Marimekko’s own operations are carbon neutral in 2020 as a result of continuous development work and emission offsetting

At Marimekko, we want to be at the forefront of continuously developing more sustainable products and practices. We want to leave no burden for the coming generations and believe that, in the future, timeless and sustainable products will be made in balance with the environment, in line with the principles of the circular economy.

We have launched several projects to reduce emissions substantially within our entire value chain, starting from raw materials – we aim to align our emission targets with those of the Paris Agreement on climate change. As a result of continuous development work and emission offsetting, our own operations, including our printing factory, offices and our own retail stores globally, are already carbon neutral in 2020. Our long-term vision is that our operations leave no trace on the environment.

For years, our aim has been to reduce our own carbon footprint. In 2016–2020, our target has been to halve the scope 1 and 2 emissions of our printing factory and headquarters from the 2010 baseline. The work has progressed well, and in 2019 the emissions from these operations were 306 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, which was 78 percent less than in 2010.

In recent years, we have studied the carbon footprint of our different operations in more detail. In 2019 and 2020, we evaluated the carbon footprint of our facilities in Herttoniemi (Helsinki, Finland), our other offices and the stores we operate globally. The footprint covers the most significant scope 1–3 emissions of these operations according to the GHG protocol, including energy production and consumption, the use of materials and equipment, the waste generated as well as eating, business travel and commuting of the personnel in Marimekko locations.

The heart of our operations– our printing factory, located in Herttoniemi since the 1970s, as well as the adjacent headquarters and two stores – has played an important role in reducing our carbon footprint. Nearly 80 percent of the energy used in the property is already from renewable sources. In addition, sizeable renovations have been made in the property with special focus on energy efficiency. In just a few years, we have been able to considerably reduce both electricity and heating consumption, and we continue to work on these. Our new target is to reduce emissions from our own operations by 40 percent from the 2019 level by the end of 2025.

In addition to continuous development work, we want to slow down the climate change by offsetting the current emissions of our own operations. In order to offset the emissions from our printing factory, our offices and the stores we operate, we have supported a reforestation project in Uganda through myclimate, a non-profit organization based in Switzerland and specializing in voluntary CO2 compensation measures. The project promotes sustainable forest management by encouraging local communities to reforest areas and implement sustainable forest management plans that reduce the need to cut down forests valuable to biodiversity. In addition, the project supports the diversification of incomes for the local communities, thus further reducing the pressure on the forests. Protecting the local forests enables increased carbon sequestration as well as conserving biodiversity in the area. In addition to this project, we also offset all emissions from our store and e-commerce deliveries in Finland as well as from e-commerce deliveries elsewhere in Europe.

Read more about myclimate and the project in Uganda
Read more about our sustainability ambition

Skilled hands and good cooperation are key in the manufacture of the popular Oiva tableware

Marimekko launched its Oiva ceramic tableware series, designed by Sami Ruotsalainen, in 2009. The continuously growing series features a selection of iconic Marimekko patterns and has found a large group of admirers. But what is the Oiva items’ journey to stores?

Marimekko’s product range is wide and varied, and the manufacture of the products requires a comprehensive and diverse partner supplier network. Expertise in the manufacture of different types of products exists around the world, and for Marimekko it is essential to find capable partners, with whom cooperation can be developed and planned with a long-term perspective. Products for the Oiva ceramic tableware series are manufactured by two factories in Thailand. The supply chain for the Oiva items is short as the factories both source the raw materials and manufacture the products all the way from the clay body to finished items.

Raw materials for the Oiva ceramics include different types of clay, mostly sourced in Thailand. Kaolin is also sourced from England, India, New Zealand, France and China, and the gypsum needed for manufacturing the clay body comes from Thailand or Germany. The ceramics manufacturing process consists of many phases and involves a lot of handwork. 

