November 3, 2017

Five for Friday: Eco clothing

These five Finnish initiatives are here to make you feel confident about your closet.
These five Finnish initiatives are here to make you feel confident about your closet.

Pre-owned clothing and high-quality recyclables – what’s not to love?

In Finland, being ecological never goes out of fashion.

Sustainability, waste and re-use are buzzwords driving a modern way of assessing attire. Designers are striving to wake awareness and interest in making more positive decisions regarding clothing, and a tradition of living in harmony with nature has inspired many Finnish firms to be at the forefront of addressing the eco-friendliness of your wardrobe.

Whether you’re looking to treat your toddler or yourself, here are five ideas for a high quality stitch.


VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Aalto University have teamed up as a part of this forward-thinking EU project. The aim is to pioneer a new way of developing materials, by creating high-performance fibres from recycling and pre-consumer waste.

“Turning unwanted textiles into raw materials for new textiles using ecological technologies provides an opportunity for revolutionising European textile manufacturing and trade,” described VTT’s research professor Ali Harlin in 2016.


This mobile application is a flea market in the palm of your hand. With the goal of making it easier to distribute “pre-loved” clothing, this company also uses individually provided data to tailor to its users’ style. Zadaa’s success has led to global aspirations.

In 2016, co-founder Aamer Chaichee described that the company has “a three-year five-step plan according to which we need to reach 150 countries by the third year. It’s ambitious but you have to be with a business like this that has an extremely scalable service.”

Pure Waste

There is one rule that this company follows in its clothing production: the only materials used are those that would otherwise go to waste. Pure Waste targets many elements of production, such as saving fresh water and textile waste – with an aim to make a global difference.

“Recycling is no longer about finding the cheapest possible way to come up with some kind of mess; instead, the focus is on achieving the best possible end result,” described co-founder Jukka Pesola in 2015.


Children’s clothes are made with eco-friendliness and attention to un-toxic materials. Catering to the little ones, clothes are presented in storybooks with poems and activities. Papu has used crowdfunding to support their international endeavours to establish resellers in Europe, China and Australia.

“When a new catalogue comes out, the products from the previous seasons still don’t get old. Hopefully the opposite will happen: sold-out clothes become sought-after affairs,” envisaged founder Anna Kurkela in 2015.


This multiple award-winning company seeks to ensure that new-borns are clad in carefully constructed clothes with invisible seams and un-toxic materials. Beibamboo also has a hospital range from preemies and new-borns. The designs take into account necessary tubes and wires to make it easier to change the baby’s clothes and minimise the risk of infection.

“When she was treated in the hospital, I was surprised how unpractical the baby clothes were,” founder Nina Ignatius described in 2014, when her baby girl was born prematurely. “Especially since preemie babies are attached to all sorts of tubes and wires. Parent’s can’t even dress their own child.”