When Namuk CEO and Founder Franz Bittmann and his wife became parents, they couldn’t find any durable, innovative and sustainable outdoor clothing developed to meet children‘s needs – and look good too. This led to the foundation of Namuk: the sustainable premium outdoor brand for kids.
In this special behind the brand feature, we spoke with Franz about the inspiration behind Namuk, its sustainability efforts, and more. Check it out!
Tell us a bit about you and your background
I have been working in the textile/outdoor industry for over 22 years and worked for big brands as consultant, brand manager, designer and run productions. Right after I finished high school, I founded my first company. Together with my wife and our three kids, we live in the green suburbs of Zurich and enjoy nature every minute. The high mountains and glittering lakes of our beautiful country are our everyday inspiration.
Why create Namuk?
When we became parents, we couldn’t find any durable, innovative and sustainable outdoor clothing that‘s developed to meet children‘s needs – and look good too. Our son loved to play and was, either sleeping, digging a hole somewhere in the garden or swinging the shovel somewhere else, no matter what the weather was. We had to buy two sets of each, because the products were not waterproof or did not withstand him. He destroyed everything!
What was the inspiration behind Namuk?
Faced with the fact that our son destroyed all the clothes, we found that brands would shrink to children’s sizes instead of being intentional about design for longevity and quality specific to kids. We felt that the best-known outdoor labels were skimping on production for precisely those customers who put clothes through the most wear and tear: kids. This led to the foundation of namuk: the sustainable premium outdoor brand for kids.
What makes Namuk’s kids outdoor clothing stand out amongst others?
We focus 100% on kids by adding all necessary features and implementing innovations that are necessary for a day outside, no matter what the weather looks like that day. In our research, we found that most brands are using popular adult items and just sizing down for kids. As the margin is not that great on kids products, companies tend to remove everything they can and use the cheapest fabric and trims. We try to do this differently. From experience, we see that kids use clothes even heavier than adults so we use the best available material and add thoughtful features to make the lives for kids and parents alike, as easy as possible to be comfortable and feel safe playing outside all day long. Some of these innovations include the “drop seat zipper,” hidden suspenders, magnetic easy entry gloves, hidden dummy holder and name tags inside the apparel.
What are Namuk’s core values as a brand?
That we can make many kids and parents happy by providing fashionable gear that ensures they can go out as long as they want and no matter the weather all while thinking of the environment. We are developing our clothes so that they last as long as possible. This starts from developing innovative and really durable, but soft fabrics using Cordura and other ultra strong fibers. Our products also feature a product design with smart placed seams and reinforcements (mostly not visible) to make sure that if an item was produced by namuk, it will last as long as possible and can be passed on to siblings/friends/other kids.