When we considered how to take our autumn collection back to nature, we took one long look across Chile’s moon-like deserts. We considered the majestic contrast of its 123 active volcanoes against chilling glaciers, and of its infinite salt flats and tranquil lakes against the soaring trees of its endemic temperate rainforest.
Within a single nation, we found more inspiration than we could possibly capture in a single collection. So we stopped beneath the unspoilt starry sky, danced our feet numb and absorbed as much of Chile’s magic deep into our bones so that some of its DNA might seep into our newest designs.
The resulting collection is our proudest yet. Perhaps best represented by our Mojave graphic tee, the native star print celebrates the indigenous Mapuche people’s ancestral spirit Wangulen, meaning ‘kind female spirit’.
Wangulen is one of the nature spirits – the Ngen – who together protect nature and its reciprocal power to protect the people. We love this ideology, which mirror’s VILDNIS’ own: look after the planet, and the planet will reward you with its unrivalled beauty and abundant natural resources.
From mythology to modern practice, respect for nature flows deep in the genes of Chile’s 1.5 million people. Setting an example for all the world, sustainability has been established as an essential part of the education curriculum since 2009, when environmental certifications were introduced at all levels from nursery to secondary schools.
Chile’s next generation has sound footsteps to follow, with 45% of the country’s energy already produced using renewable sources such as solar fields, wind farms and geothermal activity. The nation’s goal is to increase their clean energy consumption to 90% by 2050.
The Chileans invite you two explore its nooks and crannies with the same respect for the natural world. A world leader in sustainable tourism, its visitors flock for unique opportunities to enjoy glamping in small pods among wild llamas, taking in views of Torres del Paine, Patagonia. Support for eco-friendly tourism comes from the top, with its government officially defining its vision for 2020 to make Chile ‘admired and known for its attractive, varied, sustainable and high-quality tourism’.
Set against Chile’s spectacular natural backdrop, the colourful house of Valparaiso, vibrant street art in villages and cities across the country, lively tango salons and eccentric poetry bars attract and foster some of the world’s most captivating creatives. Little surprise that two of modern literature’s biggest writers come from Chile: Pablo Neruda and Isabel Allende.
We hope this VILDNIS collection will transport you to the streets and plains of Chile, and in the process empowers you to be a ‘kind female spirit’ through a fashionable show of love and respect for the natural world that inspired your wardrobe.