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Five From Finland


This week’s quintet is truly a mixed bag of Finnish companies.Julia Bushueva

These five Finnish companies are making sure that customers are getting carried away with their different approach to making bags.

Finnish innovation has got it in the bag when it comes to style and durability.

The Kasperi crew is keeping a close eye on maintaining a high quality with its leather bags. The company uses not only Scandinavian bull and cow leather but also yak leather sourced from Mongolia and tanned in Finland. The changing nature of the source material encourages customers to form a long relationship with their bags.

“Consumption cycles are getting very short, especially in fashion and consumer electronics,” Michael Tervanen stated back in 2015. “But, if we give a consumer a product that they really like and they notice that it is only getting more personal and better with time, we can communicate the value of investing in more lasting stuff.”

MoiMoi mixes Finnish fondness for clean lines and practicality with Spanish leather crafting skills to create bags that only get better with time.

“People abroad like the fact we come from Finland and Helsinki; they associate them with good quality and design,” founder Raquel Alonso Miranda told us last year. “We want to combine the best sides from both countries. The simple, practical style from Finland and the Spanish leather handicraft expertise.”

The company’s goal with its best-known products – leather bags – is to manufacture ecologically sustainable products and keep production nearby. The bags may be produced locally, but they appeal to consumers worldwide, with South Korea and Japan particularly fruitful markets for Lumi.

“Japan is interested in top-of-the-line Finnish products and, generally speaking, our product type is suitable for their market,” co-founder Sanna Kantola said in 2014.

After specialising in camera and mobile phone bags and making its products available in over 120 countries, the zeitgeist dictated it was time for Golla to shift focus in 2012. Cameras disappeared and all mobile phones smartened up.

Now, Golla designs minimalistic, Scandinavian-style bags. At department stores, its products have been moved from electronics to fashion and accessories departments.

“A lot has changed indeed,” Petri Kähkönen stated laughingly earlier this year. “But the idea has remained the same: designing consumer products with a distinctive twist and pushing them abroad furiously.”

Indeed, the company has commenced a partnership with the Japanese trading house Itochu Corporation and put its products on shelves in Italy, France and Spain.

And now for something different: this Finnish startup aims to substitute plastic bags with a new material based on wood fibre with plastic properties. It mainly consists of wood fibre but isn’t like paper. It is lighter, more durable and even stretches.

“The business idea of Paptic was originally established as a response to the banning of plastic bags in numerous countries,” CEO Tuomas Mustonen explained in 2016. “We wanted to provide an alternative to plastics: the wood-based, recyclable and reusable Paptic material.”

By: James O’Sullivan