Fashion Revolution 2019
Who made your clothes?
Fashion Revolution is a global movement promoting a more sustainable and transparent fashion industry and better working conditions. The campaign reminds us that there is a human being behind every garment and encourages companies to bring forth these professionals in different parts of the supply chain.
Fashion Revolution Week commemorates the fashion industry's most devastating factory disaster to date. On 24 April 2013, the Rana Plaza factory building collapsed in Bangladesh causing 1,138 people to lose their lives and leaving 2,500 injured. The victims were mostly young women.
The positive change towards a more transparent fashion industry starts with a simple question: who made your clothes?
Fairness to everyone and everything
Marimekko's value "fairness to everyone and everything" crystallizes our sustainability thinking. It means respecting people and the environment in everything we do. At Marimekko, we want to create something unique and meaningful. We are not about fast fashion; instead we create timeless, sustainable and functional designs that bring long-lasting joy to people's everyday lives.
Sustainability in the supply chain is of utmost importance to us. Marimekko products are manufactured by around 70 partners at roughly 120 factories. Approximately 70% of our products are made in Europe and the rest in Asia.
We believe that an open dialogue with our suppliers and other industry players will take us forward in advancing responsible practices. Valuing long-term supplier relationships, we have been co-operating with many of our partners for decades.
We are proud of our global network of skilled manufacturing professionals with years of experience in their fields. In the spirit of Fashion Revolution, it is our pleasure to introduce some of them to you.
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Marimekko Textile Printing Factory, Finland
The heart and soul of Marimekko's print design is its own textile printing factory in Helsinki. Around one million meters of fabric is printed at the factory every year. All of Marimekko's fabrics sold by meter are printed in Helsinki, as well as a large part of the fabrics used in clothing, bags and home textiles. The printing factory has a crucial role in Marimekko's design process - it allows the design team to work closely with the craftsmen who realize the prints onto fabric one step at a time.
Timelessness and functionality are at the core of Marimekko's design philosophy. Marimekko products are designed to stand the test of time when cared for properly. The choices made in design and product development significantly affect the environmental impacts of a product's life cycle. A timeless, high-quality and functional product is a sustainable choice.
Screen maker Kahi Yau has been working at Marimekko for 14 years.
"I prepare the screens for our two different types of printing machines - each color of the print design is printed on the fabric with these screens. The best thing in my work is independence. The one thing I'd like to change is to have those big flat printing steel frames replaced with lighter aluminium ones - my work requires a lot of lifting and carrying. When it comes to sustainability, I appreciate Marimekko donating the excess fabrics to school projects and daycare centers."
- Kahi Yau
UAB Tindra, Lithuania
The family-owned clothing manufacturer UAB Tindra was established in 1992. The company has a total of 75 employees offering clothing construction, sampling and production services for its customers. Majority of the employees are women who have worked for a long time for the company. Tindra has collaborated with Marimekko since 2010. Over the years, these two companies have developed a strong partnership that is built on shared values and know-how.
According to Managing Director Martynas Lukašenkinas, the whole point of transparency is to provide the customer with sufficient information. For Tindra, sustainability is all about operating ethically and creating an economic system that provides quality of life yet minimizes environmental impacts. The company has for example invested in energy-efficient heating and lighting systems and is replacing the old sewing machines with new models.
Cutter Raja Nomeikienė has been working at Tindra for 24 years.
"I really like my current job and wouldn't change a thing. It's my pleasure to be the one who starts the manufacturing process by cutting the different parts of the garment from a huge roll of fabric. I enjoy working with the beautiful Marimekko patterns - on the cutting table they look like a meadow full of flowers. To me, sustainability means living in harmony with nature. I wish the very best of luck for Marimekko and its customers. I'm happy that my work is part of such nice clothing."
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Rainbow Handbag Factory Limited, China
Rainbow Handbag Factory Limited was established in 1973. Today the company is specialized in manufacturing sophisticated bags, employing a staff of several hundred at factories in China and a service center in Hong Kong. Always striving for top quality, the company has been manufacturing Marimekko clutches, backpacks, leather goods and scarves for more than a decade. The relationship between the two companies is based on positive and constructive co-operation and easygoing communication.
According to Director Andy Chan, being transparent and sustainable in the fashion industry requires openness and understanding of the whole supply chain system as well as proper working conditions. The manufacturer must be aware of the origins of the materials used and ensure that the products are always safe to use. Rainbow's team is actively tracing raw materials and looking for optimal sustainable purchasing opportunities.
Seamstress Lui Sin Ping has been working at Rainbow for over 20 years.
"The best thing in my work is that I have become close friends with my co-workers during the many years we have spent together. If I could change one thing in my work, I would like to have an elevator in the factory building. For me, sustainability is about being aware of the fabric waste."
- Lui Sin Ping