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2022 International Woolmark Prize theme ‘Play’ invites finalists to celebrate design and innovation
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2022 International Woolmark Prize theme ‘Play’ invites finalists to celebrate design and innovation

Design Seven of the world’s most promising emerging design talents have been selected for the 2022 International Woolmark Prize - the world’s original and most prestigious fashion awards and talent development program.   The 2022 Internatonal Woolmark Prize finalists are:   Ahluwalia, United Kingdom EGONLAB, France Jordan Dalah, Australia MMUSOMAXWELL, South Africa Peter Do, USA Rui, China  Saul Nash, United Kingdom     In July 2021, hundreds of applications were reviewed by an esteemed panel of industry members and The Woolmark Company to select the seven finalists.     “We’re thrilled to introduce the next generation of creative game-changers to take part in the 2022 International Woolmark Prize,” said Australian Wool Innovation (parent company of The Woolmark Company) CEO, John Roberts. “As the award continues to evolve, our aim is to support designers to think beyond today, highlighting the innovation, versatility and sustainability of Merino wool and showcase its basis for new technologies to meet the discerning needs of tomorrow’s customer.”     This year’s program theme, Play, will be a true celebration of forward-thinking design and innovation. Finalists are invited to play and experiment with textiles, design and business practices to drive change and innovation for a brighter future.   Each finalist will receive a AU$60,000 grant for the development of a Merino collection and will be supported by the program’s education and mentoring initiative, the Innovation Academy, which includes mentoring from industry leaders, such as: Gabriella Karefa-Johnson, Stylist & Editor, Holli Rogers, Chief Brand Officer, Farfetch, Sinéad Burke, Educator and Advocate, Sara Sozzani Maino, Head of Vogue Talents, Deputy Director Vogue Italia & Int Brand, Shaway Yeh, Founder YehYehYeh and Group Style Editorial Director Modern Media Group and Tim Blanks, Editor-at-Large, Business of Fashion.     The Awards:   The seven finalists will present a Merino wool collection for Autumn/Winter 2022 highlighting transparency throughout their supply chain and, alongside partner Common Objective, will build a sustainability roadmap. The winners will be selected by a prestigious panel of industry experts, to be announced, in April 2022.   One finalist will be awarded the International Woolmark Prize and receive AU$200,000 to invest in the development of their business. The Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation will be awarded to another finalist, with the winner receiving AU$100,000. The Woolmark Supply Chain Award will also be presented, celebrating outstanding contribution from a trade partner driving wool supply chain innovation.     All finalists will have the opportunity to be stocked at some of the world’s leading stores, via the International Woolmark Prize Retailer Network.     This year’s International Woolmark Prize finalists join an impressive alumni network including Karl Lagerfeld, Yves Saint Laurent, Emily Bode Aujla, Richard Malone, Angel Chen, Gabriela Hearst, Rahul Mishra and most recently, Macy Bovan.     The Innovation Academy:   The Woolmark Company is pleased to announce this year's Innovation Academy partners: Tilting the Lens, Common Objective, Queen of Raw, Aquapak and Close to Clothes. The program boasts a global network of over 47 progressive international supply chain partners including BYBORRE, D-House, Knitwear Lab and studioe®. The Innovation Academy supports finalists with early-stage investment, product research and development, mentoring, networking and commerce, providing unparalleled insights and support to grow a sustainable business.     #woolmarkprize   Seven of the world’s most promising emerging design talents have been selected for the 2022 International Woolmark Prize - the world’s original and most prestigious fashion awards and talent development program.   The 2022 Internatonal Woolmark Prize finalists are:   Ahluwalia, United Kingdom EGONLAB, France Jordan Dalah, Australia MMUSOMAXWELL, South Africa Peter Do, USA Rui, China  Saul Nash, United Kingdom     In July 2021, hundreds of applications were reviewed by an esteemed panel of industry members and The Woolmark Company to select the seven finalists.     “We’re thrilled to introduce the next generation of creative game-changers to take part in the 2022 International Woolmark Prize,” said Australian Wool Innovation (parent company of The Woolmark Company) CEO, John Roberts. “As the award continues to evolve, our aim is to support designers to think beyond today, highlighting the innovation, versatility and sustainability of Merino wool and showcase its basis for new technologies to meet the discerning needs of tomorrow’s customer.”     This year’s program theme, Play, will be a true celebration of forward-thinking design and innovation. Finalists are invited to play and experiment with textiles, design and business practices to drive change and innovation for a brighter future.   Each finalist will receive a AU$60,000 grant for the development of a Merino collection and will be supported by the program’s education and mentoring initiative, the Innovation Academy, which includes mentoring from industry leaders, such as: Gabriella Karefa-Johnson, Stylist & Editor, Holli Rogers, Chief Brand Officer, Farfetch, Sinéad Burke, Educator and Advocate, Sara Sozzani Maino, Head of Vogue Talents, Deputy Director Vogue Italia & Int Brand, Shaway Yeh, Founder YehYehYeh and Group Style Editorial Director Modern Media Group and Tim Blanks, Editor-at-Large, Business of Fashion.     The Awards:   The seven finalists will present a Merino wool collection for Autumn/Winter 2022 highlighting transparency throughout their supply chain and, alongside partner Common Objective, will build a sustainability roadmap. The winners will be selected by a prestigious panel of industry experts, to be announced, in April 2022.   One finalist will be awarded the International Woolmark Prize and receive AU$200,000 to invest in the development of their business. The Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation will be awarded to another finalist, with the winner receiving AU$100,000. The Woolmark Supply Chain Award will also be presented, celebrating outstanding contribution from a trade partner driving wool supply chain innovation.     All finalists will have the opportunity to be stocked at some of the world’s leading stores, via the International Woolmark Prize Retailer Network.     This year’s International Woolmark Prize finalists join an impressive alumni network including Karl Lagerfeld, Yves Saint Laurent, Emily Bode Aujla, Richard Malone, Angel Chen, Gabriela Hearst, Rahul Mishra and most recently, Macy Bovan.     The Innovation Academy:   The Woolmark Company is pleased to announce this year's Innovation Academy partners: Tilting the Lens, Common Objective, Queen of Raw, Aquapak and Close to Clothes. The program boasts a global network of over 47 progressive international supply chain partners including BYBORRE, D-House, Knitwear Lab and studioe®. The Innovation Academy supports finalists with early-stage investment, product research and development, mentoring, networking and commerce, providing unparalleled insights and support to grow a sustainable business.     #woolmarkprize  

BULGARI’S GOLD IS 100% ETHICALLY SOURCED
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BULGARI’S GOLD IS 100% ETHICALLY SOURCED

