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Five from Finland

Wintertime ideas

Winter is here, bringing some cool ideas from Finland to the world.


Winter is well and truly here. Make the most of the chillier months with the help of this Finnish quintet.

For many, Finland is synonymous with snow and Santa Claus, whose hometown of Rovaniemi is among the world’s top winter destinations. Up north, the winters are long and dark, but Finns have created many noteworthy ways to cope with and enjoy the year’s coldest season.

Get inspired by these five Finnish brands to stay active, cheerful, comfy and safe throughout the season.


With OptiWatti, homeowners can be sure that both indoor temperatures and their energy bills are under control.


A warm home makes all the difference when it’s well below zero outside, but the increased need for heating often causes a significant spike in energy bills. A subsidiary of Voimatel, OptiWatti helps homeowners to reduce wasted energy and increase comfort with its innovative automated solution.

The OptiWatti smart energy management system monitors room temperatures around the clock and automatically adjusts them based on the user’s needs and preferences, which can be set not only for different times of the day, but also for each room individually. Additionally, OptiWatti analyses the outside temperature, weather forecast and electricity price fluctuations to ensure the best result at a lower cost.

“Most people don’t know that heating can be automated like this, and often the first reaction when people hear about us is that it can’t be possible,” revealed CTO Juha Marjeta. “This is typically followed by: How come no one has come up with the idea before!”


Rapala’s uncompromising commitment to quality and functionality means a bigger catch.

Rapala VMC

Ice fishing is an excellent wintery pastime, and using the proper equipment can make it even more enjoyable and rewarding. With origins going back to 1936, when Finnish fisherman Lauri Rapala first developed a lure that mimicked the wobbling movement of a wounded fish to attract predator fish, Rapala has grown from a humble family business into a household name in the fishing tackle industry.

Combining tradition and innovation, Rapala has many points of pride, including the world’s largest lure and treble hook manufacturing facilities. The company sells close to 20 million lures annually to customers in over 140 countries, and its lures have been used in over 600 world-record catches.

The product line is constantly expanding and evolving, catching international recognition from avid anglers and industry professionals alike. Ice fishing tools, accessories and clothing, designed to make the time spent on the ice safe and productive, are also part of the company’s portfolio.

“We’ve successfully managed to maintain the founding values of the company: functionality and quality,” underlined CEO Lars Ollberg.


Nordqvist has been offering delicious tea varieties with a Finnish twist for nearly 45 years.

Nordqvist Tea / Facebook

Winter and hot beverages go hand in hand, and a good cup of tea can warm you up like nothing else when it’s freezing cold outside. Founded in 1979, Nordqvist is a family company that has become a leader in the domestic tea industry and is actively pursuing international growth.

With a factory in Nurmijärvi, which operates using renewable energy, Nordqvist manufactures a wide range of high-quality tea products. While the main raw material arrives from abroad, primarily from Japan, Kenya and Sri Lanka, Nordqvist extensively uses Finnish berries and herbs in its unique tea blends and relies on domestic expertise in terms of production methods and packaging design, staying agile and innovative.

“We do think on how to keep the 4 000-year-old tea culture interesting for the consumer for the next hundred years,” said CEO Riku Nordqvist. “How can we respond to changes in consumption habits with today's decisions so that we are still relevant 10 years from now.”


Saintex manufactures personal safety reflectors that are practical and surely don’t lack style.

LifeSaver / Facebook

Safety comes first – especially when the winter dark arrives, resulting in poor visibility on the roads and requiring more concentration from all road users. Invented in Finland decades ago to save pedestrians’ lives, personal safety reflectors are now a great way to stand out, in all senses.

Saintex, a Helsinki-based manufacturer of custom-made plastic goods and LifeSaver-branded soft reflectors, takes a fashionable approach to safety through collaborations with both reputed and emerging Finnish designers. For example, its Love or Die jewellery reflector, which has received the international Red Dot Design Award, was designed by Paola Suhonen, best known as the founder of fashion label Ivana Helsinki. The other big names include Eero Aarnio and Ilkka Suppanen.

“Finns are well known foremost for quality and also our designers,” noted Susanna Blomqvist, CEO at Saintex. “Safety reflectors are cool objects if they look good. And they also save lives.”


Tarvas shoes are aesthetically pleasing and well equipped to withstand tough winters.


Don’t let the treacherous winter weather prevent you from spending time outdoors. Founded in 2017, Finnish shoe brand Tarvas is an expert in creating footwear that can handle anything the Nordic nature throws its way – from rain to snow to dirt.

On top of functionality and durability comes timeless style, rooted deep in Finnish design heritage and lifestyle. Tarvas prioritises ethical production, and the material choices matter. All the design and manufacturing work is done in the brand’s workshop in Helsinki and small factory in Parkano, some 250 kilometres north-west of the capital city.

“All Tarvas shoes are produced locally and made of sustainable and durable European materials,” explained co-founder Jukka Lehtinen. “We want to hit back fast at fast fashion manufactured in sweatshops.”

By: Zhanna Koiviola