Top Message

GOLDWIN will expand its corporate identity to the world and sustainably increase its corporate value by helping restore the planet.

Leaving Our Beautiful Planet for Future Generations

When I became president in 2020, I added the statement“To improve the global environment through unbound imagination and breakthrough innovations that are beneficial to the world” to our corporate philosophy. This statement reflects my strong sense of urgency to ensure the sustainability of our planet.
Through my many years of working for The North Face, Inc., I learned a lot from Douglas Tompkins and Kenneth Hap Klopp, the company’s founders. When we entered into our licensing agreement in 1978, Hap shared his belief that THE NORTH FACE must use every opportunity to communicate the importance of protecting the environment. In my mind that became clear as soon as I realized coexistence with nature is a part of our business that takes precedence over everything else.
In recent years, there has been a prominent increase in the number of natural disasters, such as typhoons, floods, heat waves, wildfires, and droughts. There is no question that these disasters are all triggered by the destruction of nature due to the actions of humanity. The Earth’s ecosystem was once a well-balanced system, but the excessive use of fossil fuels by humans, along with industries that have destroyed life, have disrupted that balance. If this situation were to be ignored the very survival of humanity could soon be in jeopardy.
Plant life forms the foundation of the Earth’s cyclical systems. They provide leaves and fruits to insects and birds, supply oxygen, and are decomposed by microorganisms, returning to the soil. Like plants, humanity must fulfill its responsibility to the environment by behaving in an altruistic manner and focusing on giving back to others, rather than consuming everything for itself. The apparel industry, in particular, produces and disposes of large amounts of products. It has the second highest amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions out of all industries. The industry cannot be sustained by putting the Earth’s ecosystem at risk. It is our mission at GOLDWIN and my own unwavering belief to conduct business by coexisting with nature and leaving a beautiful planet for future generations.

An altruistic business model

Since the early 2000s, we have been carrying out a shift from a conventional wholesaling business approach to an actual demand business model centering on autonomous, directly managed stores. Led by the conviction that highly functional products would become widely used in daily life, beyond the conventional boundaries of outdoor goods, we opened a directly managed store, which we designed ourselves, so that we could communicate our brands’ worldview and introduce the products we developed directly to customers.
Thereafter, GOLDWIN engaged in everything from manufacturing to store operation and sales. Inevitably, the Company took on inventory risk, but our ability to directly engage with customers enabled us to increase our brand value and accumulate know-how on ways to sell out products and not produce them in unnecessary amounts. By sharing this know-how with wholesalers, our customers were able to purchase the products they wanted at any time and our business partners were able to raise their profits while avoiding inventory risk.
The word “design” can be viewed as a way of devising solutions to different issues. We are proud that for the past twenty years, GOLDWIN has been designing businesses which nurture altruism, through which all related parties reap benefits through their interaction, without any single entity monopolizing profits, and which maximize benefits from minimal resources.

Emphasizing invisible value
Our long-term vision, “PLAY EARTH 2030”

Our founder left us with the phrase“There is true value in the invisible.” Overseas, we refer to this as “dedication to detail,” and I cherish this sentiment. The original meaning of the phrase was that we must pay careful attention to detail, beginning with the materials we use, in pursuing high levels of functionality. However, I believe the phrase has a wider meaning that goes beyond the scope of manufacturing to include the provision of spiritual enrichment, which cannot be seen, to society as a whole.
THE NORTH FACE has been steadily raising brand awareness, beginning with the performance category and expanding into the lifestyle and fashion categories, enjoying the support of a wide range of customers. The success of THE NORTH FACE brand comes from the fact that it has continued to convey its true value to customers and it has been able to detect the faintest signs of emerging market demand and provide invisible value. For example, rather than offering every single item from their product lineup, THE NORTH FACE stores cater to the tastes and preferences of their customers with the products they stock. By combining this with e-commerce, we are able to sell products that accommodate the specific needs of each customer and establish deeper relationships as we reduce sales loss rates.
I believe that if GOLDWIN can pursue this vision of “dedication to detail” and create new forms of social value, it will naturally create economic value and increase its corporate value. This belief is incorporated into our long-term vision, PLAY EARTH 2030. We are pursuing the sustainability of our business and the environment in order to restore nature, which is under threat from conventional capitalism.
GOLDWIN has continued to evolve its actual demand business model and achieved a certain level of success. That said, as we proceed under PLAY EARTH 2030 to resolve social issues from a broad perspective and create businesses that coexist with nature, innovative ideas that transcend existing values will be vital. Under PLAY EARTH 2030, we will go beyond conventional business frameworks to design an ecosystem in which we work altruistically with others who share the same vision.

