[Above: Franz taking care of business.]

With varying degrees of lockdown in place across many regions of the world, there’s no disputing that these are extraordinary times for all. We wanted to connect with some of our friends around the globe to see how they – and the companies they work – for are dealing with this crisis, what initiatives they have taken and what this situation might mean for the future once we’ve come out the other side. This week we caught up with Namuk Clothing founder, Franz Bittmann…

Franz also taking care of business.

Could you give us a brief update on how the situation is where you are? What measures has the local government taken?

The situation is OK. Next week the lockdown will start to be released, not completely but step-by-step. As the “Swissies” are very disciplined and follow the government’s measures, we have not been hit too hard – except Ticino in the south part of Switzerland and areas near to Italy.

How has the Corona virus affected the way your company works day-to-day? 

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Zoom, Zoom, Zoom. When I go home I feel like I have watched TV for two days and nights in a row. Shipping is very slow at the moment, but as we are really strong in D2C and it is off-season for us, it’s ok.

“Zoom, Zoom, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Zoom, Zoom, Zoom. When I go home I feel like I have watched TV for two days and nights in a row.”

How have your staff been responding to the crisis and changes in working life? How’s the team spirit?

Team spirit is good, as we can see big opportunities for our brand and our values after the Corona crisis. I have never seen so many families out in nature as I have over the past 3-4 weeks.

Namuk specialise in high-quality outdoor clothing for kids.

What about keeping active? You’re allowed out to do exercise in Switzerland?

Yes, I have not had such a good level of fitness as I do at the moment in the past 20 years…

Are the government doing much in the way of supporting small businesses?

Yes, everything is very uncomplicated and they are acting really quick.

“We support families to go out in nature. We did this in the past, now and in future.”

Have you activated any initiatives as a company in response to the situation? 

No, we support families to go out in nature. We did this in the past, now and in future. There is no virus in the woods…

Obviously this is a challenging situation for all. Negativity fills newsfeeds each day, so what positives or opportunities can you imagine for companies like yours, in both the short- and long term?

The values we are promoting will become more relevant – right now and in the future. We see a huge potential for fair, durable and good-quality kids’ clothes. Buy less but good quality.

“We see a huge potential for fair, durable and good-quality kids’ clothes. Buy less but good quality.”

The world has changed, and will continue to be changed once this is over. Is there the possibility that a brighter future will emerge from this shared experience?

For sure.

When this crisis passes, what will be the first thing you’ll do?

From a business standpoint, we are about to release our biggest campaign so far for our brand new outdoor summer goods range (backpack, ultralight rain jacket, Primaloft jacket etc), to support families in summer to go to the mountains hiking. Myself personally? I can’t wait to go out with my family to eat some fresh pizza.