Five from Finland
Eco-friendly Christmas gifts
Here are five of the best eco-friendly Christmas gifts to shop in Finland, buy through international resellers or online.Julia Helminen
The countdown to the most magical time of the year, packed with all kinds of exciting reasons to celebrate, has begun. If you’re on the hunt for gifts with a sustainable twist, these Finnish companies have got you covered.
Winter holidays are the time for giving. Opting for more eco-friendly gifts is one of the best ways to show your respect and care not only for your close ones, but also for the planet.
Browse our list below for more high-quality products that make for the perfect gifts for the upcoming festive season.
This farm-based, family-run design company from the Finnish locality of Pöytyä is best known for its Finnsheep wool accessories, such as beanies, or ‘myssys’, berets, headbands, hoods and scarves. Locally sourced organic materials and production transparency are at the core of the company’s business. All the items are hand-knitted with craft and care by grannies in Pöytyä.
“We can trace not only the knitter of each and every Myssy product, but also we can name all the organic Finnish farms providing us wool,” assured CEO Anna Rauhansuu.
Myssyfarmi’s product range also includes various do-it-yourself kits containing all the necessities for knitting a beanie or nearly any other Myssy garment from the company’s unique hand-dyed yarn. The kits have become a hit worldwide among knitting enthusiasts who share Myssyfarmi’s ideology of slow fashion.
“We encourage folks to think about their choices and move towards sustainable design,” sales and PR manager Hanna Jauhiainen said.
The idea for Lovi was born quite by chance: in 2001, designer Anne Paso wanted to create wooden baubles for Christmas trees as an alternative to plastic ones and eventually came up with a new type of joint that makes it possible to build 3D figures by slotting together flat plywood parts. Inspired by the encouraging start, Paso patented her invention and started a family-run business.
Manufactured at a little factory in northern Finland using 100-per cent PEFC-certified domestic birch plywood, all Lovi products can be assembled by hand without tools or glue. Lovi has charmed both private and business customers; its larger designs can now be seen in public spaces and shop windows across Europe and beyond.
The company’s philosophy revolves around sustainability and giving back to nature. Since 2009, Lovi has helped to plant 175 000 tree seedlings in co-operation with like-minded partners and is determined to continue this important work by planting 50 000 seedlings annually.
“After all these years I still love finding solutions and designing timeless beauty that carries unforgettable moments in people’s lives,” Paso said.
The Helsinki-based artisan chocolate factory was founded in 2015 with a vision to focus on radical transparency that inspires positive change in the food industry. Goodio’s vegan-friendly chocolate range is made of premium-quality organic ingredients, with no milk or white sugar in sight. Moreover, the healthful treats are manufactured raw, meaning they are made in low temperatures to save the rich flavour of cacao.
Goodio is very creative about toppings, with many of them inspired by Nordic nature. For example, the award-winning Forestis a dark chocolate topped with forest crystals and dried birch leaves. Flower petals, sea salt and wild berries, including strawberries, sea buckthorns and lingonberries, make the perfect marriage with wholesome chocolate, too.
“We want to be a food brand that people can trust to know what is best for them, but also what is best for the whole production chain,” explained co-founder Jukka Peltola.
Established by three childhood friends, Niklas Tuokko, Pyry Alamäkiand Samuli Koivistoinen, Aarni has made a name for itself byturning wood into beautiful and sustainable accessories. Thanks to the choice of material, its watches and sunglasses, perfectly fitted for both men and women, not only look stylish, but also feel extremely comfortable.
“A wooden watch is really light, always warm and doesn’t make its wearer’s wrist sweat,” Tuokko stated. “Similarly, wooden eyeglasses are softer than plastic ones and, more than anything, they’re classy. It’d be difficult to copy the unique pattern of wood.”
On top of watches and sunglasses, Aarni offers wallets and card holders, made of cork or ethically sourced Finnish elk leather. In fact, the origins of all the natural materials used are of high importance to Aarni and fully traceable, be it Finnish curly birch or slightly more exotic Indonesian rosewood or Mozambican ebony. And since wood gets only better with age, Aarni products are meant to withstand years of use, naturally.
Established some 30 years ago by Eero Vänttinen, a nature lover with a PhD in chemistry, Osmia is an expert in truly authentic fragrances whose product line includes sauna aromas, reed diffusers, scented candles, shampoos, body scrubs, liquid and bar soaps, and massage oils.
“I love flowers and their fragrances. In the beginning, it was my hobby to read analyses of flower and plant fragrances, but I saw an opportunity to develop my own man-made versions of them,” explained Vänttinen. “I wanted to lead clients directly to positive associations and recollections of nature-related experiences.”
Today, Osmia operates out of a workshop in Herttoniemi, Helsinki, and takes pride in being able to control the entire production chain – from raw materials to end products. This also allows the company to produce just the right quantities of items to ensure that no precious natural ingredients get wasted.