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Røros - home of HÅG

The historic town of Røros in Norway is the home of the HÅG brand, and has been an integral part of our story for 60 years now. Røros is an old copper mining town surrounded by stunning natural scenery and is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The HÅG factory is one of the most modern manufacturing facilities in the Scandinavian furniture industry today.

We were the first company in Norway to employ a dedicated environmental manager.

HÅG was originally originally a tubular steel furniture factory established in 1943 by Håkon Granlund. Initially, most of our business was furniture for schools, which we produced in the relatively small premises we had in Oslo. However, it wasn’t long before we outgrew this location. As we struggled to find a suitable alternative in Oslo, Granlund relocated the HÅG factory to Røros in 1957 - into a newly constructed building that the municipality had funded to attract new industry to the area.

After more than 300 years, the copper mining industry had dried up in Røros and the town faced some serious challenges.

Despite a prosperous start in Røros, the demand for tubular steel furniture dropped dramatically during the ‘60s. In 1973, facing bankruptcy, the company was handed over to young recruit, Torgeir Mjør Grimsrud.

BIRTH OF THE HÅG MOVEMENT

Once Grimsrud became CEO of HÅG, he immediately set about modernising the company. This prompted a remarkable turn of events. Realising HÅG had little left besides its dedicated team of employees, a decision was made to focus corporate culture in a more systematic way. This was the birth of “The HÅG Movement”. Not only did this relate to the idea of movement in our chairs, it also embodied a whole new way of thinking throughout the company. Office chairs were a tiny part of what we did to begin with, but it was agreed that this would now be HÅG’s primary focus. We would take everything we knew about ergonomics from the school chairs we made and expand on it.

STATE-OF-THE-ART FACTORY

A major milestone in the HÅG manufacturing procedure occurred in 1992, due to the implementation of just-in-time manufacturing. Instead of having surplus product stock and a delivery time of three weeks, we could now create products on demand and deliver within five days.
It was a revelation and allowed us to continue to manufacture chairs in Norway. From then on, the Røros factory has undergone many operational improvements.

As a result, it is one of the most modern manufacturing facilities in the European furniture industry today.

Making premium office chairs still involces a lot of handcrafting.

OUR DEDICATED TEAM

Ever since we arrived in Røros we’ve been an important part of the community. Although we incorporate a lot of semi-automatic manufacturing processes, making premium office chairs still involves a lot of handcrafting. Therefore, having such an experienced and dedicated workforce, covering all areas of expertise, is one of the fundamental reasons why HÅG has gone on to enjoy such lasting success. The people are the heart and soul of the HÅG brand and our company. With the average period of employment being much longer than most other workplaces, we like to think of ourselves as one big happy family. All working, learning and growing together.

BALANCED MOVEMENT

In the ‘70s, the beginnings of what has become a strong human-centered design ethic for HÅG materialised. The launch of the HÅG Doc chair in Chicago in 1979 was the result of a collaboration with Danish doctor, Aage Christian Mandal. The Doc chair had a “fluid” tipping seat, or centre tilt, based on doctor Mandal’s theory that “Man is not made to sit still, but made for movement and variation.”

Launch of a design icon

The launch of Peter Opsvik’s task chair, the HÅG Capisco, in 1984, was another defining moment for us. In many ways, this was the beginning of HÅG becoming an internationally renowned company. Opsvik, who had been hired as a freelance designer back in the early '70s, and was responsible for helping us design the HÅG 2010 office chair in 1974, was part of a team of leading designers collaborating with us. The HÅG Capisco was innovative because of its sculptural shape and the fact that it offered endless ways to sit or half stand. It became the embodiment of Opsvik’s own mantra: “The next position is always the best one.”

Since it first became known, the HÅG Capisco has gone on to become a modern furniture classic. One which has been further developed several times, as in 2010, with the introduction of the HÅG Capisco Puls. For many years now, The HÅG Capisco has been the overall bestselling office chair for Scandinavian Business Seating, and continues to receive numerous international awards for its groundbreaking design.

