For the past seasons we’ve loved translating some of the world’s most captivating, inspiring and sustainable cultures into our signature capsule collections, but for our fifth season we look with fresh eyes on our own home country: Denmark.
Like the elusive Danish word ‘hygge’ – a feeling or quality of contentedness more than a description we can pin down, despite many attempts to do so – there is something intangible yet unforgettable about the mid-summer energy in Denmark. A country that remains cool for much of the year, locals waste no time in celebrating the fleeting light and warmth of long summer evenings. From grand pagan bonfires to the ritual lighting of a simple BBQ with friends at the nearest beach or park, there is pleasure – and, indeed, hygge – in the little things.
The second happiest people on Earth (according to the UN’s world happiness report) are perhaps so satisfied with their lives because they play an active role in sustaining the world around them.
• Danes enjoy food more intensely because they respect where it comes from, seeking out the best organic produce from local and sustainable producers, which is available for reasonable prices and across many popular cafes and restaurants.
• They relish in nature, with most lucky to live a short distance from the sea (there is even a beach in the capital!), and the cold water is no barrier to a prolific surf culture. Klitmoeller, aka ‘Cold Hawaii’, is world famous for surfing, kite surfing and windsurfing.
• They respect the air, so they cycle absolutely everywhere – to work, to school, to the grocery store, even to the clubs at night – and are working towards making Copenhagen the world’s first carbon neutral capital by 2025. The Danish island of Samsoe is already carbon-neutral and creates more energy than it uses thanks to an efficient system of wind turbines.
• They have a strong style identity, but value slower, more sustainable fashion and therefore shop more mindfully in order to fill their wardrobes with joyful pieces from eco-friendly brands.
A closer connection with nature makes Denmark the happy home of the yearly Global Fashion Summit – an event that is driving sustainability within the fashion industry and holding brands accountable to responsible global targets.
Sustainable development is more than a buzzword within policy-making, too; the Danish National Strategy has already helped to put Denmark third on the world’s Environmental Performance Index (EPI). Its sustainable legacy progresses still, with Denmark expected to increase its ratio of wind to total energy supply from 44% to 50% by 2020, taking its total renewable energy output to 80%.
This eco-conscious culture is more than altruistic, as the Danes certainly enjoy reaping the benefits and have plenty of personal motivation to preserve the land they live on. As a nation, time carries as much value as money, and most people limit their working days to eight hours in order to spend more time with family, in nature and participating in regular exercise.
Its social welfare system also improves nationwide quality of life, creating greater economic equality and fostering a culture that thrives on trust over neighbourly competition. With the benefits of our choices shared with equanimity, individual decisions are more likely to contribute to a better life for all. In this way, Denmark is proving that good-natured people and good nature can move forward together.
Moving forward together, in Denmark, also means moving together. Enter music and dancing and the free-spirited parties of summer festivals from Glastonbury-esque Roskilde, to the intimate lake-side Smukfest, to the capital-wide street party Distortion. When working together and playing together, Denmark has a quality you can’t summarise in a single word.
We hope, however, to have captured it in the luxe simplicity of our nine-piece summer collection. From its ethical fabrics to its spirit-lifting seashell print and coral-pop colours to its fascination with shape and texture, we invite you to shop our newest pieces the way the Danish would: slowly and joyfully.