Inspired by Filson
I remember the first time I saw a Filson bag and I immediately held the owner in high esteem. It was a tan duffle and it oozed quality that inspired envy. I like a bag (you’ve may have noticed Bear & Bear has a phenomenal selection), but this one had a superlative personality. However, whilst I have enormous respect for the products Filson have created, it’s a bitter-sweet affair as there’s a side to the brand that doesn’t quite resonate….
I’ve written about my love for Filson, before: The rugged aesthetic, the durability (backed by a lifetime guarantee) and the made in USA credentials. But when it comes to their heritage I have some strangely mixed feelings. This brand was born in 1897 and founded on the principals of providing goods of unfailing quality to outdoorsmen. This was at a time when it could be the difference between life and death. A large part of their heritage has always related to hunting, and that’s where it starts to get murky for me.
As a born and raised Londoner I’ve never had to hunt and kill to eat (arguing over the last ripe avocado at Tescos Express on Kilburn High Road at 7pm on Monday is probably the closest I’ve come). I’ve fished and I’ve gutted my fair share of scaly skinned beasts, but I’ve never camped out, tracked, killed, skinned and eaten an animal. Not to say I’m necessarily against it if you’re going to eat it, but it’s out of my comfort zone.
Filson’s latest campaign, Snow Cowboys is an inspirational piece of cinematography that has quite honestly split the Bear & Bear office (everyone against me!) as to it’s relevance to Bear & Bear as a brand. For me, that’s enough for it to qualify for a recommendation to watch the clip and make up your own mind. There is no hunting, but it embodies an extreme lifestyle that is as far from the cosy urban experience we are used to as can be:
Personally, I felt inspired to visit Montana and understand more about the incredible landscape and tribulations that these people are still experiencing, almost unchanged since the inception of the Filson brand over 110 years ago.
Thankfully, it’s been captured beautifully in this 80 second clip, so I’ll probably go somewhere warmer instead…. But I’ll almost certainly take a Filson bag. Wherever we live, we are facing some struggles, some hardships, and crafted with the durability to go the distance, Filson inspires me to do the same even if it’s an exceptional roll-top backpack I’m after and not a sling for my non-existent gun!