The Green Session: a new balance


With the start of a new season, we look back on the past period and create a new balance with ourselves, each other and nature. How do we make more conscious choices, including food and fashion, and how do we shape this new balance? In this Green Session Willa Stoutenbeek looks for the answers to these questions in a conversation with Dick Rensen of Rotterzwam, creative director of Maium Anita Palacios, Eefje Ludwig, founder of The Forest Bathing Circle and creative consultant Puck Martens of de Bijenkorf. How do they envision this new balance?

New rituals
Before the corona crisis, we were living at a fast pace, and during the pandemic it became clear that we desire a new beginning. Puck: “We were in the middle of the pandemic when we made the trend forecast that we are now presenting. We saw that even then there existed a strong need for new rituals and to find meaning again in the things we do. All of this has developed into de Bijenkorf’s new campaign called A New Balance.”

Living with nature
Finding that new balance and connection is at the heart of Eefje’s work. As a certified forest bathing guide, she guides individuals, groups and organizations through a Japanese practice called forest bathing. “It’s about revisiting our ancient relationship with nature and feeling it again. We need to go from the concept of ‘being in nature’ to ‘living with nature’ so that nature is no longer a backdrop, but that we become aware that we as humans are part of it.”

That concept also underlies Rotterzwam, a circular company that grows oyster mushrooms on coffee grounds. Dick: “We want to make sure that every kilogram of coffee ground does not end up in the waste incinerator, but is processed in a high-quality way to grow oyster mushrooms. Coffee grounds are a good breeding ground for plants and specifically for fungi. By letting nature do its work, we can make the most beautiful things in a sustainable way with our local partners and parties like de Bijenkorf, where we collect coffee grounds residue.”

Transparency and attention
In order to restore the balance with nature, five years ago Anita made the decision that her raincoat label Maium had to be as sustainable as possible. “It was not an option for me to start an unsustainable brand, so we had to look for sustainable materials and production methods. The material had to be resistant and last a long time. Recycled plastic was the answer, also because unfortunately there is still an abundance of it. The fact that our brand can be a part of that solution is great.”

There is also a growing demand for sustainable products, Puck says: “There is a growing social awareness about the amount of attention and love that goes into making certain products. People are willing to think about that and appreciate transparency from brands more and more.” Anita agrees: “Being 100% sustainable is difficult, but openly communicating why we do or don’t make certain choices makes it much more insightful.”

A new connection
But what does this new balance mean? Anita: “Taking it more slowly in our daily lives and being able to enjoy it, I want to keep that in the future.” For Dick, too, taking time for oneself is central to this: “It helps to get out of your head for a moment and take a moment for yourself.” Eefje: “We have literally been isolated for a long time, and we have to look for that connection again. Slowing down and accepting the emotions that come with it is important to achieve that. That’s what it takes to create a connection – with ourselves and our environment.”

Watch this Green Session on YouTube.



Lara Oliveri



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