Jewelry Bulgari is proud to announce that starting from the 1st January 2022, 100% of its jewels will be officially produced with gold from fully traceable certified sources.     Due to its comprehensive tracking and auditing system, Bulgari is today the first and only player in the global jewellery scene who will be able to claim to produce 100% of its jewels with gold coming from certified sourcesfrom the 1st January 2022.      The unique and ambitious milestone of offering jewels made from fully ethical gold is the result of a continuous improvement process across our value chain. This comes alongside with the renewal of the prestigious Chain-of-Custody certification by the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), of which Bulgari has been a member since 2006. The three-year certification, first obtained by the company in 2015, promotes the usage of responsibly sourced gold across the entire supply chain, confirming Bulgari’s commitment to transparency and gold traceability through its manufacturing and sourcing processes as well as through those of its suppliers, while keeping the highest consideration for ethics and environment.   “The sustainable issue in the luxury segment is becoming an increasingly important requirement in the certification world that provides the guarantee of a responsibly managed supply chain. At Bulgari we are committed to transparency and traceability through our manufacturing process as well as those of our suppliers. Since 2015 our gold is sourced from RJC-certified suppliers and our consistent commitment has driven us to a full production made of certified gold from 2022.” said the Bulgari CEO Jean-Christophe Babin on this new milestone.     With the intention of securing long-term compliance with RJC Chain-of-Custody standard provisions, Bulgari has implemented an appropriate internal and external management system to ensure the segregation of CoC-certified material in each step of the manufacturing process from metal procurement to the final product.    The executive Director of the Responsible Jewellery Council Iris Van der Veken commented:“I would like to congratulate Bulgari on the renewal of their certification, which testify the continuous and strong effort towards crafting responsible products. This result is even more remarkable considering the Company achievement that starting from the beginning of 2022, 100% of its jewels will be produced with gold from fully traceable certified sources; an important milestone for the whole industry. In this era of trust and resilience, now more than ever there is a need for companies to inspire, take action and commit towards a journey of purpose, and continuous improvement. Bulgari’s achievement testifies once more the Company commitment topromote ethical practices across the jewellery and watch value chain.”      Bulgari also implements the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict- Affected and High-Risk Areas, including the provisions of the Supplement on Goldand is conducting Due Diligence across its gold supply chain.   Bulgari is proud to announce that starting from the 1st January 2022, 100% of its jewels will be officially produced with gold from fully traceable certified sources.     Due to its comprehensive tracking and auditing system, Bulgari is today the first and only player in the global jewellery scene who will be able to claim to produce 100% of its jewels with gold coming from certified sourcesfrom the 1st January 2022.      The unique and ambitious milestone of offering jewels made from fully ethical gold is the result of a continuous improvement process across our value chain. This comes alongside with the renewal of the prestigious Chain-of-Custody certification by the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), of which Bulgari has been a member since 2006. The three-year certification, first obtained by the company in 2015, promotes the usage of responsibly sourced gold across the entire supply chain, confirming Bulgari’s commitment to transparency and gold traceability through its manufacturing and sourcing processes as well as through those of its suppliers, while keeping the highest consideration for ethics and environment.   “The sustainable issue in the luxury segment is becoming an increasingly important requirement in the certification world that provides the guarantee of a responsibly managed supply chain. At Bulgari we are committed to transparency and traceability through our manufacturing process as well as those of our suppliers. Since 2015 our gold is sourced from RJC-certified suppliers and our consistent commitment has driven us to a full production made of certified gold from 2022.” said the Bulgari CEO Jean-Christophe Babin on this new milestone.     With the intention of securing long-term compliance with RJC Chain-of-Custody standard provisions, Bulgari has implemented an appropriate internal and external management system to ensure the segregation of CoC-certified material in each step of the manufacturing process from metal procurement to the final product.    The executive Director of the Responsible Jewellery Council Iris Van der Veken commented:“I would like to congratulate Bulgari on the renewal of their certification, which testify the continuous and strong effort towards crafting responsible products. This result is even more remarkable considering the Company achievement that starting from the beginning of 2022, 100% of its jewels will be produced with gold from fully traceable certified sources; an important milestone for the whole industry. In this era of trust and resilience, now more than ever there is a need for companies to inspire, take action and commit towards a journey of purpose, and continuous improvement. Bulgari’s achievement testifies once more the Company commitment topromote ethical practices across the jewellery and watch value chain.”      Bulgari also implements the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict- Affected and High-Risk Areas, including the provisions of the Supplement on Goldand is conducting Due Diligence across its gold supply chain.  

O'Neill launches innovative Winter  collection
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O'Neill launches innovative Winter collection

Fashion Fun fact. Did you know that the wetsuit was the first of Jack O’Neill’s inventions that would revolutionise and massively popularise the surfing sport? It made him an instant legend in the world-wide surf community and his hands-on innovation would become a staple in so many outdoor sports where fellow natural world enthusiasts seek to extend their bliss.  “Life is good”, Jack O’Neill would always say.      O’Neill is still the number one wetsuit maker in the world, and all its other product is precisely – and responsibly - engineered to make you stay out and play longer too. Now temperatures are dropping, and the weather gets all moody especially here in The Netherlands, the iconic brand launches a wide range of technical winter coats that will keep you warm at any time. This collection is available through selected retailers and O'Neill stores in Europe as well as online via oneill.com.      Throughout the Fall of 2021 O’Neill releases a collaborative online outdoor campaign which focuses facing your outdoor environment. The campaign stretches across Western and Northern Europe, incorporating specialists within the fields of outdoor-design, surf and snow. Following a global ongoing pandemic, O’Neill has chosen not to follow the previous industry-standard but instead takes an adaptive approach. Allowing a seasonal collection to travel and take on individual journey’s, encountering various outdoor conditions from the Spanish Pyrenee’s to Cadair Idris in Southern Wales. O’Neill seeks to further explore how the individual journey’s merged through city-scapes and the outdoor’s landscape’s informs the product’s functionalities, boundaries and versatility’s - first in last out. With this amazing new collection the heritage brand introduces a full line of technical innovation jackets in more colours.     Jack O’Neill wasn’t only a leading innovator for the global surfing community. He was an unstoppable outdoor sports fanatic for one, and deeply motivated to make a positive contribution the world. He truly understood the value of a strong community as much as that of a healthy marine eco-system. As part of O’Neill’s Ocean Mission to minimize the impact on the planet, O’Neill is committed to set ambitious goals for the O’Neill Blue sustainable product collection. The brand challenges everyone to join their mission and become one with the outdoors too. Truly one with the nature.     O’Neill is all about stretching the boundaries of what innovative gear can do for the active outdoor. They have a tradition of paying a lot of attention to hyper functional and sustainable product design. Take the XTRM Mountain Jacket, heat bonded baffle filled with recycled REPREVE® insulation, water repellent, detachable snow gaiter, ergonomic paneling system and extra stretch engineered around the armholes, it takes you all the way from the powdery slopes to your city’s cultural mean streets. The LM Supersuit Jacket was inspired by the original inflatable Supersuit Wetsuit, designed by Jack O’Neill, and endorses its genius as you control the level of air-fill for insulation. Lightweight with heat bonded seams and a fixed adjustable hood, all made from 100% recycled materials. The Ingenious Jacket is a super waterproof and breathable slope ready hybrid of soft shell and baffle with strategically placed O’Neill Firewall Magma tech insulation, a quick dry, solvent free membrane, a fixed hood with inner collar, side vents, snow gaiters and all sorts of inside and outside pockets – ready to face the outdoors beyond any borders.      Something especially dear to our heart is their mission: O’Neill also organizes ocean clean ups, they have sustainable ways of manufacturing and give back through initiatives and projects such as the Surf Rider Foundation and Surfers not Street Children. More info on ocean mission here.      Fun fact. Did you know that the wetsuit was the first of Jack O’Neill’s inventions that would revolutionise and massively popularise the surfing sport? It made him an instant legend in the world-wide surf community and his hands-on innovation would become a staple in so many outdoor sports where fellow natural world enthusiasts seek to extend their bliss.  “Life is good”, Jack O’Neill would always say.      O’Neill is still the number one wetsuit maker in the world, and all its other product is precisely – and responsibly - engineered to make you stay out and play longer too. Now temperatures are dropping, and the weather gets all moody especially here in The Netherlands, the iconic brand launches a wide range of technical winter coats that will keep you warm at any time. This collection is available through selected retailers and O'Neill stores in Europe as well as online via oneill.com.      Throughout the Fall of 2021 O’Neill releases a collaborative online outdoor campaign which focuses facing your outdoor environment. The campaign stretches across Western and Northern Europe, incorporating specialists within the fields of outdoor-design, surf and snow. Following a global ongoing pandemic, O’Neill has chosen not to follow the previous industry-standard but instead takes an adaptive approach. Allowing a seasonal collection to travel and take on individual journey’s, encountering various outdoor conditions from the Spanish Pyrenee’s to Cadair Idris in Southern Wales. O’Neill seeks to further explore how the individual journey’s merged through city-scapes and the outdoor’s landscape’s informs the product’s functionalities, boundaries and versatility’s - first in last out. With this amazing new collection the heritage brand introduces a full line of technical innovation jackets in more colours.     Jack O’Neill wasn’t only a leading innovator for the global surfing community. He was an unstoppable outdoor sports fanatic for one, and deeply motivated to make a positive contribution the world. He truly understood the value of a strong community as much as that of a healthy marine eco-system. As part of O’Neill’s Ocean Mission to minimize the impact on the planet, O’Neill is committed to set ambitious goals for the O’Neill Blue sustainable product collection. The brand challenges everyone to join their mission and become one with the outdoors too. Truly one with the nature.     O’Neill is all about stretching the boundaries of what innovative gear can do for the active outdoor. They have a tradition of paying a lot of attention to hyper functional and sustainable product design. Take the XTRM Mountain Jacket, heat bonded baffle filled with recycled REPREVE® insulation, water repellent, detachable snow gaiter, ergonomic paneling system and extra stretch engineered around the armholes, it takes you all the way from the powdery slopes to your city’s cultural mean streets. The LM Supersuit Jacket was inspired by the original inflatable Supersuit Wetsuit, designed by Jack O’Neill, and endorses its genius as you control the level of air-fill for insulation. Lightweight with heat bonded seams and a fixed adjustable hood, all made from 100% recycled materials. The Ingenious Jacket is a super waterproof and breathable slope ready hybrid of soft shell and baffle with strategically placed O’Neill Firewall Magma tech insulation, a quick dry, solvent free membrane, a fixed hood with inner collar, side vents, snow gaiters and all sorts of inside and outside pockets – ready to face the outdoors beyond any borders.      Something especially dear to our heart is their mission: O’Neill also organizes ocean clean ups, they have sustainable ways of manufacturing and give back through initiatives and projects such as the Surf Rider Foundation and Surfers not Street Children. More info on ocean mission here.     

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Everything you like, made healthy: B3TTER FOODS the birth of the future of snacks.
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Everything you like, made healthy: B3TTER FOODS the birth of the future of snacks.

Food In the last 30 years, the consumption of ultra-processed foods has increased by 600% and data says the intake of these options increases the risk of mortality from various causes by 62%. Based on this, the two entrepreneurs behind B3TTER FOODS set out to make products that taste amazing and are makde of whole foods.     They are two young Spaniards dreaming to change the world step by step. Adrià was born and raised in Girona, Spain. Until he was 20 years old, he combined his studies with ultra-distance sport such as Ironman and Ultratrails. Sport has shaped Adrià’s hard-working attitude. His passion is to create projects that face local and global challenges.     Alex was born in Spain, is half French and grew up in an international and culturally versatile environment. From an early age on he developed a passion for traveling, discovering new ways of thinking, living, learning and staying curious. Besides having studied to become a teacher, he works with social media and is an environmental activist. Nowadays, the best tasting food is often ultra-processed and has bad effects on our bodies.     They believe that there is a different approach to great tasting snacks with only healthy ingredients, no sugar, no edulcorants and no artificial flavors. They value transparency, which is why they use ingredients people are familiar with. They couldn't find a tasty and healthy product that fulfilled our needs, so we teamed up with nutritionists, gastronomists and other experts from the food industry to create their first snacks for B3TTER FOODS.     The brand name comes from the idea that they wanted to create products that reinvent what's on the market already, in terms of nutritional benefits, brand image and mission. They always put well-being above economic profit. So they incorporated the number 3 as a mirrored E as our mission is to take care of 3 main components: people's health, our planet and animals. They launched hazelnut cocoa spreads and bars. The bars come in the flavours cocoa, blueberries and peanuts while they are made up of four ingredients only. Chocolate and blueberries contain antioxidants, while peanuts are a great source of protein. They use dates as a natural, healthy sweetener.     In the future, they hope to raise awareness about mindful dietary consumption and establish ourselves as an essential brand when it comes to tasty snacks.. B3TTER FOODS aims to turn the food industry upside down, so stay tuned! In the last 30 years, the consumption of ultra-processed foods has increased by 600% and data says the intake of these options increases the risk of mortality from various causes by 62%. Based on this, the two entrepreneurs behind B3TTER FOODS set out to make products that taste amazing and are makde of whole foods.     They are two young Spaniards dreaming to change the world step by step. Adrià was born and raised in Girona, Spain. Until he was 20 years old, he combined his studies with ultra-distance sport such as Ironman and Ultratrails. Sport has shaped Adrià’s hard-working attitude. His passion is to create projects that face local and global challenges.     Alex was born in Spain, is half French and grew up in an international and culturally versatile environment. From an early age on he developed a passion for traveling, discovering new ways of thinking, living, learning and staying curious. Besides having studied to become a teacher, he works with social media and is an environmental activist. Nowadays, the best tasting food is often ultra-processed and has bad effects on our bodies.     They believe that there is a different approach to great tasting snacks with only healthy ingredients, no sugar, no edulcorants and no artificial flavors. They value transparency, which is why they use ingredients people are familiar with. They couldn't find a tasty and healthy product that fulfilled our needs, so we teamed up with nutritionists, gastronomists and other experts from the food industry to create their first snacks for B3TTER FOODS.     The brand name comes from the idea that they wanted to create products that reinvent what's on the market already, in terms of nutritional benefits, brand image and mission. They always put well-being above economic profit. So they incorporated the number 3 as a mirrored E as our mission is to take care of 3 main components: people's health, our planet and animals. They launched hazelnut cocoa spreads and bars. The bars come in the flavours cocoa, blueberries and peanuts while they are made up of four ingredients only. Chocolate and blueberries contain antioxidants, while peanuts are a great source of protein. They use dates as a natural, healthy sweetener.     In the future, they hope to raise awareness about mindful dietary consumption and establish ourselves as an essential brand when it comes to tasty snacks.. B3TTER FOODS aims to turn the food industry upside down, so stay tuned!

In conversation with Reina Ovinge & Jelle de Jong
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In conversation with Reina Ovinge & Jelle de Jong

