Why Gen Z is Embracing The North Face: Beyond Just Mountain Gear

The North Face Singapore's VivoCity store gets a fresh start. Explore how sustainability, collaboration, and inclusivity are fueling their success.

American outdoor apparel giant, The North Face, recently celebrated its triumphant return to Singapore with the grand reopening of a state-of-the-art concept store at VivoCity. This expansive space showcases an extensive range of products designed for the modern adventurer, and it seems to be resonating particularly well with Gen Z consumers. But what exactly is making The North Face a hit with this generation? Here are three key reasons:

The North Face Singapore

Sustainability Matters

As we know, Gen Z is the most environmentally conscious generation yet. They actively seek out brands that prioritize ethical and sustainable practices through a comprehensive approach that focuses on several key areas:

Sourcing Better: It begins by using more recycled, responsibly-sourced renewable, and regeneratively grown materials in its products. For example, they use recycled polyester insulation in popular jackets like the Denali, reducing reliance on new materials.

Waste Reduction: Next, it is important for the company to “Minimize Waste” throughout its production process. They do so by utilizing leftover materials and textile waste, to reduce overall production waste.

Durable Design: Another key component in its sustainability initiative is to “Maintain Durability.” The design ethos is to build products that last, reducing the need for frequent replacements. It’s simple: a well-made, durable piece of gear has a lower environmental impact than a less durable item that needs to be replaced frequently.

Circularity: Looking beyond a product’s lifespan, The North Face also promotes “Champion Cyclability.” They continue to explore ways to design products that can be easily broken down and repurposed into new gear at the end of their usable life for a more circular economy within the outdoor apparel industry.

Responsible Packaging: To minimise its environmental footprint, the company is going beyond the products themselves by pledging to eliminate single-use plastic packaging by 2025. Additionally, they’re actively reducing other forms of packaging and ensuring new packaging materials are more recyclable.

Supply Chain Emissions: The brand understands the importance of addressing emissions throughout its supply chain. They’re partnering with key suppliers to help them cut their greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030. This collaborative approach extends The North Face’s positive impact beyond its own operations and contributes to a more sustainable industry as a whole.

Collaborations Spark Excitement

It’s no surprise that we thrive on novelty and self-expression. At The North Face, they consistently team up with exciting brands and personalities to create limited-edition collections that cater to demands for unique styles. Here are a few examples that showcase this strategy:

High-Fashion Fusion: The North Face isn’t afraid to push boundaries. Their highly sought-after collaboration with luxury house Gucci in 2021 surprised and delighted fashion enthusiasts. This collection blended The North Face’s technical expertise with Gucci’s maximalist aesthetic, resulting in covetable pieces like the co-branded jacquard parka and hiking boots. This unexpected partnership generated significant buzz and showcased The North Face’s willingness to experiment.

Photo courtesy of Gucci

Streetwear Cred: The North Face understands the importance of staying relevant with streetwear culture. Their collaborations with the creative collective Brain Dead (2019, 2020) were a prime example. These collections featured bold colour-blocked outerwear and vibrant sportswear, appealing to Gen Z’s desire for statement pieces. This partnership, once again, solidified The North Face’s connection with the streetwear scene.

Limited Edition Exclusivity: We crave unique items. The North Face’s ongoing partnership with streetwear giant Supreme exemplifies this perfectly. Their collaborations, dating back to 2007, have produced coveted pieces like the reflective Mountain Parka and Leather Nuptse Jackets. This long-standing partnership offers a sense of exclusivity and also keeps The North Face relevant in the ever-evolving streetwear landscape.

The North Face x Supreme
Photo by Supreme New York

Inclusivity Through Education

Modern consumers value brands that champion diversity and representation. Recognizing this shift, The North Face actively promotes inclusivity through initiatives like its innovative “Allyship in the Outdoors” program.

This initiative goes beyond traditional marketing by offering an educational course designed to foster a more welcoming outdoor community. The hour-long online course, developed in partnership with diversity organizations, explores topics like unconscious bias and creating inclusive outdoor spaces. This program aims to educate participants on the importance of diversity and encourage them to be allies for underrepresented communities in the outdoors.

The North Face Singapore

By embracing sustainability, fostering self-expression through collaborations, and promoting inclusivity, The North Face has struck a chord with Gen Z, the most environmentally conscious and socially aware generation yet. This global phenomenon is evident in China, where The North Face logo has become a ubiquitous winter fashion staple. According to VF Corporation, The North Face’s parent company, this trend shows no signs of slowing down, with Q2’FY24 operating highlights showcasing a remarkable 19% increase in revenue. This global momentum isn’t lost on Singapore.

The North Face Singapore

The grand reopening of The North Face’s state-of-the-art concept store at VivoCity underscores the brand’s commitment to the Singaporean market and its desire to connect with young adventurers here. By offering a curated selection of products alongside its dedication to sustainability, collaboration, and inclusivity, The North Face Singapore is well-positioned to continue its global reign as a favourite amongst Gen Z and beyond.