Design

Marimekko products are designed to withstand time and stay beautiful. When properly cared for they bring joy for a long time. Product design is the core of Marimekko and one of the most important aspects of sustainable development.

The choices made in design and product development can significantly reduce the environmental impacts of the use and lifecycle of the product. Well designed, timeless, high quality and appropriate product brings its user joy for a long time, and is therefore a sustainable choice.

Materials

Marimekko has three product lines and many product categories: home, fashion as well as bags and accessories. Due to the wide product range also the range of raw materials used is wide. Although cotton is the most traditional and widely used raw material, designers are constantly looking for new materials suitable for different purposes speaking to today's consumer and being more sustainable. In addition to the cotton, materials used in the collections include, for example, linen, wool, merino wool, lyocell, modal, viscose, silk and leather.

We have drafted product policies to support responsible sourcing of materials. The policies define our commitment to responsible sourcing of raw materials and they guide Marimekko's operations to take into account the origin and production methods of raw materials used. You can explore the product policies here.

Marimekko has been the first Finnish company to join the international Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) in 2013. The goal of the BCI is to make global cotton production better for the people who produce it, better for the environment it grows in and better for the sector’s future, by developing Better Cotton as a sustainable mainstream commodity.

Our goal is to increase the share of sustainable cotton and other more sustainable materials in our products and packaging by 2020.

As part of our BCI membership, we have cooperated with the international NGO Solidaridad to support cotton farmers training program in Senegal and currently we support their training project in South Africa.

Taking care of the products

Durability is a key measure of a product’s ecological quality, and it is our goal is that, if properly cared for, Marimekko products last for one generation to another. To support taking good care of our products, our textile products are marked with the Clevercare label. At Clevercare.info our customers find care instructions that save the environment and the product as well as effort and money. The instructions remind for example, that the product should not be washed too often or in too high temperatures. Environment is thankful and the product remains beautiful for longer.

Making use of leftovers and cut-offs

We love our beautiful fabrics and we think it would be a pity to waste them. This is why we cut fabrics precisely and do our best to minimise cut-off waste. Material efficiency has a central role to play in preventing and minimizing waste generated in Marimekko's production. The materials cutting waste can be reduced already in the stage of pattern design by taking into account the end-use of the pattern and positioning of the pattern on the fabric. Also the stage of making the patterns for an interior product or a garment is essential when aiming to reduce the cutting waste. The patterns are set with the help of a software which keeps the waste at a minimum level. Sometimes the generation of cutting waste is unavoidable due to the pattern at hand and positioning of the pattern. In such cases the utilization of the cutting waste for example for another product can also be planned already in the initial design phase.

Our fabrics go through detailed screening before they go on to the shops. We use second-grade fabrics to make popular Silver Medal tote bags.

Sometimes it happens for one reason or another that fabrics are left over for example from clothing collections. These surpluses are usually utilized in our bi-annual Friend sales for special products or re-productions of popular products. The fabric is also sold in Marimekko outlets to people who like to sew, and sometimes they are donated for example to nearby schools or day-care centers for children's handicrafts.

Product safety

Marimekko needs to be able to guarantee the quality and safety of its products in all conditions. This is why the quality of the products is monitored constantly by Marimekko's own quality team, by external testing laboratories and Marimekko suppliers. Marimekko has its own textile laboratory in Helsinki. Textiles and on knits are tested in the laboratory according to international standards. Tests are carried out regarding, for example, shrinkage, color fastness and abrasion resistance. External testing services are used when needed, for instance, for testing dry cleaning, light fastness or chemical residues. The products are always tested in use.

Many of our products and materials have been granted a variety of certifications and labels guaranteeing their safety.

Majority of the fabrics printed in Marimekko textile printing mill in Helsinki are certified according to the The Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certificate. The certificate guarantees that the materials in question have been tested by an independent third party and contain no substances harmful to people or the environment as detailed in the standard criteria. In addition to the certified materials from the printing mill, Marimekko’s bed linen and terry products and most of our clothing fabrics and knitwear yarns have the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certificate.

The product safety label CE mark guarantees that the product has been checked for compliance with basic safety requirements. Reflectors and toys have to bear the CE mark.

Our tin cans are food safe. Legislation on this subject protects human health from substances which could be transferred to food from a material or consumable.