The Goldwin 0 concepts of circulation, borderless, and co-creation

Led by PLAY EARTH 2030, our medium-term management plan for the five years starting with FY2021 aims to raise capital productivity and realize sustainability as well as achieve both our financial and non-financial targets. The foremost priority of this plan is to develop our original Goldwin brand.
It is vital that we take on foreign markets, towards which our approach has been lacking in the past.
I would also like to see more and more people around the world resonate with the Company’s vision of achieving coexistence with the global environment, driven by the Goldwin brand. In December 2021, we opened Goldwin Beijing, our third directly managed overseas store. We will make up for the delays we have suffered due to the COVID-19 pandemic and work to rapidly increase the value of the Goldwin brand around the world.
“Goldwin 0,” the vision that we announced in March 2022, defines the Goldwin brand in terms of the three forward-looking concepts. The first concept is “Circulation.” This concept is the main message we would like to communicate: the need for humanity to create a cycle just like the Earth’s biosphere. The second concept, “Borderless,” reflects our commitment to extend altruistic connections between people beyond national borders. And the third concept, “Co-Creation,” is the process of working together with diverse people, cultures, and communities to achieve that concept.
Since the announcement of Goldwin 0, we have not only posted record sales but also gained the support of our younger, more-trend-conscious customers, both in Japan and overseas. We will aim to clearly express our product story and secure Goldwin as an ethical, functional, and attractive premium brand.
In 2022, after eight years of development together with biotechnology startup Spiber Inc., we established a system for mass-producing Brewed Protein™, structural protein threads made from plant-based material without relying on fossil resources. We have released a range of products made from this material across the Group’s various brands and conducted a large-scale campaign around the world in September 2023. I believe that this truly embodies the three concepts of Goldwin 0. We are collaborating in creative activities with diverse partners, in addition to Spiber, and leveraging corporate venture capital (CVC) to achieve our goal of having 90% of our products made from materials with reduced environmental impact by 2030.

Striving to “Be Ambitious and Aim for the Sky”

In order to realize the sustainability of our business and the environment as set forth in PLAY EARTH 2030, we are aiming to open PLAY EARTH PARK NATURING FOREST in Toyama Prefecture, where our company was founded, in 2026. In this initiative, we will work with local communities to create a venue where people can experience the origins of sports and get in touch with nature on the expansive grounds. I believe that promoting businesses that contribute to realizing a sustainable society will naturally lead to the creation of social and economic value.
I joined the Company to fulfill my desire to be a part of THE NORTH FACE brand. Based on my love of the brand and unceasing passion for nature, I have always valued the importance of creativity. I share this value with GOLDWIN’s employees through the expression “There is no boundary between work and play.” As we are earnestly taking on the challenge of restoring the global environment, the foundation of our sustainability will be ensuring that each employee unleashes their boundless creativity with imagination that breaks from the confines of conventional wisdom.
Our founder told us to “be ambitious and aim for the sky.” Although ambition may differ from reality, what he really meant was that neither people nor companies will achieve great success unless they have true ambitions. The future that GOLDWIN is striving to pursue may raise doubts about the realization of its ambitions. However, we will continue to hold on to the ambition of restoring the global environment through our business activities, earnestly striving to realize this ambition through concerted efforts with our wide range of stakeholders.

October 2023

Takao Watanabe
President and Representative Director

Takao Watanabe
President and Representative Director