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Helsinki Airport takes off first in second-hand retail

Headed by Noora Hautakangas (pictured) and Eero Ukkonen, Relove blends recycling and café cultures in a fashion that has already proven popular in multiple locations in Finland.


Helsinki Airport is set to open a second-hand concept store in the autumn; meanwhile, the airport has been selected as the best airport of its size in Europe.

Local family firm Relove has teamed up with the Finnish airport company Finavia to bring its unique second-hand concept shop to Helsinki Airport. The shop combines recycling and café cultures, offering high-quality second-hand clothing and accessories along with food and beverages.

The concept has already proven popular in Finland, with Relove operating three second-hand shops and cafés in Helsinki and one in Tampere.

“We will bring an enjoyable oasis to Helsinki Airport, where second-hand shop and café services are intertwined in a fantastic way that has never been seen before in an airport environment,” said Relove’s entrepreneur couple, Noora Hautakangas and Eero Ukkonen, in a joint statement.

For those already familiar with the concept, the look and feel of the retail and dining space remains unchanged.

“In accordance with our concept, we will partially decorate the café with antique furniture. We will also include new crockery into the interior design mix, some of which can also used by customers. Our café has a lingering, peaceful atmosphere,” Hautakangas outlined.

Relove gives passengers the opportunity to nab a rare find before take-off.


Hautakangas hinted that the airport location will also stock products from Finnish high-quality and responsible pop-up shops.

The announcement follows the travel industry’s general trend towards a more sustainable future in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The promise of something new

Relove will launch in the former departures hall of Helsinki Airport in the autumn, coinciding with the one-billion-euro refurbishment the airport has undergone over the past decade.

“We are proud that the revamped Helsinki Airport suits passengers’ preferences and continuously offers something new. This is something that we have worked hard to achieve,” said Nora Immonen, Finavia’s VP and director of commercial services at Helsinki Airport.

Relove will be located in the former departure hall of Helsinki Airport.


The airport has also been awarded as the Best Airport in Europe 2023 in its size category by the international airport organisation ACI. 

“We are delighted to have won the award and are proud that air passengers have chosen Helsinki Airport as the best airport in Europe. Year after year, Helsinki Airport continues to be ranked among the best airports in the world,” said Finavia’s CEO Kimmo Mäki.

In addition, the airport was named the best airport in Northern Europe in a global airport customer satisfaction survey conducted by Skytrax, an honour it also received in 2018. Passengers also voted it as the cleanest airport in Europe.

By: James O’Sullivan