Our goal is to help you use your clothes for a long time and collectively reduce consumption. To spread this message, we could have invested everything in Facebook and Google ads, but we are more interested in reaching out through people we know, admire, and cheer for. We call them our Co-Players. This is an introduction to Co-Player Martin Helseth.
Martin is an Olympic rower with an even cooler hobby: freediving for trash. As a true son of the sea, Martin's life has largely revolved around what happens beyond the coastline, both above and below the water. With a burning commitment to combat marine pollution, we were quickly charmed by Martin and had to bring him on board.
As a producer of outdoor clothing, Northern Playground's environmental commitment stems from an obvious need to take care of our natural playgrounds. For Martin, there is a similar connection between his passion for rowing and ensuring a healthy sea to row on. However, his fascination with the ocean began before his athletic career, and he recalls being drawn to the sea since childhood. In elementary school, he was told that the sweetest girl in class would have been in love with him if he weren't so obsessed with fish.
"At the sea, the fact that we know very little about what happens and the mysteries of the ocean is absolutely fantastic. For example, I can lie in an apparently lifeless area in the sea and suddenly discover the plankton floating right in front of my eyes. It's all about perspective."
If he weren't so obsessed with fish (or the ocean in general), he would preferably be half as handy as his father and his father before him. He describes his father as kind, thoughtful, independent, resourceful, and, above all, as his greatest role model. Martin admires the projects his father spent years completing: building a boat, restoring a car, raising the roof of the house. Perhaps this is where some of Martin's views on consumption originate.
"I find it unfortunate that consumption patterns in recent decades have skewed towards the idea that we should buy something new when something breaks."
On the other hand, Martin's family sees (the humor in) Martin's ability to repurpose what he finds underwater. After hundreds of cleanup missions where he and others have cleared nearly 40 tons of waste from the sea, he has naturally come across some treasures: enough cups, pots, and old porcelain to furnish a kitchen, swim trunks, all the fishing lures in the tackle box, and the sunglasses he recently wore during the Rowing World Championships.
"When you spend as much time in the sea as I do, I feel a kind of ownership of it. I like the idea of give and take. Give, as in cleaning up plastic or processing the fish I catch in the sea, so the innards find the shortest way back into the ecosystem. Take, as in harvesting from the sea. Everything from fish and shellfish to shells and seaweed. I also experience great moments in nature and find inner peace by spending time in the sea. Restlessness disappears."
Martin Helseth represents a rare combination of passion for the sea, dedication as an athlete, and commitment to protecting our oceans and marine environments. His story reminds us of the importance of valuing and caring for our most precious treasure - the ocean. He shows us that the sea is not just a place for adventure but a resource for which we all bear responsibility to protect. As part of our Co-Players, we hope that Martin's commitment will inspire you to participate in this important task.