Melker of Sweden was founded 2015 in Hammarö by local serial entrepreneur, innovator and designer Pelle Stafshede, with the bold ambition to completely game change the outdoor hardware industry.
An interplay between the environment, ethics and economy is strategically important to us – making it possible to make a real difference.
We see our innovation, design, research and development as a long-term investment for our company, coming generations and the great outdoors. Making the best products is crucial for saving the planet.
We know that all business activities generate environmental problems - from powering computers to shipment overseas. Our sustainability work is an ongoing process where we continuously make improvements throughout our business practices and share what we’ve learned with others.
Our core values also include having a great time - making sure that we always do what we love together with friends, family and partners sharing our philosophy.
Staying true to our philosophy makes it possible for us to create a successful business we are proud to run and work for.
From bamboo to recycled fish nets & flax fiber
Our mission is to find out how we can serial produce top quality kayaks as sustainable as possible. In our journey we have tried everything from bamboo to used coffe bean bags. Right now we believe flax fiber is the best alternative when it comes to quality and sustainability but who knows what the next big thing is?
- 2015 - Melker was founded by Pelle Stafshede and Jonas Ernfors in Sweden with the goal of building the most visually appealing kayaks in the world, while being as sustainable as possible. The flagship model was the Melker Väderö in bamboo composite. Production took place at the Koga factory in Poland.
- 2016 - The launch of Melker Ulvön and Melker Trossö. Melker expanded to Germany and began to grow in Europe. Melker Ulvön was nominated for Design S awards and Outdoor Product of the Year in Sweden. Our research into large-scale 3D printing with wood fiber began.
- 2017 - Melker Örskär was launched, and our kayaks were now available in stores all over Europe. Unfortunately, the production quality from the Polish factory started to be more and more uneven.
- 2018 - Our playboat, Melker Rödlöga, hit the market and won the award for "Coolest Gear of the Show" at Paddle Expo. Melker Ulvön received the German Design Award. We moved production to World of Kayaks in Estonia and started working with Flax Fiber instead of bamboo.
- 2019 - This year, we took a step back from international markets to focus on our products and quality. Jonas Ernfors stepped down, and Emil Gyllenberg took his place. Melker Trossö was discontinued in production, and the kayaks built with flax fiber had great success in Sweden. We also shipped our first container to Canada.
- 2020 - We began a collaboration with Zegul Kayaks and took over the operational side of their brand store in Stockholm, Sweden. The goal was to have an experience center in Stockholm that showcases Melker & Zegul and allows customers to try the kayaks on the water. This partnership also led to Zegul producing the Melker kayaks, resulting in even better quality after a thorough due diligence process.
- 2021 - Due to the impact of Covid, we mainly focused on the domestic market in Sweden. We produced the first version of the Melker Arkö paddle in a limited series of 100 pieces. We dedicated significant time and effort to building the brand store and experience center in Stockholm. A new research project began with the aim of creating a fully biobased composite with specifications at least as good as, if not better than, fiberglass composite.
- 2022 - The first Melker kayaks reached the USA and became available through Paddling Warehouse in Chicago. Our 3D printing technology made significant progress, enabling us to produce the world's first fully 3D printed unibody full-sized kayak made from wood fiber mixed with recycled ocean plastic. The biocomposite resulted in a lightweight, rigid laminate that was nearly 80% biobased.
- To be continued
We are in business to make a difference - having a great time doing it
One of the most important factors in our filosofy is that we believe that you need to love what you are doing and have fun doing it. By keeping true to that we know that we will continue to develop as a company in a sustainable way.
Supporters for our international growth
Our primary goal for the coming years is to enter the North American markets. This significant project is partially funded by the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth.