Our history

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Our history - Polarn O. PyretPolarn O. Pyret clothes are recognised for their quality, function and design. Our philosophy is warm, dry and happy children in all kinds of weather!

Polarn O. Pyret is a brand that designs, produces and distributes through its own shops and in-store franschises. Polarn O. Pyret is the leading brand and store concept for children´s clothing in the quality segment in Sweden

Polarn O. Pyret began by selling a totally different product – condoms. In the early 1900s, a young man named Nils Adamsson travelled around Västergötland selling sewing machines. He was struck by the size of families – and how poor they were. He wanted to help them have fewer children. In 1909, Adamsson bought a tobacco shop in Falköping, where he began selling condoms imported from Germany.

Nils and Karin Adamsson sold medical products alongside of tobacco, which gave their business a certain legitimacy. During the war in 1939-45, they began selling baby products under the name of “Pyret”.

POLARN O. PYRET AB
Their shops had two different departments – one for medical products, the other for baby products. The idea was that mothers would not have to pass through the “men’s department” – and that men would not have to hear screaming babies when they bought their products.

The last restrictions on condom sales in Sweden were lifted in the 1970s. Condoms could now be sold in department stores, petrol stations and newsagents, which pushed down prices and reduced the profits. This led to a decision in 1976 that contraceptive sales would be phased out, and the company would change its name to Polarn & Pyret AB.

THE STRIPE IS BORN
For many people, the symbol for Polarn O. Pyret is the stripe. The imitations are endless – but a striped top will always be associated with Polarn O. Pyret. The architects behind this successful move were Katarina af Klintberg and Gunilla Axén.

Products were previously purchased from different suppliers, but this team now developed a new concept with a unique design. Garments included t-shirts, sweatshirts, trousers and jackets in corduroy – and the smash hit, leggings. The colours were red, blue, green, brown – and striped. The stripe was part of Polarn O. Pyret’s very first collection in 1976.

The keyword was quality. The vision was that natural fabrics and comfort would replace synthetics and bad fit. Quality included values like trust and tradition, which was a natural platform after so many years of supplying medical products.

Another important feature was that clothes should be functional. Success was at hand – politically-aware Swedes loved Polarn O. Pyret’s clothes in the 1970s. The collection was extended to include women’s and then men’s garments – and whole families dressed themselves from top to toe in Polarn O. Pyret’s clothes. Unisex became “uni-family”.

THEN AND NOW
After many years of smooth sailing, Polarn O. Pyret began to lose its grip on the market. In 1996, the company faced serious financial difficulties and Mikael Solberg, Jan Carlzon and Paul Lederhausen stepped in.

Under the leadership of Mikael Solberg, Polarn O. Pyret underwent a radical reorganisation. The concept was renewed and rejuvenated. Lead times were shortened – and intensive investment in quality began. Sales rose successively and customers became younger.

A fusion with Portwear took place in 2000. The RNB RETAIL AND BRANDS fashion group was born, and one year later - in 2001 - the company was listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange’s O-list. In 2010 Polarn O. Pyret launched it´s e-commerce which made it possible to shop online.

POLARN O. PYRET INTERNATIONAL
Polarn O. Pyret is expanding on the international front via Master Franchisees. Polarn O. Pyret now runs more than 112 shops on 11 markets and is expanding internationally. Today, there are shops in the UK, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Holland, Estonia, Latvia, Finland and the USA. Clothes are also available via e-commerce throughout Europe and the USA.