INTRODUCING: QUARTZ CO. EXPLORE
Text by:Quartz Co.
Since our inception, we’ve been driven by a deep reverence for the natural world — whether it stems from the crystalline surface of a glacier or the fractal patterns of a single snowflake. Nature inspires not only our design process, but our pioneering mentality. Natural wonders inspire a sense of discovery, of possibility, and of awe. They humble us and they drive us forward. Inspired by this intrepid state-of-mind, today, we design garments intended to not only protect against the elements, but to protect the environments for which they were made.
Introduced for Fall/Winter 2021, Quartz Co. Explore is a platform to inspire this admiration and respect for the natural world within a new generation. At once a visual study of nature’s sublime beauty and a means of preserving it, Quartz Co. Explore foregrounds the uniqueness — and irreplaceability — of the planet we inhabit, aiming to encourage lifestyles and practices that will conserve the Earth for future generations.
This season’s edition of #QuartzCoExplore charts the snowy phenomena found in Arctic climates and during the fleeting Winter season, from Scotland’s colossal snow tunnels to delicate ice flowers.
While snow falls year-round in Scotland’s Cairngorm National Park, the Spring and Summer seasons produce some of the mountain range’s most beautiful snow formations. The region’s ephemeral snow tunnels are formed during the Spring thaw. As the region’s rivers and streams begin to unfreeze, meltwater flows across the tundra, melting the snow from underneath, forming air tunnels up to five meters high and 300 meters long.
In the South American dry Andes mountains, over 4000 meters above sea level, is the home of the Nieves Penitentes. These high-altitude snow formations take the shape of long, thin blades of hardened ice or snow that point skywards. The Penitentes are formed by a process called sublimation, when the heat of the sun transforms snow directly into vapour rather than water. The sun’s rays sublimate depressions into the snow’s surface, which deepen over time, leaving behind clusters of icy spires. Through this process, the Penitentes can grow from only a few centimetres to up to five metres in length.
During the winter season, the ice-covered waters of the Artic and Antarctic oceans bloom with frost flowers. Formed on new sea ice, these delicate formations grow as cold air wicks moisture from imperfections on the newly-formed surface.
ICE HUMMOCKS ON LAKE BAIKAL
Lake Baikal, located in Southeastern Siberia, is a natural wonder not only for its age (20 to 25 million years) and its size (it holds one-fifth of the world’s freshwater), but for its shimmering ice hummocks. Formed during the month of March, these turquoise-coloured structures are created when temperature differences between the lake’s surface and its depths cause cracks in the ice crust.
Ice circles, also known as ice discs, are a rare natural phenomenon found in Northern climates across the planet, from North America to Scandinavia and Wales. As their name suggests, ice circles are thin, round ice formations found on the surface of a body of water. Typically occurring in slow-moving waters and around the outer bends of rivers, these discs are formed when the rotational shear of accelerating water breaks off one or many chunks of ice. As this force begins to rotate the slabs, they grind against others until they are eventually lathed down into small — or large — discs.