“Sustainability is about the relationship between man and nature”

“Sustainability is about the relationship between man and nature”

Lotte van Raalte (1989) graduated as a fashion photographer from the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. Inspired by the travels she has made and the people, cultures and landscapes she has encountered, she has since developed a recognisable own style, which moves away from fashion photography and in which people and nature play the leading role. Her work has been recorded in various books, films and exhibitions.

People and nature
Commissioned by de Bijenkorf, Lotte depicted her vision of sustainability and the role that the relationship between man and nature plays in it for the campaign The Future is Green. “As humans, we have become far removed from what we are by nature. We treat nature in a terrible way. For me, sustainability means looking at things from a distance. Not to focus on the short term and instant results, but on what it delivers in the long term. For nature, yourself and for others.”

"Many people find sustainability a difficult subject. That's why I try to depict in a light and inspiring way that we as humans are simply nature. This way it will hopefully become easier to turn this realisation into actions."

Initiating discussion
“My own contribution to a more sustainable world: I don’t have a big house to buy, I don’t have a car, I eat responsibly, I buy my clothes from young designers or second-hand, I have consciously chosen my energy company and bank. In addition, nature is a very big part of my work. And I always try to talk about sustainability – also in business, with brands and clients, although that is not always appreciated. That also means that I refuse some assignments.”

“My work involves a lot of travelling, and that’s obviously not sustainable. I always compensate for my air travel with donations to nature conservation organisations, but the forced halt due to corona was pretty good for me. I also went back to analogue photography, especially of nature and the seasons, which of course continued despite everything.”

Life cycle
“I am currently working on a personal film project in Mexico. I am filming three inspiring women who are holding their own in the Mexican macho culture. I also think the way they deal with nature is an example for us Westerners. We just take what we need – and more, because we think we are entitled to it. They thank nature, Mother Earth, every day for what she gives us. The whole cycle of life – the seasons, life and death – is much more a part of life than it is for us. Bloom, but also decay, in everything there is beauty. That constant change is the only certainty in life and in nature. The strange thing is that most people quickly find something ugly about a body, but not about nature.”

“I still dream of many things. A house by the sea, in nature. Making more films. Last year, following the publication of my book BODY, I gave workshops to women about body awareness. That’s also something I’d like to develop further.”

From 17 August to 8 September 2021, exclusive photos by Lotte van Raalte will be for sale in limited editions in de Bijenkorf stores and online. The entire proceeds will go to the Dutch Forestry Commission to save the wild bee and preserve biodiversity in the Netherlands.




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