There are few accessories that exude glamour and sophistication in quite the same way as a luxury watch, and as well as keeping you punctual, they also happen to be the perfect way to finish off any well put-together look. In circles where image is everything, it’s important to always look the part – but while various high-end brands have successfully achieved icon status over the years, there has always been a notable silence when it comes to the issue of sustainability.
In an age of increasing consciousness, a lavish timepiece is no longer enough for the discerning buyer, and the demand for more sustainably conscious brands is growing. Now, it’s not just about looking good, but about doing good, too – and brands face having to make adjustments to their practices in a bid to appease them, or risk getting left behind.
One luxury watch brand that is ahead of the curve, however, is Nordgreen which, from the beginning of its arrival onto the market back in 2017, has made sustainable practices a priority. The brainchild of business partners Pascar Sivam and Vasilij Brandt, the company has won itself a legion of loyal fans thanks to its forward-thinking approach, creating a range of aesthetically pleasing and highly-functional designer timepieces – including both men’s and women’s silver watches – that come without the environmental price-tag.
Dreamt up alongside chief designer Jakob Wagner – who has gained great acclaim after designing for big names including Bang and Olufsen, Cappellini and B&B Italia and helps Nordgreen to win the prestigious Red Dot Award for Product Design in 2020 – even the brand’s name is a testament to its commitment to preserving nature. A typical Danish surname combining the words ‘Nord’ – in reference to its Nordic identity – and ‘Green’, which speaks for itself, it is inspired by nature’s ability to endure the challenges of our times, and places this at the heart of its ethos and in all that it does.
“Our designs represent an aspect of life for us in Denmark,” says Wagner. “Our vision was to create a collection that would reflect our ability to adapt to your busy routine and to be as versatile as you need your accessories to be, putting the wearer very much at the centre of the process. It’s about creating a lasting relationship between the two. We want our customers to feel good not just about the watch they are buying from us, but what it stands for, too – which is where our commitment to both environmental and corporate social responsibility comes in.”
Through its sustainability initiatives, Nordgreen has effectively become carbon neutral by planting hundreds of trees to offset its emissions – and its recyclable, FSC-certified packaging comes from sustainably managed forests. By working with Danish partners abroad, it has also ensured that its overseas production facilities adhere to the highest of standards, and that ethical Danish labour practices are followed.
As well as being able to shop with Nordgreen safe in the knowledge that it is a brand that takes its sustainability credentials very seriously, thus reducing their own environmental impact as a result, customers can be a part of giving something back, too. Each watch comes with a set of serial and identification numbers on it which they can use to choose one of three sustainable causes for Nordgreen to donate to on their behalf through its NGO partnerships.
The options include providing two months of clean water to one person in the Central African Public through Water for Good; preserving 50 square metres of rain forest in Latin America through Cool Earth; or funding one month of education to a child in India with the help of Pratham UK. Nordgreen’s CSR initiatives have won it much praise. Its ‘Giving Back Program’ aligns with Nordic principles that support the health, educational and environmental challenges the world is facing, and is born of its deep-rooted feeling of responsibility to do its bit.
“In all honesty, we just wouldn’t be able to sleep at night without giving something back to our communities and the environment, so we’ve always made it a priority to contribute to good causes, working alongside our trusted partners,” says Wagner.
“Everyone has the right to enjoy good health, a clean environment and a decent education, but sadly, not everyone has these privileges. So, motivated by our Danish values, we decided to try to do what we could to change that. How could we not? It’s just too important.”
So, what next for Nordgreen?
“Our vision is to pioneer the next wave of responsible Danish design,” says Wagner. “We want to be leaders in innovation and continue to market responsible design and lifestyle to the world, because although we can all do our bit, it takes widespread change to make a real difference. We’re continuing to challenge design standards, and our commitment to solving social and environmental challenges for communities around the world, and for our planet, is continuing to grow. As Nordgreen, we want our brand and our products to make a positive impact, and that is always going to be one of our key focuses.”
Buying women’s and men’s watches, it seems, is no longer about making a style statement alone, and the luxury connoisseurs of today are looking for more meaning in their purchases. And Nordgreen ticks all the right boxes, with its sophisticated and high-quality watch designs backed with good intentions and the positive impact that comes with it. For the conscious consumer, it’s the perfect solution.