66°North began not so much as a clothing company as it was a means of not dying. In 1926 the company was founded to provide a layer of protection from the elements to their local community of fisherman. Considering it was Iceland, that was no small task.
This week we invite the CEO of 66°North, Helgi Oskarsson, in from the cold, to talk about how he's shepherding a company with values that stretch back a century into the modern era. As Heigl puts it, every company needs a North Star, a set of principles against which decisions are weighed and assessed. He inherited a company with a rich history, but consistent commitment to quality products built to last, using the best materials (again, had to keep those fishermen alive) with the minimal amount of impact, and, at it's core, being in holistic harmony with nature.
95% of apparel made by 66°North is repairable, a fact they track because they offer free repairs on all clothing. And if they can't repair it to your satisfaction (or you'd rather move on) they will donate that item directly to the red cross, creating a circular path wherever possible. They've been carbon neutral since 2019, in the process planting over 2,700 trees in the process, many by hand.
As they themselves say, they make clothes "that make life and activity possible where there would otherwise be none, and business practices that conserve and protect the North at a time when our glaciers, and natural landscape are under dramatic threat from climate change."
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