Sustainability We had a pleasure speaking with Jelle de Jong & Reina Ovinge about sustainability and the new collaboration between Scotch & Soda and The Knitwit Stable.     The Amsterdam-based fashion brand Scotch & Soda launches a limited-edition unisex Dutch wool cardigan in collaboration with The Knitwit Stable – a small-scale sheep farm and knitting studio located near Amsterdam.    The Knitwit Stable is one of the very few small-scale knitting studios in the Netherlands, committed to reintroducing responsible wool production into the fashion industry. The brand keeps its production process as local as possible and aims to bring the entire supply chain back to the Netherlands on a small professional scale. Which links directly to Scotch & Soda’s sustainability values, starting with a focus on materials. The initiative marks one of the brand’s steps to increase its use of Dutch wool, and by doing so diverting what would otherwise go to waste back into the Scotch & Soda supply chain.            Firstly we spoke with Jelle de Jong - Sustainability Director at Scotch & Soda.     How would you define sustainability yourself?   It’s our obligation to pass on the earth to the next generation in a healthy condition that will last. It starts with taking responsibility and accountability today for each action that can affect the future. Every individual has an important role to play in this, from policies, to companies and consumers.     Why did Scotch & Soda make the decision to move towards a more sustainable business and how did you do that?   We understand the complexity of fashion’s supply chain, and recognize the major concerns about the negative social and environmental effects that the fashion industry has on our planet. We are committed to reducing our environmental impact, and make better decisions every day that support climate protection - starting with a focus on materials.    Our most recent effort is a collaboration with The Knitwit Stable, a small-scale sheep farm and knitting studio near Amsterdam. Together we have created a limited edition unisex cardigan made from Dutch Wool, a material that goes to waste too often. Instead, it is our aim to turn it into a valuable resource by bringing it into our supply chain across future collections.     What are you most proud of in the sustainability process of Scotch & Soda?    The majority of the environmental impact we have as a business occurs in our supply chain, an area known by its complexity. It’s our responsibility to do take steps to minimize our negative impact while running our business. Together with our supply chain partners, some of whom we’ve have a relation with for over 20 years, we are adapting best practices to shift our reliance away from conventional resources onto ones that have a significantly lower impact on the environment.   As a concrete example, starting with Spring 2022, 50% of our collections is made from styles that we consider responsible and made from a material from which at least 50% of the fibre content is organic, recycled or regenerated.     What is the next sustainable step/goal next year for Scotch & Soda?   For us to better understand the extent of what we need to improve across our entire value chain, we have started to fully measure our environmental impact; looking at our carbon emissions, water and air pollution, as well as the waste we generate.   This insight will allow us to formulate goals and objectives for the future. It’s our aim to share a full environmental profit and loss report, based upon a natural capital accounting approach, by the second half of 2022.     Secondly we spoke with Reina Ovinge - Founder and Owner of The Knitwit Stable.   We heard about the Scotch & Soda x The Knitwit Stable collaboration which we are very excited about. How are you guys involved in this project?   Happy to hear it! For the Scotch & Soda limited-edition Dutch wool cardigan, we collected and selected the wool in cooperation with Dutch sheep farmers. The wool was then scoured, combed and the yarn spun in Italy, after which we knitted these beautiful pieces in our knitting studio located in Baambrugge near Amsterdam.     Why did you choose to collaborate with Scotch & Soda? And how did the collaboration come about?   We were approached by Scotch & Soda to work together to create an item made with Dutch wool. So, we decided to collaborate with them as they’re willing to support us long-term with making use of some of the 1.5 million kilos of Dutch wool produced yearly that is currently barely processed or used. It also brings more awareness to the idea that we can and have to start manufacturing locally.     What can we expect from the collaboration?   This week we mark our first collaboration with the launch of a limited-edition unisex cardigan. There will be more to come next year, so stay tuned!     What should happen according to you to let the wool industry grow in the Netherlands? How can we stimulate that?   By entering into partnerships, like the one with Scotch & Soda and other brands, with constant offtake to enable investment. It’s also important to invest in the field of knitting, breeding for finer quality wool, machines and the processing field, such as washing and the spinning of wool, as there is currently no investment in this in the Netherlands.      Why do you think it is important for the wool industry to grow?    To enhance the role of this amazing fibre as a valuable resource! Wool has so many great properties: it regulates humidity, has antibacterial qualities and is completely biodegradable. We think it’s a shame not to make use of such a great resource when there’s an abudance of it in this country, with the amount of sheep we keep.     How do you think this collaboration will affect Scotch & Soda as a brand?   I hope it gives them insight into their own influence in the supply chain by seeing and experiencing how the process works up close. It could also provide internal insight and inspiration on how to create better processes. I also think it will positively affect and impress their customers in the field of sustainability, maybe even inspire them too.     How do you see the future of (Dutch) wool?     I’m optimistic, but it’s not going to be easy. Several decades ago the wool processing industry practically disappeared. So to recover all of that knowledge is going to be a long and difficult road. We think it’s important to inform business professionals and fashion students, so they take processes like these into account when designing and creating. But we’re well on our way!       Launching on November 1st, the limited-edition cardigan will be available on www.scotch-soda.com and in a selection of Scotch & Soda directly operated stores.  We had a pleasure speaking with Jelle de Jong & Reina Ovinge about sustainability and the new collaboration between Scotch & Soda and The Knitwit Stable.     The Amsterdam-based fashion brand Scotch & Soda launches a limited-edition unisex Dutch wool cardigan in collaboration with The Knitwit Stable – a small-scale sheep farm and knitting studio located near Amsterdam.    The Knitwit Stable is one of the very few small-scale knitting studios in the Netherlands, committed to reintroducing responsible wool production into the fashion industry. The brand keeps its production process as local as possible and aims to bring the entire supply chain back to the Netherlands on a small professional scale. Which links directly to Scotch & Soda’s sustainability values, starting with a focus on materials. The initiative marks one of the brand’s steps to increase its use of Dutch wool, and by doing so diverting what would otherwise go to waste back into the Scotch & Soda supply chain.            Firstly we spoke with Jelle de Jong - Sustainability Director at Scotch & Soda.     How would you define sustainability yourself?   It’s our obligation to pass on the earth to the next generation in a healthy condition that will last. It starts with taking responsibility and accountability today for each action that can affect the future. Every individual has an important role to play in this, from policies, to companies and consumers.     Why did Scotch & Soda make the decision to move towards a more sustainable business and how did you do that?   We understand the complexity of fashion’s supply chain, and recognize the major concerns about the negative social and environmental effects that the fashion industry has on our planet. We are committed to reducing our environmental impact, and make better decisions every day that support climate protection - starting with a focus on materials.    Our most recent effort is a collaboration with The Knitwit Stable, a small-scale sheep farm and knitting studio near Amsterdam. Together we have created a limited edition unisex cardigan made from Dutch Wool, a material that goes to waste too often. Instead, it is our aim to turn it into a valuable resource by bringing it into our supply chain across future collections.     What are you most proud of in the sustainability process of Scotch & Soda?    The majority of the environmental impact we have as a business occurs in our supply chain, an area known by its complexity. It’s our responsibility to do take steps to minimize our negative impact while running our business. Together with our supply chain partners, some of whom we’ve have a relation with for over 20 years, we are adapting best practices to shift our reliance away from conventional resources onto ones that have a significantly lower impact on the environment.   As a concrete example, starting with Spring 2022, 50% of our collections is made from styles that we consider responsible and made from a material from which at least 50% of the fibre content is organic, recycled or regenerated.     What is the next sustainable step/goal next year for Scotch & Soda?   For us to better understand the extent of what we need to improve across our entire value chain, we have started to fully measure our environmental impact; looking at our carbon emissions, water and air pollution, as well as the waste we generate.   This insight will allow us to formulate goals and objectives for the future. It’s our aim to share a full environmental profit and loss report, based upon a natural capital accounting approach, by the second half of 2022.     Secondly we spoke with Reina Ovinge - Founder and Owner of The Knitwit Stable.   We heard about the Scotch & Soda x The Knitwit Stable collaboration which we are very excited about. How are you guys involved in this project?   Happy to hear it! For the Scotch & Soda limited-edition Dutch wool cardigan, we collected and selected the wool in cooperation with Dutch sheep farmers. The wool was then scoured, combed and the yarn spun in Italy, after which we knitted these beautiful pieces in our knitting studio located in Baambrugge near Amsterdam.     Why did you choose to collaborate with Scotch & Soda? And how did the collaboration come about?   We were approached by Scotch & Soda to work together to create an item made with Dutch wool. So, we decided to collaborate with them as they’re willing to support us long-term with making use of some of the 1.5 million kilos of Dutch wool produced yearly that is currently barely processed or used. It also brings more awareness to the idea that we can and have to start manufacturing locally.     What can we expect from the collaboration?   This week we mark our first collaboration with the launch of a limited-edition unisex cardigan. There will be more to come next year, so stay tuned!     What should happen according to you to let the wool industry grow in the Netherlands? How can we stimulate that?   By entering into partnerships, like the one with Scotch & Soda and other brands, with constant offtake to enable investment. It’s also important to invest in the field of knitting, breeding for finer quality wool, machines and the processing field, such as washing and the spinning of wool, as there is currently no investment in this in the Netherlands.      Why do you think it is important for the wool industry to grow?    To enhance the role of this amazing fibre as a valuable resource! Wool has so many great properties: it regulates humidity, has antibacterial qualities and is completely biodegradable. We think it’s a shame not to make use of such a great resource when there’s an abudance of it in this country, with the amount of sheep we keep.     How do you think this collaboration will affect Scotch & Soda as a brand?   I hope it gives them insight into their own influence in the supply chain by seeing and experiencing how the process works up close. It could also provide internal insight and inspiration on how to create better processes. I also think it will positively affect and impress their customers in the field of sustainability, maybe even inspire them too.     How do you see the future of (Dutch) wool?     I’m optimistic, but it’s not going to be easy. Several decades ago the wool processing industry practically disappeared. So to recover all of that knowledge is going to be a long and difficult road. We think it’s important to inform business professionals and fashion students, so they take processes like these into account when designing and creating. But we’re well on our way!       Launching on November 1st, the limited-edition cardigan will be available on www.scotch-soda.com and in a selection of Scotch & Soda directly operated stores. 

