The Janus factory opened in 1895 in Bergen and has supplied underwear to workers since the very start. It was, however, when Janus started producing flame-retardant underwear that deliveries to industry took off. At the start of the 1970s, the Janus factory delivered flame-retardant underwear to industrial customers such as Götaverken, Sweden’s largest and one of the world’s largest shipyards at that time.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, major industrial companies in Norway also started to show an interest in flame-retardant underwear produced by Janus. At the same time, product testing and qualification underwent developments. As Norway became a member state in the EEA, the CE label was introduced in Norway for flame-retardant textiles, implying that our products had to comply with a certain standard in order to be approved.
At the start of the 1990s, we signed a major contract with Odda Smelteverk (smelting plant) and later with Elkem. For the Janus factory, this was an opportunity to launch their products on a wider market, and JanusPro was established as a brand in 2001.
One key factor for the product developers was to be able to provide eco-friendly and skin-friendly underwear and middle layers with flame-retardant qualities that lasted the entire product lifetime. Up to that point in time, chemical treatment of garments had been the common method of achieving flame-retardant qualities, but the chemicals gradually disappeared with each wash and were therefore neither effective, eco-friendly or skin-friendly.
JanusPro decided to create garments from a combination of wool, which in itself is difficult to ignite, and a textile with very low flammability that is also self-extinguishing – modacrylic fibre (ProtexM). The new underwear passed the test required for the CE label for flame-retardant products. The garments were also approved according to the Oeko-Tex standard 100 and were declared free of harmful substances. As a result, JanusPro was the first company in Norway to provide an eco-friendly and skin-friendly alternative for underwear with a lifelong flame-retardant effect. JanusPro was awarded the innovation award from the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO) in 2008 for their innovative underwear.
Over the years, the Janus factory has won numerous contracts for deliveries of normal woollen underwear to the Norwegian Armed Forces. With this innovation, the Norwegian soldiers could now benefit from flame-retardant underwear. The Swedish Armed Forces also showed an interest, resulting in major deliveries being sent over the border to Sweden. These were followed by deliveries to the Armed Forces in Finland, France, and Croatia and, finally, the Janus factory won a major contract with NATO.
Today, JanusPro has a sound position as a supplier of protective underwear and middle layers to the Armed Forces and industrial and handicraft companies both at home and abroad. JanusPro manufactures clothes that protect the wearer from cold, heat, flames, flame arc sparks and static electricity. When one piece of clothing can provide so many qualities, we can safely refer to them as multi-protective garments.