Decals of Marimekko’s patterns for the Oiva items are made in Germany, Japan and Thailand. In the factories, the decals are carefully placed on the surface of the products by hand. Colors and glazes for the tableware are sourced from Germany, Japan, Thailand, China and India. The quality inspections both for the decal placement and for the final products are also done by human eye. Finally, the products are packed with care in packaging manufactured in Thailand and shipped to Marimekko’s distribution center.

Marimekko’s Supplier Code of Conduct includes, among other things, principles against child labor and forced labor, and for the right for workers to organize and the right to equal treatment. We select our suppliers carefully, taking human rights and environmental aspects, for example, into account. The Oiva tableware, like 98% of our sourcing outside the EU, comes from audited suppliers. We monitor the realization of human rights in the supply chain both ourselves and through third-party audits. During our factory visits, we discuss not only how the cooperation is developing but also sustainability matters, such as working conditions.

Enhancing sustainability in the supply chain from raw materials to the stores requires patient work. It is important to be able to select suppliers with whom we can together develop sustainability further. For example Crown Ceramics, manufacturer of Oiva tableware, has been Marimekko’s supplier since 2008. The company wants to offer its employees a good workplace and, among other things, regularly organizes a market outside the factory, where the staff can purchase groceries and other daily essentials.

Read more:
Our supplier list, in accordance with the international Transparency Pledge
Manufacturing and sourcing principles

Making classics – where does the Jokapoika shirt come from?

Marimekko products are designed to stand up to time and use. Timeless product design is the core of our business and the mainstay of our sustainability philosophy as, for example, wearing items twice as long can reduce the industry’s emissions by up to 44 percent. The Jokapoika (every boy) shirt designed by Vuokko Eskolin-Nurmesniemi in 1956 is an excellent example of genuinely timeless design – it is the longest-running continuously produced classic Marimekko garment. But where is the shirt made in 2020?

The cotton used by Marimekko comes from different parts of the world, and nearly 90% of it is sourced as more sustainable Better Cotton . Due to human rights violations related to cotton production in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, we do not currently accept cotton from these countries in our products and have signed the related cotton pledges maintained by the Responsible Sourcing Network (RSN). Neither do we use cotton from Xinjiang, China, or yarns spun or fabrics woven in that region. We require our suppliers to annually provide information about the origin of the cotton materials they source for us.

The Jokapoika shirts are sewn by our long-term partners in Estonia and Lithuania. Our objective is to always find the best manufacturing place for each product category, and currently almost 70% of our products are manufactured in Europe.

Long-term supplier relationships play a key role in developing sustainability and having an open dialogue, as we believe that cooperation is the best way to promote wider adoption of responsible practices and change on a larger scale. Our supplier relationships are, on average, approximately 10 years in length, and with many suppliers we have collaborated for more than 20 years.

Regardless of where our products are made, we want to ensure that they are manufactured in accordance with our values, respecting people and the environment. We choose our suppliers carefully and, in our selection, in addition to commercial terms, we pay close attention to sustainability matters, such as working conditions, safety and remuneration.

We aim to continuously increase transparency in our supply chain. For all our products, we have collected data at least from two tiers before us, but in many cases – including the Jokapoika shirts – we have been able to track our supply chain even further.

Read more:
Our supplier list, in accordance with the international Transparency Pledge
BCI Cotton
Marimekko’s product policies

Marimekko and Spinnova’s collaboration on groundbreaking, sustainable fabrics recognized in Fast Company’s 2020 Innovation by Design Awards

Marimekko and the Finnish fiber technology company Spinnova’s collaboration on groundbreaking, sustainable fabrics was recognized as a finalist in the Sustainability category in Fast Company’s 2020 Innovation by Design Awards. The collaboration also received an honorable mention in the Experimental category.

One of the most sought-after design awards in the industry, Innovation by Design is the only competition to honor creative work at the intersection of design, business, and innovation. The awards recognize people, teams, and companies solving problems through design.

Marimekko and Spinnova have been collaborating on developing and commercializing new, wood-based textiles since 2017. Spinnova’s innovation addresses the environmental impacts of the fashion and textile industries, as the manufacture of textile fiber spun with Spinnova’s method consumes nearly 100% less water than cotton production. Furthermore, the fiber contains no harmful chemicals and is completely recyclable.

