Iver Rosenkrantz drives his SUV along a dusty road in Tanzania. The air is hot and humid, and even more so, deeper in the jungle, where Iver’s mine is located.
"We found the mine a year and a half ago - after travelling through the jungle for over 12 hours. We had studied the geology and talked with many of the local miners and concluded that there might be opportunities here. Today we have established roads, so we can walk there in three hours" says Iver Rosenkrantz, whose hunch proved to be correct.
The mine has given so many gems that Iver today lives by selling them and he has just launched a jewellery collection, Rosenkrantz, which is being sold in Nairobi and at some of the most luxurious lodges and hotels.
"We have found some amazing rubies, which in quality are very similar to those from Burma, which are generally considered to be the most beautiful in the world."
You have to hit rock bottom, before you get it right
Africa has a special place in Iver Rosenkrantz's heart for many years. The 38-year-old former lawyer and army officer began as a safari guide in Zimbabwe, but quickly fell in love with Tanzania. First, Iver established himself manufacturing T-shirts in collaboration with Samsoe & Samsoe. But after five years, they had to abandon the project - as Iver says: "It's very hard to make it in this part of Africa. You have to hit rock bottom, before you get it right, down here. "
But then, Iver discovered the gem stone trade, which is big business in Tanzania. “A whole new world opened up. The business is both exiting and full of adventure, but you meet some pretty … “interesting” kind of people. The way business is done – well, that’s almost a world and a language on itself. It's a bit like playing poker – you have to be really good at reading the people, you are dealing with. "
In the middle of nowhere
"Tanzania is huge and – for the most part - unexplored. There are many places, people have never set foot , and that really fascinates me. Originally, I was a hunter – and it was all about being out in the wild, enjoying nature. I get the same experience from prospecting and mining gems. I venture out in the middle of nowhere, where no one has dared to go before. "
And it is here, in the middle of nowhere, that Iver discovered that it takes a special kind of gear, if it is to work in such extreme conditions. And that's why he uses LOOW’s merino T-Shirts: "I’m actually wearing a LOOW right now! Clothes are really tested to the limit in the tropical climate, we have here. And if the clothes are made from synthetic materials or too heavily woven, it will be too hot and uncomfortable - you simply can’t stand wearing it. "
Iver was made aware of the LOOW brand, when a friend told him about it and about Anders, the man behind the brand. Anders’ background and the approach he has to making high performance clothes for extreme environments, is something that Iver recognises:
"I have manufactured T-shirts for Samsoe & Samsoe, at a factory here in Dar Es Salaam, so I know when something is done well. I may be a bit of a nerd, but I look closely at the shape and material. And the material is especially interesting when it comes to LOOW. It is great to wear in the heat, because the fabric is so light, and it keeps your body at a perfect temperature" Iver explains.
"I've got 3 or 4 LOOW merino T-shirts in the closet, but some of them are close to worn out - and it’s got nothing to do with the quality! They simply suffer some extreme exposure, down here in the Tanzanian jungle! "
The photos are Ivers own.
Iver is wearing a T-OSS 135 in Asphalt - X Large, he is 192cm/90kg.