Story and vision
From planned obsolescence to planned permanence
It all started with two sweaty friends and a YouTube tutorial on how to sew. We didn't think the clothes we had were smart enough, so we made some that were better for playing in the Norwegian playground. All of a sudden we were a company.
Our little company kept growing every year. We won awards, and our innovations Ziplongs®, Zipbody™ and Zipbra™ were sold to stores all over the world. But somewhere along the road we understood that we had become part of a big problem: The textile industry.
The textile industry is the world's next most polluting industry, and creates misery for people and the environment all around the world. We had to make a choice: Either make a radical change to our business strategy, or shut down. We chose the former, and decided to make some changes that would really mean something.
«All» clothing companies claim to be sustainable. But as long as the business model is to sell as much clothing as possible, sustainable measures will mean next to nothing. The fact is that there are no environmentally friendly fabrics (no matter what you've heard). The only thing that will make a difference is if you and I buy less clothes.
That's why our goal is to help you decrease your clothing consumption. We do this by challenging the entire textile industry's business model. While "everyone" else is trying to tell you that this year's products are better than last year's, we are trying to tell you to keep you clothes as long as possible. Preferably forever. Forget planned obsolescence – we are going for planned permanence.
We know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "How are the going to make money off of that?". Well, it's not as impossible as it sounds. Check out our business model here.
So please, use your clothes as long as you can, repair them if possible, buy local, buy good quality and buy products that won't go out of style!
Or just go naked 😊
Who are we?
We are made up of a few people who's background is not from the clothing industry. We have done a lot of other things, though, so we've become pretty good at challenging norms. It has to be done. This industry sucks, and new ideas are long overdue.
We are also normal people who don't have olympic medals or thousands of followers on Instagram. Our concepts are strong enough themselves and don't need a tired out celebrity to convince anyone.
Our company is owned by entrepreneurs, employees and customers. Together we have 50 owners where four are employees and the rest are customers. We're pretty proud of that!
What we believe in
We get to work every day ready to rethink the way we develop products for your playground. Zipwear™, local production and lifetime service are a few examples. And we're just getting started. The textile industry has seen very little development since the industrial revolution, and the losers are our planet and the workers living on pretty much slave salaries. Our ambition is to be bold and brave. Let's not pretend like everything is OK. Let's roll up our sleeves and get sh*t done!
Why the name Northern Playground?
Northern Playground is the playground where it all started: Norwegian mountains, forests and waters. It is where we found and continue to find inspiration. It is also a place that reminds us about how vulnerable nature is and how important it is to take care of.