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The history of Helly Hansen Workwear
Arguably the most famous wet weather clothing in the world, the Helly Hansen brand has grown from its humble beginnings back in 1877 on the fjords of Scandinavia, now a global leader in foul weather protection. Norwegian fisherman Helly Juell Hansen was a seasoned seaman having spent much of his life on the ocean, from the age of just fifteen. The now captain saw that traditional fisherman’s hats and clothing where simply not up to the job; he and his wife Maren Margarethe began to develop the very first offerings from the company in the form of oilskin jackets, sou'wester and waterproof trousers.
The coarse linen garments where soaked in linseed oil and left to cure for a period of time before taking-on unprecedented waterproofing properties, the captain knew he was on to a winner. The garments outperformed all that came before them; so much so in fact that within only 5 years the adventurous start-up had recorded sales upwards of 10,000 pieces.
The years that followed saw a rise to prominence for Helly Hansen workwear with them receiving a diploma for excellence at the 1878 Paris Expo. The seven oceans of the world were no longer a barrier to traders, especially to an accomplished fisherman such as the good captain; now the world was open for business with exports of these popular garments going international.
Today of course Helly Hansen is synonymous with high quality and reliability, the tool of choice for the serious tradesman and used globally as survival and rescue gear by emergency services including the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, the world’s oldest lifeboat service.