Why is wool the future of sustainable fashion?
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Why is wool the future of sustainable fashion?

Sustainability Sustainable development in the global fashion and textile industry has been accelerated by the COVID-19 crisis. Consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable products and research by McKinsey&Co revealed “57% of shoppers agreed that they had made significant changes to their lifestyles to lessen their environmental impact”. For designers, brands and manufacturers looking for sustainable material solutions, wool is a natural, technical and circular fibre that can be easily integrated into sustainable material strategies. There are numerous pressures for the textile and fashion industry to shift to a more sustainable system. These pressures are demanding that brands and manufacturers rethink their materials strategies and choose bres that are less impactful on the environment. Australian wool is inherently circular and provides a solution for sustainable textile development.       Why is wool the future of sustainable fashion and what are some of the quality key benefits of wool for the customers?     Because wool is 100% natural, renewable and biodegradable fibre and refers to the fibres produced by sheep. However do keep in mind that not all wool is exactly the same. There are more than 1000 different breeds of sheep all over the world which produce a variety of different types of wool. Australian Merino wool is more complex than any synthetic or natual fibres.    Wool is the future of sustainable fashion because it is 100% natural and renewable, 100% biodegradable, it is breathable and non-allergenic, it is super soft (softer and finer than human hair), wool uses 18% less energy than polyester and nearly 70% less water than other natural fibre to produce 100 sweaters, it is also the most reused and recycled fibre. While manmade fibres are petroleum based, non-biodegradable, microplastic pollutants, require more wasking, non-renewable to name some of it's key cons.     How does wool fit into a sustainable circular model?   With fibre production wool is as mentioned before renewable, in product manufacture it is slow fashion and not fast fashion, in distribution and retail it is again slow fashion, in product use phase it has a long product life and in product disposal it is biodegradable.     Wool forms a part of the natural carbon cycle. By storing the carbon from the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2), wool prevents the gas from contributing to climate change for the time the garment is in use. All this CO2 is removed from the atmosphere for the bre’s life – from when it is used by the grass during growth, to when it is converted into wool on the sheep, through the wool product’s use phase – until it is disposed of and biodegrades. For many wool garments, this period is greatly extended because wool is used or recycled in a variety of textiles.     There are a lot more opportunities with wool especially with technical deisgn, tracebility and circularity.      Which are some of the key innovations and designs with wool?     Definitely some of the key innovations in wool to empashize are: wind and water-resistant wool fabric, wool faux fur, seamless knitwear, wool velvet, digital printing, wool footwear, wool wadding to name a few of the most important ones.     One in particular that we find spectacular is wool in footwear. Advancements in knitting technology have facilitated the use of wool in footwear. Combining wool with different yarns in a shoe upper draws on wool’s natural properties to promote dryness, breathability, freshness, comfort and warmth. With fully fashioned knitwear uppers, waste is reduced by directly mounting the shaped piece onto the sole of the shoe. Filament-wrapped wool yarns add strength and resistance to abrasion, extending life wear of the shoes making it slow fashion.       Australia is the largest producer of Merino wool in the world, with a total of 68 million sheep and 60,000+ woolgrowers producing 90% of the world’s wool used for ne apparel. With a commitment to responsible practices and animal welfare, Australia is also the largest exporter of non-mulesed wool in the world. Wool makes up only 1.2% of the global apparel market by volume, but makes up 8% of its value, rea rming wool as a luxury fibre. Australian Merino wool is much more complex than any of the synthetic bres and most other natural fibres. It is this complexity that provides wool with the unique set of benefits which cannot be matched by any other fibre natural or man-made. It also has som medical benefits: super fine Merino wool has been found to be beneficial to the skin, providing a natural adjunct treatment for eczema that reduces the need for traditional medicines.           In conclusion wool is a sustainable solution, it is breathable, it is good for the skin, it is renewable and biodegradable and it is odour resistant. Wool is the future of sustainable fashion don't you agree?     The Woolmark Company is the global authority on wool. Through its extensive network of relationships spanning the international textile and fashion industries, the company highlights Australian wool’s position as the ultimate natural bre and premier ingredient in luxury products.      Learn and read more about wool here. Sustainable development in the global fashion and textile industry has been accelerated by the COVID-19 crisis. Consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable products and research by McKinsey&Co revealed “57% of shoppers agreed that they had made significant changes to their lifestyles to lessen their environmental impact”. For designers, brands and manufacturers looking for sustainable material solutions, wool is a natural, technical and circular fibre that can be easily integrated into sustainable material strategies. There are numerous pressures for the textile and fashion industry to shift to a more sustainable system. These pressures are demanding that brands and manufacturers rethink their materials strategies and choose bres that are less impactful on the environment. Australian wool is inherently circular and provides a solution for sustainable textile development.       Why is wool the future of sustainable fashion and what are some of the quality key benefits of wool for the customers?     Because wool is 100% natural, renewable and biodegradable fibre and refers to the fibres produced by sheep. However do keep in mind that not all wool is exactly the same. There are more than 1000 different breeds of sheep all over the world which produce a variety of different types of wool. Australian Merino wool is more complex than any synthetic or natual fibres.    Wool is the future of sustainable fashion because it is 100% natural and renewable, 100% biodegradable, it is breathable and non-allergenic, it is super soft (softer and finer than human hair), wool uses 18% less energy than polyester and nearly 70% less water than other natural fibre to produce 100 sweaters, it is also the most reused and recycled fibre. While manmade fibres are petroleum based, non-biodegradable, microplastic pollutants, require more wasking, non-renewable to name some of it's key cons.     How does wool fit into a sustainable circular model?   With fibre production wool is as mentioned before renewable, in product manufacture it is slow fashion and not fast fashion, in distribution and retail it is again slow fashion, in product use phase it has a long product life and in product disposal it is biodegradable.     Wool forms a part of the natural carbon cycle. By storing the carbon from the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2), wool prevents the gas from contributing to climate change for the time the garment is in use. All this CO2 is removed from the atmosphere for the bre’s life – from when it is used by the grass during growth, to when it is converted into wool on the sheep, through the wool product’s use phase – until it is disposed of and biodegrades. For many wool garments, this period is greatly extended because wool is used or recycled in a variety of textiles.     There are a lot more opportunities with wool especially with technical deisgn, tracebility and circularity.      Which are some of the key innovations and designs with wool?     Definitely some of the key innovations in wool to empashize are: wind and water-resistant wool fabric, wool faux fur, seamless knitwear, wool velvet, digital printing, wool footwear, wool wadding to name a few of the most important ones.     One in particular that we find spectacular is wool in footwear. Advancements in knitting technology have facilitated the use of wool in footwear. Combining wool with different yarns in a shoe upper draws on wool’s natural properties to promote dryness, breathability, freshness, comfort and warmth. With fully fashioned knitwear uppers, waste is reduced by directly mounting the shaped piece onto the sole of the shoe. Filament-wrapped wool yarns add strength and resistance to abrasion, extending life wear of the shoes making it slow fashion.       Australia is the largest producer of Merino wool in the world, with a total of 68 million sheep and 60,000+ woolgrowers producing 90% of the world’s wool used for ne apparel. With a commitment to responsible practices and animal welfare, Australia is also the largest exporter of non-mulesed wool in the world. Wool makes up only 1.2% of the global apparel market by volume, but makes up 8% of its value, rea rming wool as a luxury fibre. Australian Merino wool is much more complex than any of the synthetic bres and most other natural fibres. It is this complexity that provides wool with the unique set of benefits which cannot be matched by any other fibre natural or man-made. It also has som medical benefits: super fine Merino wool has been found to be beneficial to the skin, providing a natural adjunct treatment for eczema that reduces the need for traditional medicines.           In conclusion wool is a sustainable solution, it is breathable, it is good for the skin, it is renewable and biodegradable and it is odour resistant. Wool is the future of sustainable fashion don't you agree?     The Woolmark Company is the global authority on wool. Through its extensive network of relationships spanning the international textile and fashion industries, the company highlights Australian wool’s position as the ultimate natural bre and premier ingredient in luxury products.      Learn and read more about wool here.

