It is extremely important for us to ensure the sustainability in our supply chain. Bringing people joy in their everyday life through our prints and colours should not happen at the cost of others. We regularly visit the factories of our suppliers ourselves to make sure that their operations fulfil our quality and sustainability requirements.
Marimekko’s own textile printing factory in Helsinki produces approximately one million metres of fabric with various patterns annually. In addition, our around 75 partner suppliers manufacture our products in approximately 100 factories around the world. Almost 70% of our products are manufactured in Europe and the rest in Asia. A list of our most significant partner suppliers is available on our website: https://company.marimekko.com/en/sustainability/manufacturing/.
We select our partners with care. Our supplier selection is guided by a predetermined process and requirements that are discussed carefully before we embark on the collaboration. The matters we discuss include ensuring that the supplier’s competence and capacity correspond to our needs and that they can follow our quality and sustainability requirements. Selecting our suppliers carefully is important also because we aim to select partners with whom we can develop and plan the collaboration over the long term. Our supplier relationships are, on average, approximately 10 years in length. With some of our partners, we have collaborated for more than 20 years.
Our principle is that we always know where and in what conditions our products are manufactured. Marimekko’s employees visit the factories of our supplier partners regularly. In addition, factories in risk countries are audited by external specialists.
In 2019, Marimekko’s employees carried out more than 40 factory visits in our product or material suppliers’ premises in Finland, Estonia, Lithuania, Hungary, Spain, Portugal, India, China and Thailand. During the visits, we discuss contractual matters, matters related to product development and quality, the implementation of sustainable ways of working and related challenges, if any, as well as track the progress of the development objectives that were agreed upon previously. First and foremost, the supplier must always fix any shortcomings and the reasons that caused them, but consistently failing to follow our requirements is a basis for concluding our collaboration. In the past few years, Marimekko has terminated a few contracts based on shortcomings related to, for example, quality, access to information or the terms of the collaboration.
An essential part of the visits is seeing the production facilities. We always try to time the visits at a time when Marimekko’s products are being produced in order to get a concrete idea of the various work phases and working conditions. During the factory tour, we pay attention to, for example, the safety of the working environment and methods, condition of the tools used, temperature, cleanliness and lighting of the working premises, and we can also observe how potential shortcomings observed during previous factory audits have been fixed. The visits also give us a chance to learn more about the suppliers; for example, how they are involved with the local community. One example is Marimekko’s scarf supplier in India that supports the education of local girls through its family foundation (Shingora Family Foundation).
Read more about our manufacturing: https://company.marimekko.com/en/sustainability/manufacturing/.