The northern route, and sustainability with longevity.

Bunes beach (photo by Alexandra Mateus)

Far to the north in the arctic circle, there is the cluster of islands — Lofoten Islands, that highlights out of the mainland towards the west in Nordland Norway. This archipelago gives some of the most dramatic scenery of mountains, untouched lands, trails, as well as turquoise sandy beaches. The timeless summer days are an antidote to our increasingly frenetic lives.
Almost three years ago, I landed in Reine in Moskenesøy. This area makes a great base to visit one of the most pristine beaches I have ever seen. Though unfortunately, this isolation does not always mean the beach is uncrowded. On a sunny summer day, thick crowds of tourists will be waiting on the pier in Reine to catch the morning ferry. The trek shall be around one hour and a half walk, depending on the weather conditions. However, as afternoon approaches the crowds begin the walk back over the pass on their return to civilization. Later, the beach becomes empty and quiet, likely only a few groups of campers will remain. A great opportunity to watch the magical effect of the artic Summer — soft, soothing, elegant. Still fresh in my memory, where there is no time and space for darkness. All unfazed and present.

The beach is larger than it first appears. High, glacially carved cliffs surround the beach. As soon as you immerse in the fields it looks massive as you were travelling into a pre-historic time. You don’t realize the sheer size until you start walking across the sand. Storms can unfortunately appear. The beach faces north-west and is a good place to watch the Sun in its all-time variants. This set encourages us to be off and lose track of time — a beach for solitude, as for long walks. Gladly, a scarce human touch is visible. The scenery invites for reflection about the Anthropocene epoch and the impact of human activity.

Midnight sun at Bunes beach (photo by Alexandra Mateus)
Sun reflection at midnight sun (photo by Alexandra Mateus)

The idea of getting out into nature to unlock creativity is nothing new. Many thinkers have through ages found answers to some of the biggest problems in the wilderness. I am a firm believer once you are connected to Nature, you may find answers with a systemic view and so creativity thrives. This balance is proving just as important as in the eyes of designers and consumers as well and consequently the outcomes.

One example is Patagonia, the big outdoor brand that has been an exceptional creative outcome, with good core and ethical values, shown by its commitment to the longevity of the products. Consumers can nowadays leave their products to be repaired and so they can reuse them again. For the founders of Patagonia, the alignment between creativity and Nature is seamless.

Experiencing the pristine landscape in Bunes invited me in that time to reflect on the choices we make as designers, manufacturers, organizations, and consumers who would be always part of the bond with Nature. Once a better conscious and collective mind is established, it can be easier to recognize the power we hold, as well as to revert environmental implications. If we buy little, well, do what we can to maintain, reuse, and share, we are part of the bond between creativity and Nature.

Sources: Restart Project , Right to Repair , Repairably , Sharable , UN Sustainable development goals , Ellen Macarthur Foundation.

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