SWATCH GOES BACK TO 1984 IN BIOCERAMIC RETRO DESIGNS WITH AN ECO-FRIENDLY TWIST
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SWATCH GOES BACK TO 1984 IN BIOCERAMIC RETRO DESIGNS WITH AN ECO-FRIENDLY TWIST

Watches Swatch's latest chapter in bio-innovation goes back to 1984, a remarkable year in many ways. We are talking about the influential icons and pioneers. It is the time when Purple Rain by Prince, Like a Virgin by Madonna and the video game Tetris were released. In addition, Swatch entered the Guinness Book of Records in 1984 with the construction of a giant watch on display at the Commerzbank headquarters in Frankfurt, weighing 13 tons and measuring 162 meters in length. It's also the year since the brand first opened its doors and started a revolution of technicolor timepieces. Time is what you make of it, and Swatch has left its mark on the world when it comes to innovation and individual expression. With the latest 1984 Reloaded collection, the brand looks to its roots for inspiration, combining the original and most coveted 1984 designs with BIOCERAMIC, an innovation in eco-friendly materials. The unique blend of castor oil ceramic and organic plastic provides a robust, lightweight material that is scratch resistant and has a pleasant 'soft touch' finish. 1984 has never been so 2021! Five models based on the first standout Swatch watches capture the liberating fun and frivolity of the decade.     The Swatch 1984 Reloaded Collection will launch in Swatch Stores and Online Store on October 7, 2021. We'll be hearing more about Swatch's bio-innovations in the coming months.     The white New Gent and grey Gent are also available as a special set. The two 1984 Reloaded models are inspired by the anti-modernist Memphis design movement and come with matching special edition packaging. The white New Gent has a multicolored dial, while the gray Gent has a monochrome dial design and is made of BIOCERAMIC materials. The Swatch 1984 Reloaded collection will be launched in the Swatch Stores and Online Store on October 7, 2021. Recommended retail price for NEW GENT model is €85,- and GENT €75,-. We'll be hearing more about Swatch's bio-innovations in the coming months. Swatch's latest chapter in bio-innovation goes back to 1984, a remarkable year in many ways. We are talking about the influential icons and pioneers. It is the time when Purple Rain by Prince, Like a Virgin by Madonna and the video game Tetris were released. In addition, Swatch entered the Guinness Book of Records in 1984 with the construction of a giant watch on display at the Commerzbank headquarters in Frankfurt, weighing 13 tons and measuring 162 meters in length. It's also the year since the brand first opened its doors and started a revolution of technicolor timepieces. Time is what you make of it, and Swatch has left its mark on the world when it comes to innovation and individual expression. With the latest 1984 Reloaded collection, the brand looks to its roots for inspiration, combining the original and most coveted 1984 designs with BIOCERAMIC, an innovation in eco-friendly materials. The unique blend of castor oil ceramic and organic plastic provides a robust, lightweight material that is scratch resistant and has a pleasant 'soft touch' finish. 1984 has never been so 2021! Five models based on the first standout Swatch watches capture the liberating fun and frivolity of the decade.     The Swatch 1984 Reloaded Collection will launch in Swatch Stores and Online Store on October 7, 2021. We'll be hearing more about Swatch's bio-innovations in the coming months.     The white New Gent and grey Gent are also available as a special set. The two 1984 Reloaded models are inspired by the anti-modernist Memphis design movement and come with matching special edition packaging. The white New Gent has a multicolored dial, while the gray Gent has a monochrome dial design and is made of BIOCERAMIC materials. The Swatch 1984 Reloaded collection will be launched in the Swatch Stores and Online Store on October 7, 2021. Recommended retail price for NEW GENT model is €85,- and GENT €75,-. We'll be hearing more about Swatch's bio-innovations in the coming months.

10,000 years of outdoor life
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10,000 years of outdoor life

Sustainability When it comes to making raw materials for functional outdoor use, sheep are better at it than we humans. By hanging out in the open air - according to archaeological finds - for at least 10,000 years, sheep have succeeded in developing a raw material that contains so many functional benefits that others do not even come close. Wool is not only one of the oldest natural materials, it is also one of the most technical. It offers excellent functionality when you are out and about, it is durable yet soft to the touch. It is also warming when it is cold and pleasantly cooling when it is hot. It is odor resistant and e ectively wicks away body moisture. In short: wool is a great functional material. And not just for outdoor use. It is no surprise that Fjällräven uses different types of wool in many different applications across the product range. The three sources of Fjällräven's wool are: recycled, recovered and traceable. All with a focus on sustainability. Moreover, traceable wool is not simply traceable. It is also certified and monitored to high standards of animal welfare, the environment and social and economic sustainability for farmers.     Fjällräven uses three types of wool sources: traceable wool, reclaimed wool and recycled wool. The types of use and applications are diverse and range from technical base layers, midlayers such as wool sweaters to jackets and backpacks.   10 interesting facts about wool:    1. Man has been wearing wool since the Stone Age, which says something about the quality of the fiber!   2. Wool can absorb and repel water at the same time.   3. Because it's much more efficient at absorbing sweat before bacteria have a chance develop, wool is basically odor resistant.   4. Wool has a natural UV lter and thus protects against sunlight.   5. Unlike nylon and polyester, wool will not drip or melt if it catches fire. It is basically fire resistant. Good news for everyone who likes to be close to the campfire sit.   6. Wool is a 100% renewable fiber source. Each sheep produces a new coat as long as there is grass to graze on.   7. Wool fiber is biodegradable. It is composed of a natural protein, similar to that in human hair.   8. Wool can stretch to about 70% of its natural length and then spring back in its original form. As a result, it retains its durability and appearance much longer than other materials.   9. Because it is so stretchy, wool ensures that garments are naturally wrinkle free. The wool fiber is made up of feather-shaped molecules that ensure that the fibers return to their original shape after being twisted.   10. Wool products last as long as a wool fiber can be bent 20,000 times before he breaks. Cotton breaks after 3,000 bends. When it comes to making raw materials for functional outdoor use, sheep are better at it than we humans. By hanging out in the open air - according to archaeological finds - for at least 10,000 years, sheep have succeeded in developing a raw material that contains so many functional benefits that others do not even come close. Wool is not only one of the oldest natural materials, it is also one of the most technical. It offers excellent functionality when you are out and about, it is durable yet soft to the touch. It is also warming when it is cold and pleasantly cooling when it is hot. It is odor resistant and e ectively wicks away body moisture. In short: wool is a great functional material. And not just for outdoor use. It is no surprise that Fjällräven uses different types of wool in many different applications across the product range. The three sources of Fjällräven's wool are: recycled, recovered and traceable. All with a focus on sustainability. Moreover, traceable wool is not simply traceable. It is also certified and monitored to high standards of animal welfare, the environment and social and economic sustainability for farmers.     Fjällräven uses three types of wool sources: traceable wool, reclaimed wool and recycled wool. The types of use and applications are diverse and range from technical base layers, midlayers such as wool sweaters to jackets and backpacks.   10 interesting facts about wool:    1. Man has been wearing wool since the Stone Age, which says something about the quality of the fiber!   2. Wool can absorb and repel water at the same time.   3. Because it's much more efficient at absorbing sweat before bacteria have a chance develop, wool is basically odor resistant.   4. Wool has a natural UV lter and thus protects against sunlight.   5. Unlike nylon and polyester, wool will not drip or melt if it catches fire. It is basically fire resistant. Good news for everyone who likes to be close to the campfire sit.   6. Wool is a 100% renewable fiber source. Each sheep produces a new coat as long as there is grass to graze on.   7. Wool fiber is biodegradable. It is composed of a natural protein, similar to that in human hair.   8. Wool can stretch to about 70% of its natural length and then spring back in its original form. As a result, it retains its durability and appearance much longer than other materials.   9. Because it is so stretchy, wool ensures that garments are naturally wrinkle free. The wool fiber is made up of feather-shaped molecules that ensure that the fibers return to their original shape after being twisted.   10. Wool products last as long as a wool fiber can be bent 20,000 times before he breaks. Cotton breaks after 3,000 bends.

