Hey! Founder Jo here.
Co-founder Magnus and I originally sewed Ziplongs® for our own use in 2011. When we later introduced the concept to the market, we were quickly told about the inevitable copying that lay ahead of us. Over the years, many major players have created their own versions of Ziplongs. (It's easy to understand with such a brilliant product 😉) Every time, we celebrated it as confirmation of our innovation. However, when someone does their best to create a copy that customers can't distinguish from ours, they're not just violating marketing laws, they're also crossing our line. Unfortunately, that's exactly where we find ourselves now.
Not only is Ziplongs registered as a trademark in the EU and has become a well-known concept among customers in the industry, but marketing laws also impose a clear obligation to avoid any practices that lead to confusion with competitors' products or brands. This is a principle we've adhered to ourselves and one we expect others to respect as well.
If we foster a culture where copying is legitimate, it will become impossible for entrepreneurs without deep pockets to get started. The result is a significant weakening of innovation and diversity, where the a few giants dominate the market. The textile industry in Norway (and the rest of the world) is saturated with this culture, and this case is just the tip of the iceberg.
Unfortunately, it's also often the case that copies are produced in the cheapest way possible, without consideration for the environment and human conditions. Let's work together for a textile industry that takes a different direction—one that not only upholds creative rights but also promotes sustainability and ethical practices.
Once in a while, one of the Northern Playground employees sends out a letter giving you an honest look behind the scenes of the company. We believe that transparency is an essential part of being a socially responsible company. This is the 25th letter. Read the other ones here.