Spotlight on: Borg Fleece

November 2022
Photo courtesy of the Museum of Youth Culture
Words by Ben Perdue

Worn by outdoor-enthusiasts and field-ravers alike, we explore the countercultural legacy of Borg Fleece.

Fleece was literally made for outsiders. But, while its primary function is warmth, its textural appeal has seen it cross from the wilderness to the mainstream. A technical material that has come in from the cold.

Creative scenes haven’t only found safe spaces to grow underground, they’ve looked to the outskirts of towns and cities too. Escaping the legal and physical restrictions of urban areas for the freedom of abandoned warehouses and empty fields. Secret locations not exactly known for creature comforts, like heating. Finding, let alone enjoying, these nights has always called for clothes that combine insulation with a sense of easy style, inspiring the popularity of not just fleece outerwear’s thermal qualities but its no-fuss silhouettes.

By the same token, subcultures are not the sole domain of major cities; smaller rural populations influence youth movements too. Connected to the land by a more spiritual, laidback outlook on life that extends into music, art and fashion, the new folk scene celebrates the countryside and has a uniform dominated by outdoors gear - from fleece and Gore-Tex to vintage hand-knits. Not as bulky as a down jacket and less likely to tear, whether it’s a hedgerow or barbwire fence you’re jumping, fleece is as useful as it is tactile. Simultaneously rugged, yet soft.

Back on the streets, this faux-shearling wool mix fabric has a smart new relevance, rooted in outdoor sportswear functionality but with a premium feel that translates perfectly to nightlife’s sharper layered-up shapes. Adopted, adapted and evolved for a new Fred Perry generation, in true subculture style.