LIGHT MY FIRE AND SMÅLANDSPLAST PUT SWEDISH TOWN BACK IN BUSINESS
When Electrolux moved its manufacturing from Västervik, Sweden to Hungary, they abandoned more than a state-of-the-art plastic plant. They left an entire town to its fate. But now, the empty factory has sprung back to life creating local jobs and a new feeling of optimism. The 28,500m2 Västervik plant facility at one time employed 2,000 people to manufacture plastic vacuum cleaner shells using its own state-of-the-art method and materials. When Electrolux moved out, the town lost a major employer. The outlook was grim.
Enter Light My Fire , a Malmö-based company that makes popular outdoor accessories in high-quality plastic. The company was experiencing rapid growth on the international market and needed a facility that could offer them virtually unlimited capacity. Overnight, the Västervik factory went from tragedy to inspiration.
Headed by production partner Smålandsplast, owned by Bertil Andersson, the factory now carries out all of Light My Fire’s production, assembly, stock and distribution. The facility is equipped with two 750-ton, two 500-ton and two 150-ton plastic injection mould machines and a 65m3 cistern for plastic pellets. This impressive production capacity is supervised by Anders Gordon and Peter Olofsson –former Electrolux employees considered two of the top names in the industry. This special plastic developed by Electrolux is extremely strong, doesn’t warp and can withstand temperatures of up to 109°C.
For assembly and packing the company has contracted the services of Samhall, a state-owned company that employs people who for some reason are slightly outside the traditional labour market. Not only has the work given a large number of locals a meaningful working day, but the results have surpassed all expectations.
Has Attracted Other Entrepreneurs
The empty factory became a magnet for plastics innovators and managed to attract a number of entrepreneurial companies. There are also concrete plans to build a Holiday Club adventure theme park in the city.
About Light My Fire
Light My Fire was founded in Sweden in 2000 to market fire steel and other fire-making products. The products gradually caught on and the line was expanded with a high quality, plastic meal kit by Swedish designer Joachim Nordwall. The kit included a combined fork, spoon and knife utensil called a “Spork” that has become a highly popular product around the world – over 1 million have been sold to date. Today, Light My Fire’s products are distributed in over 20 countries and are available in US stores such as REI, Campmore and even Wal-Mart, and Blacks and Millets in the UK. The company’s products are known for their quality, style and innovation and have been taken to heart by both the backyard picnicker and the backwoods survivalist.
For more information contact:
Light My Fire Sweden AB