Which entrepreneur does not want it: come up with a solution or product that nobody had thought of before.

In this series, entrepreneurs talk about the gap in the market they discovered and their way there.

Today: Sebastiaan van Dam (32), Marijn van Roij (36) and Max van Dam (28) from NORTVI came up with a sustainable suitcase line made from recycled products.

  • What:

    NORTVI, travel products made from eco-friendly materials

  • Creators:

    Sebastiaan van Dam, Marijn van Roij and Max van Dam

  • How many sold?

    More than two thousand pieces

How did you come up with the idea for these travel products?

Sebastiaan van Dam: "For our work we always had to travel a lot to several locations in Europe. Then we naturally took a suitcase with us. We noticed that suitcases are often practical items. Most people think of wearing a nice outfit. but not to use a suitcase that also looks nice. A stylish suitcase that was sustainably produced did not exist either, so all three of us decided to quit our jobs to fully focus on setting up our own sustainable trunk line. "

"The inside of the cases is made of 100 percent recycled PET bottles and the outside material is recycled polycarbonate."

Sebastiaan van Dam, co-founder of NORTVI

Did that work?

"A suitcase in itself is of course nothing new, but the current suitcase market consists of a retail model. We saw the opportunity to develop a suitcase that fully meets our wishes and goes directly to the customer."

"We also managed to produce sustainably. Our cases consist as much as possible of recycled material: the inside is made of 100 percent recycled PET bottles and the material on the outside is recycled polycarbonate. In addition to a sustainable brand, we also really see NORTVI as a fashion brand. We are the only ones in the Netherlands who want to turn the suitcase into a fashion item. "

How did the development of the product go?

“The development itself took more than a year. We sat down with an industrial designer who designed the molds. Last summer we were able to introduce the product, but unfortunately that was also in the middle of the corona pandemic. . "

But your products were still in demand ...

"The start has been very successful, although the current travel market is not very big due to the corona pandemic. We have sold more than two thousand suitcases, but we are still waiting for the moment when we can use the advertising budgets. For now we are very happy that we have made something that is appreciated by customers. Given the circumstances, we are therefore very satisfied with the sale. They mainly go through our own website. "

"For now the focus is still on the Netherlands, but ultimately we want to become one of the largest European travel brands."

Sebastiaan van Dam, co-founder of NORTVI

What are the future plans for NORTVI?

"In any case, we will continue to develop travel products in a responsible manner. For now the focus is still on the Netherlands, but ultimately we want to become one of the largest European travel brands. Next year we want to expand to Scandinavia, France and Germany and we want to be a fully circular company. That is why we have now started collecting old suitcases and travel bags, so that we can fully recycle them and turn them into new sustainable travel products. "