The Marimekko prototype outfits produced as part of the collaboration – including the first ever printed clothes made of Spinnova’s fiber – were introduced in February 2020. The outfits featuring Marimekko’s iconic Unikko (poppy) print and the company’s signature stripes demonstrate the great potential of the fiber innovation for a more sustainable future of the textile industry.

“We are very honored by Fast Company’s accolade. At Marimekko, we believe that timeless and long-lasting design that brings joy to our customers for many years is also a sustainable choice. Material choices play an important role in the work to maximize a product’s life cycle and make it as sustainable as possible. Together with Spinnova, we have been able to take major steps in developing new sustainable materials from wood-based fibers,” says Minna Kemell-Kutvonen, Design and Product Development Director of Prints and Home Products at Marimekko.

“This truly is innovation by design, as Marimekko’s designers have been involved in the collaboration since very early on. Making a market entry for a novel material speeds up when fearless, experimental minds come together, and also make their collaboration transparent to consumers. We are thrilled that Fast Company acknowledged it,” comments Spinnova’s CEO and co-founder Janne Poranen.

In just two years, the partnership between Marimekko and Spinnova has brought great progress in creating end products made with Spinnova’s technology that fulfill the fashion and textile industry’s quality and sustainability requirements.

The winners, finalists and honorable mentions of the 2020 Innovation by Design Awards are featured online as well as in the October/November 2020 issue of Fast Company magazine. Over 567 projects, products, and services from Spotify, Google, Disney+, and others were submitted for the awards in 2020.

Marimekko launched its 70th anniversary year at Copenhagen Fashion Week with an open-for-all digital presentation

Marimekko kicked off its 70th anniversary year 2021 by presenting its Pre-Spring 2021 collection digitally at Copenhagen Fashion Week. The digital presentation filmed in Marimekko’s textile printing factory in Helsinki originally aired on Wednesday, 12 August 2020.

In addition to the Pre-Spring 2021 collection, the presentation featured a selection of vintage gems from past decades as a nod to Marimekko’s commitment to truly timeless design.

The presentation also served as a tribute to Marimekko’s unique community and spirit, as staff members across the organization participated in the presentation choreography.

Watch the presentation here.

Marimekko’s Sustainability Review 2019 is published

Marimekko’s Sustainability Review 2019 detailing our progress in all our sustainability targets is now available.

During year 2019, we took major steps in increasing the share of more sustainable materials in our products and packaging: our sourcing of Better Cotton reached an all-time high and represented 88 percent of all the cotton used in Marimekko. Furthermore, both our cooperation with the Finnish fiber technology company Spinnova and the Ioncell™ project led by Aalto University and the University of Helsinki, which aim at developing more sustainable materials, took significant leaps forward. We continued our work to extend the product life, to minimize our environmental impacts as well as our efforts to improve the sustainability of our supply chain, among others. We also started to map our carbon footprint in more detail and made a study, for example, on the emissions generated from our operations in the Marimekko House.

We believe that cooperation is the best way to bring about positive change. Marimekko’s design philosophy and operations have always been based on a sustainable approach: we want to provide our customers with timeless, practical and durable products that bring them long-lasting joy and that they will not want to throw away but instead pass on to the next generation. Developing our sustainability requires continuous work and improvements and we want to be transparent about our journey. Read the report and give us feedback!

Even stripes for equality

Empowering people to be happy just as they are

Marimekko was founded in 1951 by the visionary Armi Ratia, and since the beginning, Armi’s dream was to empower people to be happy just as they are and to boldly express themselves through original prints and colors.

The Tasaraita (even stripe) print was born in 1968 when Marimekko designer Annika Rimala created a collection of cotton jersey clothes for everyone – irrespective of age, size or gender expression. Still today, this stripy classic is Marimekko’s symbol of equality.

