A new webshop, a community concept, and a brand story: shaping the identity of Northern Playground
Producing clothes in a 'sustainable way' only reduces the product's emissions by ~10%. The closest thing to sustainability is by owning fewer and better quality garments. Northern Playground wants to change the textile industry and consumer habits to become more sustainable.
As a startup, the products, brand and digital presence of Northern Playground had all naturally developed over time, in bits and pieces. The visual identity was lacking a unified presence that communicated the quality of its products and the values they fight for. Northern Playground takes pride in building a strong relationship with its customers, believing that an open dialogue and real collaborations between producer and customer is key to a sustainable business and planet. How could we help boost this message?
When we first started working together in the fall of 2019, Nothern Playground consisted of 3.5 employees working from a tiny office room full of boxes with clothes; it functioned as both a storage space and a working space. Four Iteraties moved in there for two months and developed digital tools and visual concepts to aid Northern Playground in their mission: to be the number one sustainable brand in technical clothing.
1 - Webshop
By using Centra for e-commerce, Sanity for content, and Gatsby for serverless rendering, we created a fast and secure website with slick SEO. This transformation resulted in a 300% increase in sales and gave Northern Playground the confidence to change its model from B2B to D2C.
2 - Community concept:
After the successful rebuild, Northern Playground was ready to take the next step in changing the industry. We wrote an application together and were granted funds from Innovation Norway to develop the D2C model of the future. The model integrates customers in both the design- and decision phases of all products. By basing production on known facts rather than assumptions, Northern Playground aimed to defeat the biggest environmental crook of the manufacturing process – overproduction. In order to do so we had to change the digital interface from a traditional web store to a community with a web store. A small team of two designers and developers packed their stuff and moved down the street – ready to pursue the vision of selling more and fewer products.
3 - Redesign of Northern Playground’s identity
We worked together strategically to define Nothern Playground's personality and unique story. How do they differentiate from the other brands? What position do they want to take in the market? It cannot go unsaid: Nothern Playground lives with the paradox of wanting to reduce the world’s clothing production, yet producing new clothes. They had to come to terms with this dilemma, and own it, for us to create a meaningful and differentiating brand. And they did.
In the summer of 2021, we spent three focused weeks on a new visual identity, building on all the material from brand workshops and hard discussions over the past two years. They wanted an identity representing opposition to the established market. They wanted to come across as honest but also with a punch that could raise attention. They needed a unique identity with the tools to support their strong messages.
With the development of the Northern Playground being our initial e-commerce site for an external customer, the project naturally became one of many firsts. We learned how to set up Centra, integrate Adyen, handle different currencies and taxation rules, and selling products that don't exist.
We’ve also become even more conscious about the textile industry's impact on the environment, our habits, and the economy – and how we could challenge it.
The techy stuff is all awesome, sure, but we continue to work with Iterate because the people there not only want to deliver a good product, they want to really work with us, understand us and think outside the box with us.
Jo Egil Tobiassen - CEO
Ludvig Bruneau Rossow
+47 944 32 250
+47 901 55 578