and Creative Director of Melker of Sweden, has been the driving force that has turned the dream of in-house kayak production into reality.

This transition to in-house production marks several exciting advantages and greatly impacts the company’s transition to being green.

  • New plant-based materials
  • Adoption of advanced technology
  • Faster product development
  • 3D printing of prototypes
  • Efficient production
  • New partnerships

Melker can now move from ideas through research and development to production in less time.

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A Commitment to Sustainability

Paddlers in Melker kayaks camping on the High Coast of Sweden.

Melker of Sweden is unwavering in its commitment to sustainability and the development of environmentally friendly kayaks. Instead of carbon fiber and kevlar weave they use locally sourced flax weave in its place.

Pelle Stafshede underscores the profound ecological importance of their approach to kayak production, stating, “Transporting bulky products like kayaks around the world is a really big problem in regards to sustainability.”

To combat this, they’ve developed a flexible, modular production system. Melker can increase production across multiple locations and grow with actual demand.

Stafshede highlights that their philosophy goes beyond making things cheaper in far-off places. Instead, they focus on smart, efficient, and customer-centered production, with Rindö’s strategic location in perfect alignment with this vision.

Where’s their next target?

North America, where the reception of their kayaks has been enthusiastic as seen on Paddle TV with Ken Whiting who has reviewed both the Melker Ulvon sea kayak (see below) and the Melker Rodloga

Ken Whitting is a renowned former competitive whitewater kayaking champion. If you don’t know who he is, please visit his YouTube channel Paddle TV. You won’t be disappointed. He is an inspiration to me and the paddling industry as a whole.

A Ken Whiting quote about the Melker Rodloga. "...The Rödlöga is seriously on of the nicest kayak I've ever tested; super playful, fast and beautiful. People are going to be stoked with this boat, and they're finally available in North America..."

A Pivotal Partnership with Vaxholm Komposit

Melker's Pelle Stafshede paddling a Rodloga kayak in Toronto Canada.

In the nearby Swedish archipelago, a crucial piece of the sustainability puzzle falls into place – strategic partner, Vaxholm Komposit.

With decades of experience in building lightweight boats, Vaxholm Komposit is the perfect partner for Melker of Sweden.

“Vaxholm Komposit have decades of experience and is a highly recognized performance and light-weight boatbuilder – all the way from the initial ideas and concepts to the finished product – forming the foundation for our effective and state-of-the-art serial production. At the same time, we bring our valuable expertise in plant-based materials and Natural Fiber Composites (NFC) to the partnership, so it’s a really great match between the two of us” says Pelle Stafshede.

“The entire marine industry needs to move towards a more sustainable and plant-based agenda. Melker has constantly been pushing the boundaries of what is possible to achieve, and this is an exciting journey we are embarking on together. We look forward to paddling sleek, light-weight, and fully plant-based kayaks manufactured here on Rindö” says Ulf Brändström, CEO of Vaxholm Komposit.

A Visionary Future

Melker brand store, transparent factory, and experience center on the island of Rindö in the Stockholm archipelago.

Melker’s vision includes a future where sustainable tourism and product development take center stage.

Near Vaxholm Komposit, there is an old military library. This magnificent wooden building with mouth-blown window glass and a beautiful patina.

This building will set the stage for their own transparent factory. and experience center where customers will be invited to be part of the final product.

The center will also provide the opportunity to test kayaks, enjoy local food, stay overnight in the archipelago, and more.

Embarking on a New Chapter with Funding Endeavors

Kayakers carry a Melker Rodloga kayak to the water.

As Melker of Sweden embraces “Made In Sweden,” a new chapter unfolds as the company commences funding of around SEK 20 million.

“We have many big plans to launch now, in-house production in Sweden, expansion in North America, and acquisition of the facility. We already have a solid business, our growth curve is pointing in the right direction and we are making profits. This makes the timing for bringing in new investors to speed up our expansion just right” says Pelle Stafshede.

About Melker of Sweden: Pioneering Sustainable Kayaks for a Purposeful Lifestyle

A close up of the detail and amazing craftsmanship that goes into a Melker of Sweden Rodloga kayak.

Melker of Sweden is on a mission to redefine the world of kayaking by offering sustainable, high-performance, and elegantly designed kayaks. Their bio-composite kayaks perfectly complement an active and eco-conscious lifestyle.

The Melker philosophy revolves around the seamless interplay of environmental responsibility, ethical principles, and economic viability, enabling them to enact real change.

Guiding Values Behind Melker of Sweden

A paddler swimming and camping with a Melker Rodloga kayak.
  1. Environmental Stewardship: Melker holds steadfast in its commitment to preserving the environment. Their kayaks are crafted with sustainability at their core, ensuring minimal impact.
  2. Performance Excellence: They believe in providing high quality and superior performance. Their kayaks combine cutting-edge technology with timeless design to deliver an exceptional paddling experience.
  3. Style with Substance: Sleek and stylish, Melker of Sweden kayaks are not just vessels but statements of elegance and purpose. At Melker, aesthetics matter as much as performance.
  4. Community and Collaboration: Melker thrives on friends, family, and partners who share their philosophy to create a vibrant community bound by a passion for adventure and sustainability.

The Essence of Melker’s Philosophy

A product photo of a Melker Varmdo.

Melker of Sweden believes that the best way to succeed in business is to stay true to their values. By harmonizing their dedication to the environment, unwavering ethics, and economic ingenuity, Melker has forged a path to be proud of.

It’s not just about business for them. It’s about living what they love, together with those who share their vision, a lifestyle that embodies purpose, adventure, and eco-consciousness.

* Quotes in this article were received in a press release I received by email from Melker of Sweden on September 25, 2023.

Steve Hood

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