Sometimes, speeding things up requires slowing down. As we’ve said before, the change to greater sustainability needs to happen more quickly. This can be achieved, paradoxically, by taking a slower approach. Designing timeless products to have a longer life cycle will reduce consumption and prolong a product’s usability, whether in automotive or in fashion. Something Alexander Stutterheim understands better than most.
Creative director, fashion designer, and founder of both the eponymous raincoat brand and knitwear brand John Sterner (named for his grandfather, whose raincoat was a catalyst for Stutterheim’s career change from copywriting to fashion), Stutterheim places a premium on “slow fashion”: locally sourced materials, timeless design, respect for the environment, and more mindful consumption. “We’re trying to be an open, holistic brand,” he says of his eco-luxury knitwear line, “one that challenges the mass production industry’s values.”
Stutterheim keeps a small flock of sheep a short distance from his “flagsheep store” on the Swedish island of Öland. It’s from these sheep that he gets the wool for his heavy knit series, keeping a close eye on the entire process. A small scale and slow pace (compared to much of the contemporary clothing industry) allows for greater attention to detail, something as important to Stutterheim professionally as it is personally. “Were he alive today, my grandfather would say we live too fast,” he claims. “Too fast to appreciate life. We’re opting to deliberately miss the beauty and nuances of true emotion.”
This appreciation for detail, for timelessness, and for greater sustainability is what led Stutterheim to Polestar in the first place. Looking for a less environmentally unfriendly method to deliver products to customers, he approached Polestar with the intention of using a Polestar 2 for his “Wool Express” (or “Ullexpressen” in Swedish). Learn more about Stutterheim’s approach, his projects, and the wool express, above.
The Overview Effect: a cognitive shift in awareness reported by some astronauts during spaceflight, often while viewing the Earth from outer space. Those who have experienced it describe a new understanding of the uniqueness, fragility, and relative smallness of our one and only home. And while it’s easy to imagine the impact this must have; it seems that spaceflight is a prerequisite. Which is why we sat down with Karen Nyberg.
A core principle of sustainability is future-proofing. Keeping items in use saves energy and reduces waste, as they’re thrown away or replaced less often. There are any number of ways to ensure a product doesn’t become obsolete. Durable materials. Timeless design. And OTA software updates, like the latest one available for Polestar 2.
The most innovative ideas are brought about through creative collaboration. Ideas that have the power to change; to revolutionise the status quo and spark social and environmental change. By connecting thoughts, experiences, skills, and intuition, visionary endeavours, like design, can be elevated from good to great.