In the past few decades, one word has become an essential part of the soft and happy Danish way of life: hygge. Pronounced “hoo-gah,” it’s one of those beautiful words with no direct translation to the English language. Still, its meaning is something along the lines of the warm and fuzzy feeling you get from the simple things, togetherness, and the general contentment within comfort. It’s become a popular word elsewhere, as many people of our hectic world try to find a connection to joy in other places. Danes wear their hygge with pride, like a flag of cosiness. And Nordiskan puts this notion at the very centre of its brand.
Nordiskan is a family-owned Danish company that specialises on luxurious throws and scarves. Offering free shipping worldwide, Nordiskan is located in Denmark’s countryside, where it strives to make a difference in its local economy. The company partners exclusively with nearby farmers and artisans to make each of its products, forming long-standing partnerships with providers the family has known for years. These are people who have been making throws and scarves for a long time, sometimes generations, and Nordiskan partnered up with them to spread the joy and make their craftsmanship known. The general idea behind Nordiskan is connecting hygge from the skilled hands of Danish manufacturers to every corner of our planet, in a sort of shipment of cosiness and warmth.
Nordiskan is a small company with a big philosophy, focused on happy living and finding contentment in the simple things in life. The brand doesn’t carry a lot of products, and they lack a physical showroom. They are, however, open for visitors, and you can easily contact them and schedule a tour of their facilities in Nysted, a small coastal town in Lolland island with fewer than 1,500 residents.
The entirety of the Nordiskan brand is based on hygge, as you’ll find skimming through their website. If there’s one thing in the world made for comfort, it’s a throw – an item created to keep you warm, and the loyal companion of long winter nights. With that in mind, the Nordiskan family is aware of the importance of having a great throw during the cold and harsh winters, and how difficult it can be to find one that fits the bill. Each Nordiskan order comes with a copy of The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking, a best-seller about the Danish way of life and the country’s love of comfort.
To create their comfy pieces, one of the essential materials in the Nordiskan catalog is wool, which is one of the most sustainable fabrics out there. While stemming from animals, no harm comes to sheep to take out their coats, which makes for a natural and friendly fabric. It’s always been about shearing instead of killing, on the one hand; on the other, sheep are part of the natural carbon cycle, consuming carbon from plants and turning it into wool – in fact, 50% of the weight of wool is purely organic carbon. Besides, wool is a very noble fabric with a long lifespan, and products made from it can last many years. As a plus, it is easily biodegradable!
Both Nordiskan products I have are made of 100% wool. The first was the Athen throw – Pumpkin orange; in a beautiful colour best associated with hot pumpkin lattes and falling leaves, it was impossible not to fall in love with this throw. It’s not only a bright and beautiful addition to my collection, but it’s also one of the most comfortable items I’ve ever held. My other Nordiskan piece is the Bordeaux throw – Green, a contemporary take on the classic herringbone weave, it is made from 100% Geelong lambswool left natural and unbrushed after the weaving process. Soft and cosy, this throw takes a twist when it comes to design, coming in bold colours and patterns.
Slow living has been a key aspect of Denmark’s culture for many centuries. Countries in which the climate is harsher with gloomier winters usually do poorly in global happiness scores – but not Denmark. This Scandinavian nation regularly ranks among the happiest countries on Earth. I’m sure we can all learn a thing or two from the joyful Danes and their comforting hygge.
We live in such a fast-paced world in which slowing down becomes a conscious effort instead of a seamless way of life. Embracing the Danes’ healthy love of cosiness seems like a step in the right direction towards a more mindful life. I might make the best out of hygge, all cuddled up in a Nordiskan wool throw.