Former New Zealand Olympic skier Lyndon Sheehan may have left competitive skiing behind but his head is still very much in the misty mountains of Aotearoa – in fact, he's recently launched a brand of handcrafted canvas and leather goods inspired by nature.
"The outdoors is where my values come from, and I wanted to create products that drew me to thoughts of hiking and adventuring with friends," says Lyndon.
Those values include a deep respect for the environment and a desire to raise awareness of the fragile nature of our world through subtle design elements and the brand's impressive list of sustainability measures.
All the materials used in Forest Lane backpacks, laptop cases and day bags are traceable, sustainable and accredited. "The meaning is there without it being in your face," says 30-year-old Lyndon.
It's all in the details, including leather sourced from a New Zealand tannery that adheres to strict environmental practices; wax from a local beekeeper; timber panels made from recycled rimu flooring; sustainably made zips by YKK; and all thread bought through Coats, a manufacturer that aims to eliminate hazardous chemicals from the textile supply chain.
The 'slow fashion', eco-conscious ideals embodied by Forest Lane are ones that the Mt Maunganui-based designer and his wife Olivia, also 30, try to live by.
They are, in fact, the perfect poster people for the brand and model the range on their website in beautifully evocative imagery that inspires a sense of everyday adventure.
"The Forest Lane adventure is easy," says Lyndon. "We are always out and about, hiking, biking and exploring with friends and family, and naturally the bags come with us."
The bags work in the city but cross over to weekend trekking and camping. "We want to inspire people to get out there and enjoy what New Zealand has to offer. This country is amazing – everything is so close and accessible."