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Supporting local

Right, so recently local food is becoming the standard in the most recently opened new restaurants and diners. Downtown you can, again, find a small butcher shop where you can buy local Black Angus beef steaks to cook yourself.

This a great development in the food industry I think and I really get it. Local food, man.

Personally I like to buy a reindeer from further up north, but either way I know where it's from, how it died, who owned it etc. It's no doubt more meaningful knowing the origins of the products we consume.

Sometimes everyone should pause and think for a moment about design too. You worry about what goes on in the food making process before you eat your food, why not take a moment and worry about design process in the products you consume as well?

5€ t-shirts are not based on sustainability. Heck, not even 20€ t-shirts are. I recommend to everyone to go and make a textile yourself and see how much you'd ike to get paid for the work you just did. I sometimes joke I could make my weaving workshops into "the sweat shop experience" where at last you will understand how effed up some of the woven textile industry is.

Luckily certain finnish brands have started paying attention to sustainable clothing however. Costo, Pure waste, I admire you truly.

So in this time of excess, just as I rather eat a bit more simply but well instead I also rather fill my home with things I know where they came from. I have things custom made and never buy souvenirs that I couldn't stand looking at as part of my everyday home. Buy local, also abroad.

It's true, local food is more expensive, sometimes, but I try to pick and choose. Just because I can't afford it everyday, I try to buy it as often as I can. And then really savour it.

In Rovaniemi right now there is a really cool trend of people not only starting interesting businesses but also desiging their own lives. Which is one kind of sustainable action. It makes the community more vibrant and makes for interesting new opportunities. Let's meet a few of them.

Tuomas is a friend who roasts coffee in Lapland. Yes, for heavens's sake, he roasts coffee in the Arctic! Starting in the basement of a local coffee house/bar he has now moved to his own premises and I know he also supports all things local.

I met him at Arctic Design Week 2015 and we'll see what new adventures he will be in next year.

Another guy, Jouko, paints portraits, and he has an exhibition opening this month at Galleria Napa. His home studio is also open for those who would like to visit. I can't tell you how hopeful it makes me in this era of digitalization to know someone who still makes fine art.

A woman I met in school, Annett, does portrait photography in her home studio right next to her lawyering and tourist guiding business. Her home studio comes complete with two Lapp hounds and she has no problem mixing feng shui with her german heritage.

Another woman entrepreneur, Kaisa, who i've been working with closely for the past year handcrafts culture travels in Lapland while teaching at the local polytechnic. An entreprenur as a teacher at the tourism and travel program! Hell, yes!

With her, we are planning how to make local design to more accessible for travellers.

This photo is from morning coffee on an average weekday morning at the open weaving studio where I do some of my work too. Over there, local women (and the occassional man) makes and designs textiles for their family and friends. Because buying all your stuff from IKEA is highly overrated!

There are so many more stories I want to share, like the dudes of Treeform, Max and Jan, who make powder surfing boards by hand but I guess I just want to point out what a place of design diversity this is and most of all: how can you not want to do better when you are surrounded by so many cool and local design stories!!

Despite the current negative vibe in Finnish politics with the bad economy and immigration issues there is no other place I'd rather live right now and can't wait what next year brings.

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