You would think giving sleeping bags to homeless people and selling ethically made watches were completely unrelated. But on the contrary; Nordgreen do both of these things at once.
Nordgreen, also known as my new sustainable watch crush, is the brainchild of founders Vasilij and Pascar. Working in tough business environments with no value or purpose, was enough to tip Vasilij and Pascar over the edge and into launching their own business. When you see their cleverly crafted watches, you’ll be very glad they tipped.
This powerful duo created Nordgreen out of the desire to give back to the world in more ways than one. They haven’t gone about business half-heartedly, and Corporate Social Responsibility is an understatement when it comes to the initiatives the Nordgreen founders have incorporated in their business. Luxury watches are honestly just one of the ways they contribute positively to the world.
“As watch-lovers, we believe all watches should have the highest quality and best design.As Danes, we believe in companies that are honest, sustainable, and that put others first. As consumers, we couldn’t find any affordable watch company that embodied all of these things. So we created it.” – Nordgreen
Nordgreen watches are thoughtfully designed (more on this later) in Denmark and produced in Hong Kong. Before partnering with their China-based supplier, the founders completed thorough on the ground research to ensure the supplier 100 percent complied with international labour and human rights laws.
On top of adhering to local laws and regulations, Nordgreen go the extra mile when it comes to looking after their staff. They offer English lessons, childcare, and sleeping arrangements for all staff and their families. This ensures the workers are not separated from their families if they live out of town. Nordgreen are always striving to ensure the best possible working conditions, and make sure these are upheld through their constant visits.
Vasilij and Pascar regularly visit the Danish-owned factory where their watches are made. As well as connecting with their team and working on new projects, they ensure all standards, regulations, and working conditions are consistent and effective. These regular visits to the factory ensure all Nordgreen watch owners can rest easy knowing their precious watch was made in a building that is spacious, bright, clean, and made by people who enjoy their work.
Sustainable Production and Packaging
Nordgreen are a watch lover’s heaven: they have straps for days. Think vegan options, Italian leather, and so many colours and styles to feast your eyes on. Naturally, it wouldn’t make sense for a Nordgreen watch to be shipped in any old thing either. When a watch is shipped to you, it is packaged in materials made from recycled paper and felt. To avoid extensive logistics and unnecessary transportation (cut those carbon emissions!), the team fulfill all non-European orders directly from their warehouse in Hong Kong, and all European orders from their distribution center in Germany, Langenfeld. Nordgreen may be new, but they’re tackling sustainable business from all directions.
At the Nordgreen Denmark-based office, you’ll find approximately 30 employees who like to think of themselves as one big green family. If you think your office is green… think again. Ninety percent of their staff cycle to work, they’ve planted 700 trees in sub-saharan Africa with the NGOs ‘Trees for the Future’, and their office is also carbon neutral. It’s no wonder Nordgreen’s recent Kickstarter has quickly become one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns in Europe. I’m certain it’s biking to work that refreshes their minds, ruffles their hair, and helps them succeed on a daily basis!
Nordgreen have one of the most personalised and rewarding giving back programs I have discovered to date. When making a purchase, you’re invited to donate to one of three NGOs they partner with. Your decision results in supporting that NGO, with no added cost. It’s simply where part of your purchase is going to end up. This unique way of giving back means consumers can vote with their pocket in a personal way. Their NGO partners give clean water, educate the future, and protect the rainforest.
Which one would you choose?
In addition to the giving back program, every Boheme watch sold donates a sleeping bag to a homeless person. Nordgreen will never give up on trying to make their positive impact reach all spheres of the world.
Giving back schemes and sustainable business models are one thing, but a long-lasting product and timeless design is the heart of a sustainable business. At the end of the day, the product must run the distance, and be loved by the wearer endlessly, without ever going out of fashion. This is where Nordgreen excel.
Luckily, Nordgreen have reputable designer Jakob Wagner on their team. A household name in Denmark, Jakob Wagner is an award-winning designer who works solely with high-end brands. Working with world-renowned brands such as Bang & Olufson has made Jakob one of the world’s most sought after design talents.
Jakob has created each Nordgreen watch to embody minimalistic Scandinavian design. He’s thought of everything, right down to the minute details; and there are many on a watch! For example, the watch cases are conically shaped to make the watch look petite and sophisticated. That’s just one of Jakob’s design secrets.
My Nordgreen favourite? The Infinity. I’d rock this beauty on the daily. I love how Jakob has designed it with pure simplicity in mind. There’s no date, no lugs (the bulky arms on the sides of watches that usually hold the strap on), but you can still interchange the watch straps. It is 3ATM rain resistant, and the dreamy rose gold case has me adding this to my ‘birthday wish list’. Husband, I hope you’re listening.
It’s no easy feat to be up against the hundreds of mainstream watch brands who lack a purposeful story, but make a lot of noise. Yet, Nordgreen have taken on the challenge, and they’re smashing it. You’ll even find Nordgreen in the “30 under 30” by Forbes.
The Nordgreen team take their sustainability focus beyond the office desk. “We appreciate the sustainability tendencies that are happening here in Denmark, such as Løs Market which is a zero-waste grocery store and an app called Too Good To Go which helps restaurants to reduce food waste.” They’re inspired by the work of Copenhagen-based underwear brand, Organic Basics, which creates sustainable basics from recycled fabric and Swedish fashion brand, Filippa K, who designs timeless and well-constructed clothing.
Nordgreen have realised it’s about time (pun intended) we did business in a way that is conscious, sustainable, forward thinking, and strategically planned to help others. If you’re a planning nerd like me, but want a timepiece made thoughtfully and consciously, head to Nordgreen to discover their collection. I’ll be right there, all the way over here in New Zealand, ogling at the options with you.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Nordgreen. Any opinions expressed are the writer’s own. Images supplied. Specific product information is checked with the business. For more information about our policies, click here.
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