History - The People

History | Ethos | Our name | ECO | All

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

The modern Polarn O. Pyret took shape when pharmacies in Sweden started to sell condoms. With sales of medical supplies plummeting, we decided to focus on the childrenswear range instead. We didn’t sell clothes of our own design at first; like most other chains, we purchased clothes from a wholesaler.

We brought in Gunila Axén to develop an in-house Pyret design and for the start of the new school year in 1974 she launched what was to be the beginning of our next major success: the basic range of clothes we now call PO.P Originals.

Gunila Axén created the first basic collection 1974.Soft children, soft fabrics, soft colours
“I’ve always started with the fabric in some way,” says Gunila. “It’s obvious to me that clothes should be stylish and practical, not either/or. That’s why I’ve always loved jersey fabric, which has become something of a signature fabric for Polarn O. Pyret.

“But each fabric choice is about striking a balance. Different people have different tastes. And the fabric also needs to be right for the garment’s purpose. Babies don’t really have preferences as such, but it seems obvious they should have easy-care natural fibres.”

The basic garments came in basic colours: red, blue and brown. This was a deliberate choice.

“Children should be children, not boys or girls,” says Bie Seipel emphatically. “Even back then, we felt that dressing little ones in colours that signal their gender was an old-fashioned idea.”




Katarina af Klintberg was Head of Marketing and later CEO 1973-83


Polarn is added

Once we started making clothes for older children as well, the name Pyret no longer worked.

“We added ‘Polarn’ (Buddy) in the mid-70s. It felt completely right,” reports Katarina af Klintberg. “We wanted to be a buddy to our customers, with likeable fabrics and production methods, and we had in mind the role of older siblings as buddies to their little sisters and brothers. It was also a word that appealed to older children, who needed an element of coolness that ‘Pyret’ didn’t provide.”

Pyret and Polarn have belonged together ever since, in comfortable, soft, natural fabrics. And this year, we’re celebrating 40 years of togetherness.