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Five from Finland

Winter gear

This Finnish quintet will help you to gear up right for the most exciting winter adventures.

Julia Helminen

Winter is in full swing here in Finland and other parts of the northern hemisphere. Instead of snuggling up in bed with a blanket, let’s venture into the great outdoors and have some real winter fun. Just gear up right.

With its lack of sunshine, frigid cold and freezing winds, winter can be challenging to cope with. Finns, however, are seasoned experts in not just surviving the long and snowy winter months but enjoying them to the full.

The country is home to many brands offering hi-tech clothes and footwear, perfect for the cold season. These include Halti, Luhta, Kuoma and Pomar. There’s also plenty to choose from for winter sports enthusiasts: Peltonen has been producing cross-country skis since 1945, whereas Pusu has wooden snowboards and skis on offer and has launched environmentally friendly all-mountain skis made from wood and the waste-based Spinnova fibre. Meanwhile, Tackla has made a name for itself by producing the world’s leading ice hockey apparel and delivering uniforms to more than 130 hockey teams in over 40 countries around the globe.

Check out this quintet for more fresh Finnish ideas on how to embrace winter in the most comfortable and fun way.

VAI-KØ

Known particularly for its organic merino wool beanies, VAI-KØ approaches fashion in a transparent and ethical way that considers the wellbeing of both people and the environment.

VAI-KØ

Founded in 2014 by a husband-wife duo who struggled to find environmentally sound yet stylish fashion, VAI-KØ is an ethical clothing brand famous for beanies that keep their wearers warm and comfy, no matter how chilly it gets. The beanies are designed to be a great choice for both urban and outdoor activities.

“We want to combine functionality and style,”explained co-founder and CEO Henri Vanonen. “Whether you’re chilling in Kallio [a hipster district in central Helsinki], or hiking or skiing out and about, you can wear the same beanie.”

In addition to beanies, VAI-KØ’s product range includes such cold-weather essentials as headbands, neck gaiters, leg warmers, gloves, scarves, socks and sweaters – all made of high-quality merino wool from Argentinian organic farms. The final products are knit and sewn in Finland.

According to Vanonen, it’s important for VAI-KØ to make every single step of the production process as sustainable and transparent as possible, improve the life of people working with the product during its life cycle and, ultimately, inspire positive change in the fashion industry.

“We want to encourage people to buy less stuff but to make sure that the little stuff they buy is of high quality and durable so that, essentially, we really just need less of it.”

PAIKKA

Understanding the needs of dog owners through extensive knowledge of dog behaviour and wellbeing, PAIKKA designs and sells what it calls “human-grade pet essentials”.

PAIKKA

Dog owners know it well: our beloved four-legged friends need their daily walks even when temperatures drop below zero and snow falls. Thus, proper winter gear is essential for humans and pets alike.

Founded in 2019 and headquartered in Vantaa, PAIKKA offers premium dog clothes that combine innovative materials, functional details and profoundly thoughtful Finnish design. For example, the special far-infrared emitting lining used in its winter jackets helps dogs to recover from exercise and prevents injuries by improving blood flow and microcirculation, while insulation padding – made using 78 per cent recycled materials – not only provides great warmth for pets but also does good for the environment.

On top of winter jackets, hand-knit sweaters and raincoats, PAIKKA delivers various accessories and everyday essentials that support a healthy lifestyle for dogs, many of which have been featured in the world’s leading pet industry magazines.

“Our passion for human-grade quality, perfect fit and functionality combined with stylish appearance is valued broadly by modern pet owners,” said CEO Tea Kainu.

ELYLY

Eco-friendly, safe and fun to drive: eLyly electric snow scooters are a dream-come-true vehicle for those respecting nature and seeking authentic winter adventures.

eLyly

The world needs sustainable means of travelling on snow. Minna and Pasi Kauppinen, experienced travel industry entrepreneurs from Central Finland, came to this conclusion a few years ago after they noticed a growing interest among tourists for exploring the winter nature in a respectful and non-intrusive way.

As a result, the Kauppinens developed eLyly, the world’s first electric snow scooter that is quiet, emission-free and easy to manoeuvre. The final design, inspired by Finland’s natural and cultural heritage, was elaborated by renowned designer Harri Koskinen.

“We haven’t found anything like it elsewhere. Our electric snow scooter is ecological but also fun to drive,” enthused Pasi Kauppinen. “It enables people to experience nature the way it was meant to be done, in peace and quiet.”

The eLyly scooter, which weighs about 50 kilos with the battery, has a top speed of 25 kilometres per hour and provides a range of 20–30 kilometres on a single charge, is targeted at everyone cherishing ecological values. One of the key target segments is travel operators and nature resorts, which can either purchase or lease the scooters.

SUOMI TYRES

With Suomi Tyres, winter cycling enthusiasts can navigate through snow and ice with confidence.

Suomi Tyres

Did you know that Finns don’t put their bikes aside for winter but zealously keep on pedalling in snow? Most Finnish cities take pride in offering infrastructure planned for winter cycling, but, for a safe ride, hitting the road with the right tyres is crucially important.

Suomi Tyres has become a household name among winter cycling enthusiasts in the Nordic countries and beyond. The studded winter tyres produced at a factory in Lieksa in North Karelia not only guarantee exceptional performance in challenging weather conditions, but also have a reduced environmental impact thanks to the use of non-toxic rubber compound and eco-friendly manufacturing processes.

After the financially turbulent year of 2023, this year will mark a new chapter in Suomi Tyres’ history. The tyre production will continue in Lieksa with the help of the British investor DMACK Nordic and the new sole distributor Shimano Nordic.

“We are proud and happy to take another step and continue enhancing the safety of cyclists in the winter in an environmentally conscious way,” the partners announced recently.

LUMENE

Harnessing the power of natural Nordic ingredients, Lumene offers a wide range of products that address the specific needs of skin during the winter months and beyond.

Lumene

True to its Nordic roots, Lumene has developed unique expertise in maintaining skin’s moisture balance under extreme climatic stress. To work wonders on skin, Lumene uses such natural ingredients as birch sap, blueberry, cloudberry, sea buckthorn and lingonberry, all found in Finnish forests. In fact, the average share of naturally derived ingredients in its skin care products is around 90 per cent and the aim is to bring it up to 95 per cent by 2025.

Lumene is also known as a Nordic pioneer in circular economy within the beauty industry. Over the last few years, it has been working hard on increasing the use of industrial side streams and recycled materials as ingredients for products and packaging, has improved the recyclability of packaging and significantly cut the carbon footprint of its Espoo-based factory.

“Sustainability is one of Lumene’s core values, and ensuring product quality and environmental friendliness throughout our products’ life cycle is of paramount importance to us,” stated chief operation officer Kristina Enqvist.

By: Zhanna Koiviola
22.01.2024