Goldwin recently opened a new flagship store in Munich, Germany continuing its worldwide expansion in key markets around the world.
Bridges spoke with Takao Watanabe, CEO of Goldwin Europe GmbH.
In a very competitive retail market, what makes Goldwin ‘unique’ as a clothing brand?
We have been developing wider sports categories for 70 years since our foundation.
Therefore, we are utilizing the functional patterns, material development, and attention to detail that we have continued to nurture in the products of this brand.
In particular, we are applying the know-how that we have developed as a necessary function mainly for skiing and the outdoors to the lifestyle category that combines ‘fashionability’ with weather and temperature measures in pursuit of comfort.
In addition, the widespread use of materials for skis and outdoors, which were developed with sustainability in mind while pursuing functionality, is a unique product that has both functionality and fashion.
We provide unique products that are simple, highly functional, and have a nice design from athletes to general sports Lovers.
The Japanese style of simplicity, aesthetics and functionality is admired around the world. Is it important for Goldwin to be recognized as a Japanese clothing brand with those quintessential values?
For 70 years since our founding, we have been seriously considering the convenience of our customers and trying to create products that are simple and functional in terms of design.
We think that was Goldwin’s simplicity and uniqueness, and as a result, it was in line with the good points of Japan.
Because we are Japanese, we can come up with and utilize various unique ideas and materials.
We are very proud to be a Japanese brand and we believe it is important to continue to pursue the uniqueness of Goldwin.
Tell us about the technology used in your fabric and why is ‘brewed protein yarn’ technology critical to sustainability?
For us outdoor companies, the planet is indispensable. We will face sustainability on the two axes of environment and business and realize a healthy and prosperous life.
GOLDWIN as a company committed to a plan to promote initiatives for a recycling-oriented society and climate change, aiming for business operations that accompany improvement of the global environment.
The plan foresees the reach of zero waste of products and materials by 2030, by curbing production volume through actual demand-type businesses, actively expanding custom orders and strengthening repair and recycling businesses.
Reviewing production plans for unsold clothing and surplus fabrics and promoting recycling will bring the actual annual production of 65 tons of clothing and fabrics to zero by the end of 2030, reaching 80% reduction in 2025.
In addition, GOLDWIN as a company has started a transition to environmentally friendly materials – aiming to reach 90% by 2030 – and a promotion of green design.
By switching to recycled materials and expanding the development of artificial eco protein material such as Brewed Protein™ in collaboration with Spiber, the company will increase the incidence of products made with materials that reduce the environmental burden from the actual 28%, to 60% or more by 2025 and to 90% by 2030.
We’ll switch synthetic fibres such as polyester made from petroleum to polyester made from recycled clothing and PET bottles, fibres decomposed in soil and water made from waste materials and thinned materials, and plant-derived oils; by 2030, 10% of newly developed products will be products using Brewed Protein™.
The conversion to structural protein materials that do not depend on petroleum, which is a depleted resource, is a part of this, but there is no doubt that it will be a major step for society in the future.
How important is Germany and the European market for Goldwin’s expansion?
The European market, which has around 500 million people, will be an important market for introducing our products to countries around the world.
First of all, we are opening one store in one continent that can introduce Goldwin to our customers.
Germany has one of the largest populations and is located in center of Europe, has a huge influence on other European countries and is the key market that drives the whole market.
Munich, where we opened our first European flagship store, has an environment where you can enjoy sports nearby. Also, it’s a city where people gather to attend the world’s largest sports trade fair.
We will introduce the Goldwin brand to people who love sports around the world step by step to Tokyo, Japan, San Francisco, USA and Munich, Germany.