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Protective is fashion: How POC Sports revolutionised the ski helmet

By Sagal Mohammed

Photo: Gustav Wiking

A helmet isn’t your typical sartorial must-buy, but trend-setting POC Sports have made it the most coveted item this ski season

In collaboration with POC Sports


Making protective ski wear look and feel cool is a task too big for most fashion brands but for POC, it came innately. Founded in 2004, the Swedish brand has become renowned for its innovative and stylish take on snow and cycle helmets, outdoor sports accessories and apparel not only in Scandinavia but internationally. “It wasn’t the norm to wear ski helmets when we first entered the scene,” says Lina Elfstrand, POC’s chief marketing officer. “But today even the greatest skiers and snowboarders wear a helmet. They have become accepted as an essential part of your kit and cool to wear, and we are proud that we have been part of establishing that acceptance and shifting the narrative.”

POC ski helmet skiing

Photo: Gustav Wiking

POC Sports was born when founder Stefan Ytterborn, who loved skiing and ski racing with his children, realised the dangers of having his kids compete without the most advanced or innovative protective gear. The moment inspired him to create his own product line, one that was rooted in a commitment to combine safety, performance and design. “We always look outside of the industry for inspiration when creating our products,” says Elfstrand. “If you look at our moodboards, it’s never filled with what our competitors are doing or what the current trends are. We do not limit where we look and a lot of the time we look at things that might feel totally out of context. Our mindset is always on pushing boundaries and doing things on our terms.”


Devour Glacial glasses in Uranium Black. Photo: Gustav Wiking

This ethos is exactly what has made POC the brand it is today: authentic, forward-thinking and incredibly chic. The brand’s classic helmets are their best-selling products year-round, though eyewear offerings such as goggles and sunglasses have become increasingly popular, much of which is credited to its clever tech-based design and aesthetics. Take the Clarity Sunglasses for example, an 11-piece collection of eyewear created with unique lens technology intensifying specific colours and enhancing contrasts, all to provide a new level of sensory clarity. Available in a number of shades and flattering shapes, their slick design is just as enticing as its ability to boost performance. Now, sustainability is on the agenda.

POC sports

The handcrafting of the helmet. Photo: Supplied

“We’ve been working on it for a long time now by integrating recycled and bio-based materials to our products. We are for instance working with durability and high quality products with a focus on long life span, actively testing several innovative materials and solutions, and switching materials where possible,” explains Elfstrand. “Our focus is on making conscious choices whilst still factoring in that we’re a safety company that can’t compromise on the safety element of our products. It’s about finding new ways to practice sustainability,” Elfstrand continues. “Our products encourages people to get on bikes and start cycling instead of driving as a means of transport, which in itself is a part of cities becoming more sustainable too. But ultimately, as a product producing brand, we are very committed to looking into each and every product we produce, making sure we have considered all options in how we make it more environmentally-friendly.”

POC Devour-Glacial_ApophylliteGreen

Devour Glacial in Apophyllite Green. Photo: Gustav Wiking for POC


Meninx ski helmet and Zonula ski goggle in Lt Agate Red Matt. Photo: Gustav Wiking

One product that will pave the way for this is the brand’s latest invention: a savvy self-charging cycling helmet created in collaboration with Swedish start-up, Exeger. “Our self-powered helmet has three solar cells integrated inside it, meaning that you can power a light at the back of the helmet and it comes on automatically because it has a light sensor,” adds Elfstrand. “The power comes from any light source both indoors and outdoors, which means you’ll never have to charge the helmet.”

Meninx Zonula POC

Meninx ski helmet and Zonula ski goggle in Lt Agate Red Matt. Photo: Gustav Wiking

As well as sustainability, the future of POC is all about community. The brand is making conscious efforts to bring together like-minded people who thrive off the adrenaline of outdoor sports and feel passionate about practising it safely. “We have a big focus on integrating more with our community right now and getting closer to them,” Elfstrand insists. “We don’t want consumers to just be our customers, we want a tighter relationship with them.”


Lina Elfstrand. Photo: Supplied

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