Salewa: Outdoor equipment for every outdoor challenge
It all started small. The company, back then as a leather goods supplier in Munich Germany, took several decades to discover who it was. The name however has stayed the same: Salewa. Only today there are no longer leather camera bags in its collection, but rather, all that is the essence of true Alpinism.
The name SALEWA is derived after the company was set up In 1935 as a sister corporation of the Saddlers and Tapestry Handlers in Munich SA (Sattler / Saddler) LE (Leder / Leather) WA (Waren / Wares). At that time in the year 1945, it was producing what was needed: leather belts, backpacks and war material, after 1945 mattresses for refugees were being produced as well as leather camera bags for the thriving German photographic company Agfa. As early as the 1950s Salewa was manufacturing ski poles, made from hazelnut wood - these were a huge commercial success.
From leather goods to mountain-hardware to mountain-sport outfitter
From that point in time, what happened came in quick successions. 1955 the first ski poles were introduced, then backpacks, ice axes and crampons. As of 1962, the Salewa Classic crampon was a great success and in less than two years later, it had patented its internationally recognized tubular ice screw.
In just 15 years, until 1970, Salewa established itself in the field of mountain-hardware to one of the world's major manufacturers. The thriving label did not however, rest on its laurels. Salewa pursued its course consistently and developed products for all outdoor sports. From the mid-1970s it brought out tents and functional clothing into its collection.
München to Bolzano and worldwide
In 1990 Oberalp AG led by Heiner Oberrauch acquired Salewa. As early as 1983 Oberalp were representing Salewa-products in Italy, so it was almost a natural progression, that headquarters move from Munich to Bolzano, Italy. .
The new headquarters in Bolzano was completed in 2011. In the form of a rock crystal, this ultra-modern building reflected the company's philosophy between progress and environmental protection and between growth and responsibility.
"As a family," says Heiner Oberrauch, "we think in terms of generations - meaning that social responsibility and sustainability are integral part of our corporate culture. We are trying at all management levels to anchor the actual challenge of holistic entrepreneurship and responsibility for people and the environment. If we understand the heart of a human being, so we understand sustainability as a collective process, in which we engage our employees, partners and customers."
Meanwhile Salewa has grown with this credo far beyond Germany and Italy and also has numerous branches in Europe, Asia and America.
Nobody would have expected, 80 years ago that a small leather goods firm would grow into a complete supplier of outdoor equipment. With such a broad range of tents, poles, backpacks, shoes, snowshoes, outdoor clothing, softshell jackets, hardshell jackets and sleeping bags. Holding a strong domain revolving around climbing, trekking, hiking, skiing and mountaineering, Salewa's strength are illustrated in innovative products, such as the development of crampons, ice screws or tents. Testament to that is the innovative Salewa shoe - Mountain trainer or its backup device Ergo Belay System.
This course will continue in the future the company. The next few years will see Salewa under the motto "Get Vertical”. "With this motto, we would like to portait”, explains Stefanie Jüptner, Salewa's spokesperson for Germany, , "that each of us can grow and develop beyond where we have already grown and developed..On the mountain, this means, that you are always well prepared and equipped with the latest of equipment options available. Ultimately you're refueling and with this renewed energy, transmitting it into your daily life.”
The Salewa-Eagle: 1979/2014
Manufacturing, materials and shapes may have changed: What remains however is the high quality, and reliability of Salewa product. Since 1979 the Salewa Logo has been an eagle. In 2014 the logo was revised.
Why? "Taking this step, was a visible procedure into the new, future-oriented focus of the company. It is, "says Stefanie Jüptner," just the tip of the iceberg: 75 percent of the structure is initially not visible for most. In the background, is where, the brand Salewa develops our business model, to provide a strong foundation for our future goals. Procedures, processes, skills - as well as weaknesses - were carefully analyzed and changed over a period of almost five years, fine-tuned and linked to one another. We have a clear long-term vision and want to be THE mountain sports brand that triggers passion and enthusiasm for people whose activities are centered and inspired around mountains. Our market core "mountaineering" is intensively cared for; however, we still wish to convey that everybody has their 'own Kilimanjaro' that they can achieve. That is to say, that respective happiness is no greater or more valuable, the more extreme the activity is."
In recent decades, the concept of sustainability has become increasingly important, especially in the outdoor industry. And of course, the topic was an important point even with the realignment of the company. In 2001 Salewa published its first sustainability report. Mid 2015 its second Sustainability Report was released. Jüptner reveals: "With a touch of pride we can now report that we have mostly achieved our set targets and even partially surpassed them. Partnerships with companies such as bluesign®, Fair Wear Foundation, EOCA have certainly helped us in terms of products. We will continue to drive for improvement processes and consciously move forward.”
Allound-oufitter for mountain enthusiasts
Salewa not only stands for a long tradition and a continuous extension and improvement of its production palette. Salewa is an outfitter for solid and reliable equipment, outdoor-clothing, shoes and hardware for diverse and demanding outdoor challenges. So that each one of us can find his or her own vertical challenge and conquer their own "Kilimanjaro.”