A stylish watch that respects the environment and even has a built-in giving-back-to-a-good-cause programme? Trust the Danes to pull it off!
With the arrival of the smartphone, wrist watches suddenly fell out of grace. But listen carefully and you’ll hear lots of talk in fashionista circles right now about the revival of yesteryear’s indispensable accessory. And one name keeps popping up time and again: Nordgreen watches. Curiosity duly piqued, we checked them out and liked what we saw. And discovered a great story in the process.
When Pascar Sivam and Vasilij Brandt, two Danish friends in their mid-twenties, founded Nordgreen in 2017, their goal was to create an ‘active’ brand and to bring about positive change through thoughtfully designed timepieces. They envisioned watch designs rooted in the rich Scandinavian tradition of interlinking purpose and functionality with aesthetic appeal – timeless enough to be passed onto the next generations. Even the company’s name has a deeper meaning: Nordgreen is a typical Danish surname, combined from two words – ‘Nord’ and ‘Green.’ The “Nord” is characteristic of its Nordic identity. The “Green” embodies its commitment to the environment.
The artist behind the sleek and understated design is Jakob Wagner, the creative mastermind behind iconic brands like Bang & Olufsen, Hay, B&B Italia, and Cappellini. His work for Nordgreen, along with the sustainable execution, earned him and the company the prestigious Red Dot product design award 2020.
But the beauty of Nordgreen watches goes deeper than meets the eye. They are also highly functional, built to last, and easy on the environment. The materials are selected both for optimal performance like high shock, scratch, and water resistance, and their ability to be sustainably sourced. “It’s our default setting to approach life with passion, and to treat the environment with respect. And with respect comes responsibility,” the founders declare. “We are 100% committed to making sure our environmental footprint is zero, and we feel a responsibility to give back where we can, to help those less fortunate than ourselves.”
Which brings us to the third thing we really liked about Nordgreen: its “giving back programme”. As you pick your watch – yes, you can assemble it à la carte – a portion of the sale is automatically set aside for a good cause, at no extra cost to you. Your job is just to decide which of the three NGOs the company partners with shall benefit from your purchase: health, education, and environment. With Water for Good, you provide clean drinking water for two months for a person in the Central African Republic. Through Pratham UK you sponsor an Indian child’s education for one month, and if you select Cool Earth, you preserve 200 sq.ft. of rain forest in Latin America.
Of course you wonder if so much goodness comes at a steep price, but be ready for yet another shock: these watches retail in the very affordable €150 to €250 price range.
What are you still waiting for? Join the club of fashion leaders with a sense of style and sustainability. Head on over to the Nordgreen website and start building your personal favourite timepiece. It’s finally time to feel good about wearing watches again.
“The most sustainable thing you can do is not to wear a watch. We want to be the best alternative to that, as we believe that we all have an inherent responsibility to do better. What we did yesterday should be outdone by what we do today and tomorrow forward, to help ensure a lifetime for the generations to come. That is why we see it as our responsibility to create means for giving back through initiatives that facilitate the transition towards a more sustainable tomorrow, with respect towards our communities and the environment.”
— Pas and Vas, Company Founders
All images courtesy Nordgreen