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This is Greenwatch, a weekly insight into eco-friendly watch brands creating a space for a more sustainable future in watchmaking. 

How green are wristwatches? While it’s true that given the often hefty price tag, a watch harnessing a long lifespan, often becoming an heirloom, it’s eco-conscious capabilities don’t just stop there. While watch brands today are targeting the vital need to acknowledge their ecological footprint, this is often sought out through charitable allegiances and partnered campaigns for specific causes. 

The consumer demand for sustainability has forced brands to embrace, and with some haste, alternative approaches to lesser conscious history, which meant finally turning to watch materials. The advent of this came through watch straps and the soaring demand for plant-based methods that cause less harm and use less resources in the environment than leather straps. But what comes next?

What do we owe each other? What is our inherent responsibility as a person? What does your relationship to the environment require of us? These are questions that informed the ethos behind the Nordic watchmaking brand: Nordgreen. Nordgreen asserts, “Our brand represents a collection that embraces its simple purpose and aesthetic appeal, and a deep-rooted responsibility to give back.”

Sustainability can be a stylish response to a call to action. Nordgreen designs their watch collections with versatility and functionality in mind. They create long-lasting pieces that move with the wearer through the ebb and flow of life and trends. Chief Designer of Nordgreen Jakob Wagner has been in the design field for 25 years and counting. He is a five-time recipient of the IF Product Design Award and Designer of the Year. He explains, “With a Nordic mindset on design, contemplation comes first. I look for meaning before I design anything. Then I turn to nature for inspiration, searching for the most harmonious expression. I carefully design every component individually to be part of the whole and to respect the materials and function.”

Courtesy of Blancpain

So what does responsibility look like to Nordgreen? It’s small and big efforts in creating a more ethical and sustainable supply chain. Nordgreen’s head office in Copenhagen runs on electricity sourced from renewable energy sources. Since the start of 2021, Nordgreen has been partnering with CleanHub to offset all full-time employees’ plastic use. Even more impressively, the Copenhagen office is carbon neutral, which is achieved through Nordgreen’s support of the UN certified Burgos Wind Project in the Philippines. But what about the actual watches?

Nordgreen is making massive strides in having a transparent and clean supply chain. They have amassed multiple certificates for actual merchandise as well as packaging including: GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certificate, GRS (Global Recycling Standard) certificate, Fairtrade certificate, FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certificate, Greenguard and Leather Working Group certificate. Nordgreen’s products are manufactured in a Danish-owned factory in China that abides by Danish labour practices. To minimise their environmental footprint, they offset the carbon footprint of all product transportation, including shipping to customers. Nordgreen has full traceability of their Tier 1 suppliers and some of their Tier 2, with the goal to have traceability all the way through at least Tier 3.

From hot pink dials to classic metal straps – Nordgreen’s watches range from timeless to playful. With the arrival of SS22, Nordgreen has released new styles of their beloved ‘Philosopher’ watches featuring coloured dials. You can pick from hot pink, green and yellow, teal or red. If you’re more into the classics, their Pioneer style is a 2020 Reddot design award winner featuring interchangeable straps for versatility and available in various metal finishes including: silver, rose gold and gunmetal. 

 Nordgreen makes taking responsibility look so good, and we, for one, here at The Next Hour, are huge fans.  

Words by Jamison Kent

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