In anticipation of their upcoming Biennale, 1.618 are partnering with euronews Living to tell the environmental, social and essentially human stories behind their unique collection of international brands.
From the heights of the Tibetan Plateau to the cosy warmth of Scandinavian hygge, we'll be asking 1.618's big names in sustainable luxury all about their inspiration. Behind each brand is a story of determination and dedication to social and environmental issues, a story that reveals the changing face of luxury.
Eldvarm creates sumptuous interior design centred around the fireplace and firmly rooted in Scandanavian tradition and culture. Skillfully crafted from the highest quality, ethically sourced, natural materials, the brand's fireplace accessories introduce responsible design to an otherwise underappreciated corner of your home. To find out about the company's commitments to sustainability, we spoke to their founder, Lousie Varre about female entrepreneurship and transparency in a world filled with greenwashing.
What does sustainable luxury mean to you?
To be honest I struggle a little with this term. I think all industries should be as sustainable as possible (IKEA is making huge efforts to democratize sustainability), and thus luxury should also be sustainable, of course. The sustainable materials we use are only a small part of why our products are expensive and tend to go towards luxury. The real reason is we use a very talented and well-known designer to make a beautiful product, with many unique features. Having so much of the product being handmade, that is where the real costs are. I’d love to make a simpler range, with the same attention to materials and production, but with a more accessible price point.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
Without a doubt my grandmother Ninne. She was adopted and then both her parents died by the time she was 12. She was incredibly fierce and brave, got herself an education as a physiotherapist and left to work in Brazil in the 30s. Having no family history or traditions, she created a strong family culture for us. She was very interested in beautiful design (furniture, art, clothes), and created wonderful homes. She was entrepreneurial and always worked with her businesses. As her grand-daughter, I have such a strong feeling of belonging to a large family, filled with traditions and culture, and she created that from zero. My latest products I named after her, the bench Ninne.
How has culture had an influence on your brand?
I grew up in Scandinavia and this culture has, of course, influenced me greatly. For most of my adult life, I then lived around in Europe, which has given me a quite clear understanding of what parts of me are influenced by our culture. We are taught early in school that the land is free for all, but we have a responsibility to leave it “as we found it”; clean nature is a national pride. So when I started producing, it was a no-brainer, that my products should be as sustainable as possible. We of course also spend a lot of time around the fireplace.
How important is being a part of the 1.618 guide in a world filled with greenwashing?
I have never really thought of it in that way. I joined the community for the networking with other similar brands, and for myself to get more education. I think 1.618 is a force for good, with many great and creative ideas on how to promote sustainability in a range of different businesses. I spend more time thinking about how honest and transparent we can be, rather than pointing fingers at others.
What values are important to Eldvarm?
Authenticity, generosity, beauty, vulnerability, community.