Evolving of the HÅG in Balance®

Around the same time that the HÅG Capisco was being launched, another HÅG/Opsvik chair, the HÅG Credo, also saw the light of day. The HÅG Credo was our first centre tilt chair where you could adjust the seat depth by sliding it, and marked the beginning of another exciting adventure for HÅG. Building on the same balanced movement principles as the original HÅG Doc chair, it allowed people to tilt forward and backwards with ease, incorporating more movement as a natural way of sitting. The HÅG Credo, which was later renamed HÅG H04, became a bestselling office chair throughout Scandinavia. To date over two million units have been sold worldwide.

In 2000, we advanced even further. The HÅG H05, which again was developed in collaboration with Peter Opsvik, incorporated smart functionality and a balanced movement mechanism that’s still unique today.

Inspired to make people’s working day more comfortable, and to encourage an increased amount of movement, by the mid 2000s, we had improved our mechanism for balanced movement to an even greater degree. Our latest generation of chairs, the HÅG SoFi and HÅG Futu, both incorporate the latest HÅG in Balance® technology. Meaning that people only need to adjust the height of the seat to sit properly and get their circulation going. A crucial factor for well-being, comfort and productivity.

Offering complete comfort

HÅG forever persists in developing new chairs that give people an enhanced experience of comfort. When you sit in a HÅG chair, you sit in balance. Your whole body is continuously moving in a natural way, without you ever having to think about it.

See how our HÅG in Balance® technology works and how it will benefit you.

DESIGN COLLABORATIONS

In the ‘70s, design was still seen as being quite a novel discipline, but for HÅG it was something we decided to embrace wholeheartedly. Consequently, we invited several leading Scandinavian designers to help form a creative melting pot of ideas and opinions. Amongst these designers were Peter Opsvik, Svein Gusrud, Svein Asbjørnsen and Verner Panton. Together, they made up a formidable force that gained a lot of attention and significantly increased HÅG’s sales throughout the world.

Read more about HÅG’s approach to creative design collaborations.

ENVIRONMENTAL PIONEERING

For many years now, HÅG has distinguished itself as a leading international office chair brand through a conscious commitment to the environment and corporate social responsibility. We were the first company in Norway to employ a dedicated environmental manager. This was in 1990 - a long time before most customers or the public showed any real interest in the environmental impact of our company or products.

Recycled plastic

We began using recycled plastic from various sources like bottle tops in the production of our chairs as early as 1995. HÅG was the driving force in including bottle tops in recycling. Previously, they had always been separated from the bottles before they were returned. Nowadays, all kinds of recycled household articles, from plastic bags to shampoo bottles, are used in the production of our chairs. In April 2015, the HÅG Capisco won the award for Best Recycled Plastic Product in Europe, presented by EPRO (European Association of Plastics Recycling and Recovery Organisations). The award is in recognition of our environmental beliefs and concerns, and shows that by using recycled materials we are 100% committed to being eco-friendly.

Lessening our impact

In 2003, we began thoroughly mapping and documenting the environmental impact of all our seating solutions. Consequently, in 2004, HÅG was the first manufacturer of office furniture in the world to gain an ISO 14025-EPD (Environmental Product Declaration). Now every one of our collections carries an EPD. This certification acknowledges that HÅG has some of the lowest CO2 emissions in the furniture industry. In 2006, our chairs were amongst the first in Europe to be certified by GEI (US GREENGUARD Environmental Institute), which guarantees that a product doesn’t emit harmful gases. Then in 2010, the HÅG Capisco was the first office chair to be awarded the renowned Nordic Ecolabel (Nordic Swan).

As part of a company that genuinely cares about the environment, we do everything we can to lessen our impact on it. Whether it’s by reducing our energy consumption, minimalizing our waste or making products from recycled materials. For that reason, all our environmental efforts and achievements make us extremely proud.

The next position is always the best one.
PETER OPSVIK

The HÅG Credo (later renamed HÅG H04) became a bestselling office chair throughout Scandinavia with more than 2 million units sold to date.

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