- Plant trees: Over 1.8 million trees planted with our partner OneTreePlanted (track your tree: TreeTracker)
- Local production: Fashion made in Europe from sustainable materials (get to know our producers: FactoryTracker)
- Bootstrapping: We are one of the few clothing brands to generate over 10 million CHF in annual sales in a challenging industry without external investors.
- Large loyal customer base: 300,000 customers worldwide, 200,000 of them in Switzerland and 80,000 in Germany.
NIKIN Milestones & Achievements
With a simple idea, we started NIKIN at the end of 2016 with CHF 5,000 in seed capital and 60 winter hats. The tree theme was the original idea. But very quickly we realized that the offer of sustainable, affordable alternatives to fast fashion was very small - and so our vision of sustainable fashion, made in Europe was born.
In 2017, one year after the founding, the demand for the winter hats was so huge that many friends and the families of the two founders had to help out at NIKIN. We also moved into our first small warehouse in Seengen (AG).
2018 was one of NIKIN's strongest growth years. Not only did Nicholas' wife Carla join NIKIN as head of finance and HR, but we also added our first full-time employees. We moved into a larger warehouse in the Wisa Gloria area in Lenzburg AG. NIKIN transformed from a side project to a company and generated its first million in sales. Therefore, in the fall of 2018, the founders decided to quit their jobs and their studies to give NIKIN their full attention.
In 2019, NIKIN's story continued at a similar pace. Sales tripled, the team grew from 10 to 30 employees, and NIKIN was a finalist in the prestigious Swiss Economic Awards. In addition, NIKIN was certified GOTS (Global Organic Textiles Standard), a sustainability label for organic cotton, where the whole supply chain is checked for sustainability as well as social criterias.
In 2020, we were the first company to have a product made in Europe from the sustainable acrylic alternative Polylana©. The biggest milestone, however, was clearly the planting of the millionth tree in December, which was celebrated with the adoption of an approximately 100-year-old beech tree in Lenzburg (AG).
2021 was marked by professionalization: the team was enlarged, an ERP system was introduced and processes were optimized. NIKIN grew into a recognized brand in Switzerland and received several awards. In addition to various media appearances, NIKIN was named one of the "most animal-friendly clothing brands" in the world by Vier Pfoten, for example, and the NIKIN founders and Carla made the prestigious Forbes Under 30 Europe list.
2022 is the year in which we have completed a change in strategy and are now also focusing on retail & B2B. Among other things, we have been in selected Manor stores since August and signed a license agreement with a major Swiss retailer. We were also able to recruit Andri Ragettli, one of the world's best-known freeskiers, as a brand ambassador. And then we had to make a decision internally: Either we stay at a similar size and focus on profitability and Switzerland, or we need more financial resources to grow further and reach all of Europe. We decided on the latter and want to do this together with you!
On the way to becoming a well-known brand throughout Europe
With NIKIN, we have established ourselves as probably the best-known tree planter in Switzerland, not only because more than one in 50 Swiss people has already ordered from us, but also because of our high reach on social media and the regular events around sustainability such as tree planting days, second-hand markets, city clean-ups and more.
In Europe, we generate relevant revenue (close to CHF 3 million in 2021) and have 100,000 customers, 80,000 of which come from Germany alone.
We are absolutely convinced that we can establish our vision of making the world a greener place through sustainable fashion "tree by tree" throughout Europe. For this, we need financial resources to drive further growth and invest even more in sustainability.
We have grown with our community and want to continue to grow together
NIKIN and crowdinvesting are a perfect match. Since day one, we have been a brand that is close to the community. This is shown not only by the many followers on social media, but also by numerous, well-attended events. We were particularly pleased with the "crowd design": our customers submitted over 1,000 designs, and a TreeShirt was created from the best suggestion.
We really appreciate the feedback from our community. When we started looking at the questions around our further growth and our community was also advising us to crowdinvest, the answer became obvious.
Now we are very proud to launch our first crowdinvesting campaign and make the most important people, our community and customers, the first investors and new co-owners of NIKIN!
Co-Founder, CEO & CMOBiography
Nicholas Hänny holds a double master's degree from the University of St. Gallen and worked for two years in the field of e-commerce and online marketing. Nicholas Hänny is on the 2021 "Forbes Under 30 Europe" list in the field of "Social Impact", was "Aargauer of the Year" in 2019 and landed on the 2021 list of the "100 most successful Swiss under 40". Nicholas Hänny is also on two boards of directors.
Robin Gnehm is a trained car mechanic and then already planted trees as a gardener before starting his industrial design studies at the FHNW in Basel. In 2018, he had to decide between studying full time or working full time for NIKIN and chose the second. Robin is on the 2021 Forbes Under 30 Europe list in the Social Impact section.
CFO & CHROBiography
Carla Hänny studied International Management with a major in Entrepreneurship at the FHNW in Brugg. Originally from Brazil, Carla grew up in a family of entrepreneurs and has been involved in entrepreneurship almost since childhood. Carla, like Nicholas & Robin, is also on the 2021 "Forbes Under 30 Europe" list in the area of "Social Impact".
Patrick Borer completed a banking apprenticeship and, after completing his bachelor's degree at the FHNW in Basel, worked for many years at Mammut, where he rose to the position of "Head of Group Controlling". He then worked in a pharmaceutical company as a "Finance/ERP Business Analyst" until he decided to support NIKIN in its next big steps.
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