October 20, 2017
Words: Lucy Brock/
Photos: Pete Oswald
A professional skier and an artist, Pete and Sophie make quite the dynamic duo.
Pete and Sophie spend much of their time skiing — often all over the world. Together they created an online design business, ‘Little Difference’, based on Sophie’s illustrations, and this allows them to work from wherever they are.
As two people who authentically live their joy, their passion, their purpose, their ‘more’ everyday, Pete and Sophie also featured in our Icebreaker Fall Winter 17 shoot.Tell us about the Icebreaker Fall Winter 17 shoot...
We got a call a couple of days before the shoot — the crew was in Queenstown and they needed some models who were a bit ‘gritty’ and could do the outdoor activities that were being portrayed. Our favourite part was the early morning ski touring on the Remarkables. We do lots of touring and to be able to do it for work was incredible. The photographers were fantastic and we knew we were in our element so they told us to do what we would normally do and the shots came out great!
“We try to put ourselves in uncomfortable environments once in a while and see things from another perspective.”
We are inspired by everything we see on our travels. And by the people we meet — from all sorts of different backgrounds around the world. We try to put ourselves in uncomfortable environments once in a while and see things from another perspective.Tell us about Little Difference...
We were doing a ski season in Austria and needed to pay for our season passes. Soph has always been creative so we had the idea to sell Christmas cards. The cards sold really well so thought we could be on to something! We started the business properly in January 2016, selling greeting cards for all occasions. We vowed back then that we wouldn’t create a product which negatively impacted the environment. That’s why we started the 1 Card = 1 Tree initiative. Soph hand draws all of the designs, which are then photographed and prepared by Pete before being sent to the printer to be reproduced on 100% recycled card. They are then slipped into a biodegradable corn-starch bag with a recycled envelope and even sealed with a recycled sticker! Our main focus for the business is reforestation, so for every single product sold we donate enough money to have the 1 tree planted towards permanent reforestation in Madagascar. We use a reforestation charity which is fully established and which we visited earlier this year. The results were fantastic!
“The best way to get inspiration is to be out there experiencing new things and getting out of your comfort zone as much as you can, even if it's just outside the front door.”
Our mission is to plant as many trees as we can in areas of the world where reforestation is desperately needed. We want to create awareness that mass deforestation is occurring and having devastating effects worldwide. We would like to encourage other businesses to use recycled resources and reduce single use plastic. We also want to show people that if we all make a small environmental change in our lives, we can make a huge positive impact together. We spend a lot of our time outdoors in nature and realise the real importance of protecting it, now more than ever. We appreciate that we have both been born in to privileged countries. We couldn’t just sit back and do nothing when we had the opportunity to make a difference, no matter how small.What has been one of the most memorable moments you’ve experienced while working on this project?
Visiting the tree planting sites in Madagascar was, without a doubt, one of the most mind-blowing and humbling experiences of our lives. We went to visit the the trees, chat to the workers and experience first hand the truly positive effect that the tree planting is having, not just on the environment but on the communities and welfare of the country. The donations from the sales of our cards not only plants trees but raises them and protects them. The tree planting also creates employment, paying people a fair wage and lifting them out of poverty. And it teaches them about the importance of protecting the forest and how to care for it.
Soph is inspired by everything around her — we travel a lot and meet a lot of new people. When we’re in the mountains, mountains seem to appear everywhere. As for the unicorns…that’s just in Soph’s brain! We think the best way to get inspiration is to be out there experiencing new things and getting out of your comfort zone as much as you can, even if it’s just outside the front door.What does nature mean to you?
Nature is everything —we can’t survive without it and it’s very important that we try to protect it as best we can.What is one simple thing people can do to make a difference?
When you go to the shop and buy something, maybe think about where that product came from, whether you really need it, and where it will end up once you’re finished with it.What is your philosophy? How do you choose to live?
We understand we are not environmentally perfect. We still fly around the world and ride chairlifts to go skiing. We aren’t trying to pretend we are perfect or preach to anyone, but we do make an effort to make as many environmentally influenced choices we can. We try to cut out single use plastic, don’t eat meat or dairy, drive an old reliable car and live a pretty un-materialistic life. It’s not all about becoming a vegan and living in a tepee.. but if we can all make small changes to our lifestyles, together we could make a big difference.