In conversation with Liene Drāzniece
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In conversation with Liene Drāzniece

Beauty We had a pleasure speaking with Liene Drāzniece, the Art Director and co-founder of MÁDARA, natural skincare&makeup brand from Latvia.        It is MÁDARA’s 15th birthday this year! How do you feel?   I’m still very excited. It’s fantastic to see how one nice idea can grow when like-minded people put their love and energy into it.      Let’s go back to the beginning. Where did it all start?   It began a little while before 2006 when I met Lotte (Lotte Tisenkopfa-Iltnere, co-founder and creative director of MÁDARA) who showed her first samples of handmade soap and asked me to draw the logo. Our discussion expanded much further than that – we talked about the traditional folk knowledge of plants, our roots, culture and vision. I can see those ideas materialized now. But it took some time.     Where does the name MÁDARA come from?   Madara is the Latvian name for bedstraw (galium), a fine, fragrant meadow flower that blossoms just before Midsummer and fills the air with a deep, bittersweet aroma. It might have a fragile structure, but it’s also pretty resilient and always tends upwards. Due to the high levels of antioxidants, we use the extract of bedstraw in several MÁDARA formulas. Also, it’s a popular person’s name here (Madara is a female name, and Madars is a male name). What’s interesting (and I realised it just recently), we don’t have too many names which can be given to both boys and girls… Which beautifully underlines our strong belief in acceptance and equality here at MÁDARA.     Could you tell me more about the roots/values of the brand?   Everything starts with a spark, which gives us a drive to explore the world and create beautiful things, breaking new paths for nature to reach contemporary people. Our products are the shortcut to nature’s power and sensuality for so many.     Human is at the center of our attention, but not in a classic anthropocentric sense. Seeking our place in this world, we learn a sense of self-worth and humbleness, too.     How would you define the Latvian sense of being?   We have a very strong connection with nature. We don’t have high hills or rocks, but we have our moody sea and fertile soil that nurtures the plants during the damn short, but sunny and warm Latvian summers. Here we can fully witness all 4 seasons, which are radically different from one another. This, I feel, strongly impacts our mood and attitude towards life and things and unleashes such an energy and even a little bit of madness. However, we are still trying to define our taste and identity, and the things that would be specifically ours.      What does freedom mean to you?   Many angles come to my mind when I think about this topic, since we have only relatively recently regained our independence as a country. And we are learning freedom from anew.      My wish is to see people more loving towards one another. It takes an open heart and open mind to turn to others without bias, ready to listen and get to know them – genuinely.     You are one of the co-founders of MÁDARA. What is your background?   I come from artist family. Art school was my perfect escape. But soon I realised that all my enthusiasm was devoted to serving graphic design, if I can say so. I studied in Latvia and Italy. I have agency experience in the position of art director at leading advertising agencies in Riga, Latvia, for almost 10 years. Besides that, I always took on some projects for my soul, and that’s how MÁDARA started.      You also have been the art director for MÁDARA since its inception, shaping everything from the packaging to the logo. Could you tell us a little bit about that?   Our concept was to create an identity that has a clear link to the Latvian ancient symbol system but also has its own totally new approach which follows our historical approach towards the search for the Latvian identity, which is a neverending process and started in the 1920’s–1930’s with the Latvian modernist movement. We were inspired from the graphic symbols of this time and connected them to the Latvian knowledge of herbs and to the sense of being in nature. This resulted in a visual story, which we used for the first years to establish communication and recognition in the market.      In the following years, the product range and distribution was growing so fast and we faced two choices – one was to create a heavy brandbook with guidelines, the other was to expand our creative team – we chose the second because it seemed to be much more fun and worthwhile.     You have always created all your visual communication in-house. That is impressive. How do you work normally?   We work in a strong unison with all departments and we are truly passionate about what we are doing. Our attitude towards our brand is as if it was towards a real character who is constantly developing and changing in reaction to various and unpredictable changes. We do what needs to be done for the brand to express it.     Nature is at the core of MÁDARA’s being. What does nature mean to you?   It’s a limitless source of inspiration and a place to escape.      What does a sustainable future look like for you?   I hope there comes a time when sustainability, responsible consumption and future-forward thinking comes to one naturally, and everyone just practices it, so we won’t need to communicate it all that much anymore.      When you launched the brand in 2006, the line consisted of 4 skincare products. This month you released your 164thproduct, your first mascara. Could you tell me more about that?   Mascara is such an iconic product that tells a lot about the brand and its expertise. Deep Matter was a challenging product our team was working on for nearly 2 years, I think. I must admit I’m very choosey, but Deep Matter completely overturns my skepticism, just like many other MÁDARA products do.     You worked as the art director for the mascara’s campaign. What was your process for this shoot?   While going through countless mascara ads, I noticed a certain pattern or code, usually revolving around a depiction of a captivating, seductive woman’s gaze. A promise always comes along, as if mascara was a tool or weapon to achieve success. However, our aim was to place the spotlight on the personality, confidence and self-esteem.      We were trying to untwine the psychological, anthropological and philosophical motifs beyond the non-verbal communication though eyes alone, as well as the urge to emphasize one’s gaze using a mascara. It was an extremely interesting yet intimate topic to experience, especially through the silver plate analog photography technique.      We looked deeper into what mascara means to each of us, individually. In the end, we realized that it was more about feeling good in your own skin. When you don’t need anyone or anything, when you don’t even feel the need to be beautiful, only then mascara comes in and does its job – makes you feel even better.       If you had to pick one favourite product from your brand, which would it be?   I couldn’t live without the Infinity Dropsserum. It just gets everything in order. I keep it in the fridge, and for me it feels and works even better when it’s cool.      You have been very outspoken about your brand’s commitment of collaborating with (local) artists. What has been your favourite collaboration to date?   The one with Arturs Analts. His Matter to Matter installation got the first prize at the London Design Biennale in 2018. The work reflects on the Latvian relationship with nature, a key pillar for MÁDARA as well. We developed the ambient fragrance for the installation to enrich the visual and tactile experience.     And now, together with artists Katrina Neiburga and Evelina Deicmane, we are working on a very interesting project, called MÉTAMORPHOSE, trying to rediscover and reinterpret our ancient masking traditions in a contemporary way.      Any words of inspiration you would like to share with our readers?   Saglabā dzirksti. Make sure to not lose your spark. We had a pleasure speaking with Liene Drāzniece, the Art Director and co-founder of MÁDARA, natural skincare&makeup brand from Latvia.        It is MÁDARA’s 15th birthday this year! How do you feel?   I’m still very excited. It’s fantastic to see how one nice idea can grow when like-minded people put their love and energy into it.      Let’s go back to the beginning. Where did it all start?   It began a little while before 2006 when I met Lotte (Lotte Tisenkopfa-Iltnere, co-founder and creative director of MÁDARA) who showed her first samples of handmade soap and asked me to draw the logo. Our discussion expanded much further than that – we talked about the traditional folk knowledge of plants, our roots, culture and vision. I can see those ideas materialized now. But it took some time.     Where does the name MÁDARA come from?   Madara is the Latvian name for bedstraw (galium), a fine, fragrant meadow flower that blossoms just before Midsummer and fills the air with a deep, bittersweet aroma. It might have a fragile structure, but it’s also pretty resilient and always tends upwards. Due to the high levels of antioxidants, we use the extract of bedstraw in several MÁDARA formulas. Also, it’s a popular person’s name here (Madara is a female name, and Madars is a male name). What’s interesting (and I realised it just recently), we don’t have too many names which can be given to both boys and girls… Which beautifully underlines our strong belief in acceptance and equality here at MÁDARA.     Could you tell me more about the roots/values of the brand?   Everything starts with a spark, which gives us a drive to explore the world and create beautiful things, breaking new paths for nature to reach contemporary people. Our products are the shortcut to nature’s power and sensuality for so many.     Human is at the center of our attention, but not in a classic anthropocentric sense. Seeking our place in this world, we learn a sense of self-worth and humbleness, too.     How would you define the Latvian sense of being?   We have a very strong connection with nature. We don’t have high hills or rocks, but we have our moody sea and fertile soil that nurtures the plants during the damn short, but sunny and warm Latvian summers. Here we can fully witness all 4 seasons, which are radically different from one another. This, I feel, strongly impacts our mood and attitude towards life and things and unleashes such an energy and even a little bit of madness. However, we are still trying to define our taste and identity, and the things that would be specifically ours.      What does freedom mean to you?   Many angles come to my mind when I think about this topic, since we have only relatively recently regained our independence as a country. And we are learning freedom from anew.      My wish is to see people more loving towards one another. It takes an open heart and open mind to turn to others without bias, ready to listen and get to know them – genuinely.     You are one of the co-founders of MÁDARA. What is your background?   I come from artist family. Art school was my perfect escape. But soon I realised that all my enthusiasm was devoted to serving graphic design, if I can say so. I studied in Latvia and Italy. I have agency experience in the position of art director at leading advertising agencies in Riga, Latvia, for almost 10 years. Besides that, I always took on some projects for my soul, and that’s how MÁDARA started.      You also have been the art director for MÁDARA since its inception, shaping everything from the packaging to the logo. Could you tell us a little bit about that?   Our concept was to create an identity that has a clear link to the Latvian ancient symbol system but also has its own totally new approach which follows our historical approach towards the search for the Latvian identity, which is a neverending process and started in the 1920’s–1930’s with the Latvian modernist movement. We were inspired from the graphic symbols of this time and connected them to the Latvian knowledge of herbs and to the sense of being in nature. This resulted in a visual story, which we used for the first years to establish communication and recognition in the market.      In the following years, the product range and distribution was growing so fast and we faced two choices – one was to create a heavy brandbook with guidelines, the other was to expand our creative team – we chose the second because it seemed to be much more fun and worthwhile.     You have always created all your visual communication in-house. That is impressive. How do you work normally?   We work in a strong unison with all departments and we are truly passionate about what we are doing. Our attitude towards our brand is as if it was towards a real character who is constantly developing and changing in reaction to various and unpredictable changes. We do what needs to be done for the brand to express it.     Nature is at the core of MÁDARA’s being. What does nature mean to you?   It’s a limitless source of inspiration and a place to escape.      What does a sustainable future look like for you?   I hope there comes a time when sustainability, responsible consumption and future-forward thinking comes to one naturally, and everyone just practices it, so we won’t need to communicate it all that much anymore.      When you launched the brand in 2006, the line consisted of 4 skincare products. This month you released your 164thproduct, your first mascara. Could you tell me more about that?   Mascara is such an iconic product that tells a lot about the brand and its expertise. Deep Matter was a challenging product our team was working on for nearly 2 years, I think. I must admit I’m very choosey, but Deep Matter completely overturns my skepticism, just like many other MÁDARA products do.     You worked as the art director for the mascara’s campaign. What was your process for this shoot?   While going through countless mascara ads, I noticed a certain pattern or code, usually revolving around a depiction of a captivating, seductive woman’s gaze. A promise always comes along, as if mascara was a tool or weapon to achieve success. However, our aim was to place the spotlight on the personality, confidence and self-esteem.      We were trying to untwine the psychological, anthropological and philosophical motifs beyond the non-verbal communication though eyes alone, as well as the urge to emphasize one’s gaze using a mascara. It was an extremely interesting yet intimate topic to experience, especially through the silver plate analog photography technique.      We looked deeper into what mascara means to each of us, individually. In the end, we realized that it was more about feeling good in your own skin. When you don’t need anyone or anything, when you don’t even feel the need to be beautiful, only then mascara comes in and does its job – makes you feel even better.       If you had to pick one favourite product from your brand, which would it be?   I couldn’t live without the Infinity Dropsserum. It just gets everything in order. I keep it in the fridge, and for me it feels and works even better when it’s cool.      You have been very outspoken about your brand’s commitment of collaborating with (local) artists. What has been your favourite collaboration to date?   The one with Arturs Analts. His Matter to Matter installation got the first prize at the London Design Biennale in 2018. The work reflects on the Latvian relationship with nature, a key pillar for MÁDARA as well. We developed the ambient fragrance for the installation to enrich the visual and tactile experience.     And now, together with artists Katrina Neiburga and Evelina Deicmane, we are working on a very interesting project, called MÉTAMORPHOSE, trying to rediscover and reinterpret our ancient masking traditions in a contemporary way.      Any words of inspiration you would like to share with our readers?   Saglabā dzirksti. Make sure to not lose your spark.

