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North Sails to safeguard the sea

Maurizio Grasso, Commercial Director of North Sails since 2016, introduces us to the eco-sustainable world that flows in the DNA of the brand. This approach has made North Sails an international reference point for the development of eco-sustainability in the sport-fashion clothing sector.

by Roberta Bindi

R – Most fashion companies have now in common the search for new, eco-friendly projects that may be useful for the environment and for people’s care. How does North Sails stand on this topic?

NS – The brand does nothing but confirm a path already undertaken 3 years ago in the eco-sustainability sector; first with a simple T-shirt, then we added a jacket, and now most of the collection is made either of recyclable material such as nylon, or organic materials such as those used in T-shirts, or vegan materials that come from the use of cellulose.

For this SS20 season, we have introduced swimwear made with the reuse and conversion of plastic bottles for textile use. Not only are the materials used to make the garments come from a sustainable process, but also the packaging or the hangers for the collections are all in recyclable materials.

Faithful to its origins as a maritime label, North Sails has been committed to protecting the oceans for over 3 years, the company pays 1% of its turnover to OFF, the Ocean Family Foundation, which removes plastics from water.

So we can say that eco-sustainability is a central theme for us, and we create our collections around this mission.

We are not yet totally eco-sustainable, the men’s collection is 70%, while the children’s one is 50%, but our goal is to reach 100% in the shortest possible time.

R – Costs and timing, how much are they influenced by the choice of an eco-sustainable philosophy?

NS – Regarding the timing, everything is based on the choice of suppliers who must be able to respect the technical timing thanks to their new technologies.

In terms of costs we try to optimize all the process, in order not to burden the final cost of our products, and therefore the consumer.

R – How does the end consumers react to your environmental choices?

NS – It depends a lot on their geographical location. For example, Northern Europe countries are more sensitive to the subject, and they consider it as a selection criterion for their purchase.

Since North Sails is recognized on the market as a leading company in this field, we can say that large commercial groups find us a point of reference.

In Southern Europe, sensitivity towards this issue is growing very fast with respect to previous forecasts.

R – What goals for the future?

NS – Sustainable Performance, or the study and use of materials with membranes, breathable products that protect from the sun but which are notoriously the antithesis of sustainability because they are made with materials that look at performance and not respect for the environment.

So this is the goal, to obtain technical but also eco-sustainable materials. It is very difficult and delicate to develop this sector, but the results can be achieved, as we are already doing in the Men’s collection.

R – Does sustainability allow you to have an extra boost also from the financial point of view?

NS – As Commercial Director, I can guarantee you that we are opening up new market sectors and new high-level niches, especially in France.

R – Are the new generations more sensitive to the issue of eco-sustainability?

NS – Yes, the new generations are absolutely keen on the subject.

Precisely for this reason we have recently produced a fashion video to promote this theme among the younger generations, who mostly internalize the topic and feel part of a global project.

Their aim at safeguarding the planet and for this issue they are ready to commit themselves, including the purchases they make for their wardrobe.

VIDEO: “LA MER”, directed by Victor Claramunt