Fashion & Culture Magazine Numéro Netherlands Launches New Digital Edition
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Fashion & Culture Magazine Numéro Netherlands Launches New Digital Edition

Fashion Luxury fashion and culture magazine Numéro Netherlands has created a brand new digital edition in partnership with digital platform Exact Editions. The archive currently encompasses 3 back issues, and will grow with each new issue published.     Perched at the crossroads between women’s and men’s luxury magazines and cutting-edge magazines, Numéro Netherlands explores an original vision of luxury. Each issue is innovative, transgressive, inventive and an experimentation of style. It effortlessly connects brands to art, design and contemporary aesthetic codes, reinforcing their distinctness, uniqueness and luxury brand status.     All contents pages of the new archive will be linked to facilitate quick browsing, whilst the advanced search function allows readers to pinpoint references to specific keywords at the touch of a button across web, iOS and Android platforms.     Numéro Netherlands is available in the Exact Editions individual and institutional shops here:   Individuals: https://shop.exacteditions.com/numero-netherlands Institutions: https://institutions.exacteditions.com/numero-netherlands     Editor-in-Chief, Timotej Letonja commented: “We are pleased to be offering this new digital option to subscribers old and new. Our photography and editorials are displayed compellingly across both online and web platforms, providing an aesthetically striking reading experience.”     Daryl Rayner, Managing Director of Exact Editions, said: “Numéro Netherlands joins a strong roster of luxury magazines already hosted on the platform. It will be a brilliant resource for fashion and culture aficionados and students, as well as institutional libraries. Luxury fashion and culture magazine Numéro Netherlands has created a brand new digital edition in partnership with digital platform Exact Editions. The archive currently encompasses 3 back issues, and will grow with each new issue published.     Perched at the crossroads between women’s and men’s luxury magazines and cutting-edge magazines, Numéro Netherlands explores an original vision of luxury. Each issue is innovative, transgressive, inventive and an experimentation of style. It effortlessly connects brands to art, design and contemporary aesthetic codes, reinforcing their distinctness, uniqueness and luxury brand status.     All contents pages of the new archive will be linked to facilitate quick browsing, whilst the advanced search function allows readers to pinpoint references to specific keywords at the touch of a button across web, iOS and Android platforms.     Numéro Netherlands is available in the Exact Editions individual and institutional shops here:   Individuals: https://shop.exacteditions.com/numero-netherlands Institutions: https://institutions.exacteditions.com/numero-netherlands     Editor-in-Chief, Timotej Letonja commented: “We are pleased to be offering this new digital option to subscribers old and new. Our photography and editorials are displayed compellingly across both online and web platforms, providing an aesthetically striking reading experience.”     Daryl Rayner, Managing Director of Exact Editions, said: “Numéro Netherlands joins a strong roster of luxury magazines already hosted on the platform. It will be a brilliant resource for fashion and culture aficionados and students, as well as institutional libraries.

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