Changing the world with Pride

Equality and authenticity have been important values for Marimekko since our earliest days. To actively promote the discussion around equal rights, we have proudly been one of the official partners of the rainbow-colored culture and human rights event Helsinki Pride since 2018. This year, Marimekko will issue Helsinki Pride’s official products.

In 2020, the Pride organizations around the world will come together for a virtual global Pride. The 24-hour celebration will take place on 27th of June. The local event in Helsinki takes place from the 7th to the 13th of September.

Join us in celebrating inclusivity and equality for all.

Marimekko’s annual public open-air fashion show moved to digital, and everyone is invited to model

Marimekko’s public, open-air summer fashion show has become an integral part of the culture of Marimekko’s hometown Helsinki. Since 1992, the colorful, inclusive and free of charge event has gathered thousands of people to salute the beginning of summer at the Esplanadi Park in the heart of Helsinki. 

This year, the event will reach more people than ever, as for the first time, Marimekko will organize the event fully digitally – and the whole world is invited to participate! 

On Friday May 22nd 2020, Marimekko’s Instagram account will become a global runway by showcasing and re-posting summery look submissions from its community. To participate, people around the world are invited to wear a Marimekko-inspired outfit and film their own fashion show moment in the safety and comfort of their homes.

“In these exceptional and uncertain circumstances, we at Marimekko see our mission to bring joy to the everyday lives of people as more meaningful than ever. To safeguard the health and safety of our customers and personnel, we naturally will not be arranging the traditional summer fashion show in the Esplanadi park this year, but we still want to come together with our community to find some joy and positivity amidst this unusual time. We are constantly inspired by our community and are very excited to invite everyone to participate in this inclusive runway from the safety of their homes,” says Tiina Alahuhta-Kasko, President and CEO of Marimekko.

Inclusivity at the heart

Since Marimekko was founded in 1951, its positive lifestyle philosophy has been based on empowering people to be happy as they are. The Marimekko dress, a symbol of the democratic design approach of the brand, encourages people to express their personality through their choice of attire.

Furthermore, Marimekko’s Esplanadi annual public fashion show tradition is a true pioneer of inclusive fashion events and a see now, buy now way of presenting collections to consumers. Started at a time in the early 1990s when most fashion events happened in exclusive closed settings, Marimekko decided to bring its colorful splendor right in the middle of the city, for everyone to see and enjoy. In addition, Marimekko offered all showcased looks immediately for purchase for the most enthusiastic shoppers. 

A live performance by Finnish superstar Vesala

Marimekko’s Esplanadi fashion show is also known for its musical performances. This year will be no different, as one of the leading singer-songwriters in Finland, Vesala, will step on a digital stage and perform live on Marimekko’s Instagram at 17:00 EEST.

How to participate:

  • Choose an outfit inspired by Marimekko’s colorful world
  • Post a runway strut or picture on your own Instagram account. The look can be accessorized with our brand new Unikko face filter, downloadable on Marimekko’s Instagram account.
  • Tag @marimekko in the post to be included in the world’s most inclusive runway!

80% of Marimekko’s direct suppliers use renewable energy sources

Marimekko’s product range is manufactured by a global partner supplier network of around 75 partner suppliers and 100 factories. Almost 70% of our products are manufactured in Europe. We select our suppliers carefully, taking into account social and environmental responsibility. Information about our suppliers’ sustainability efforts is gathered as part of the selection process, as well as in constant dialogue with the suppliers, for example as part of factory visits and supplier evaluation. A significant part of the lifetime emissions of our products are created in our supply chain during the manufacturing of the products and the materials used to make them. Therefore, we have started to map the emissions in our supply chain in more detail, starting with our direct suppliers. 

Our study in 2019 showed that 82 percent of our direct suppliers use renewable energy sources. Furthermore, 16 percent of the suppliers use only renewable energy sources[1] in their operations and 66 percent use energy both from fossil and renewable sources at the same time[2]. The rest – 18 percent – use only fossil fuels as their energy source. Of those suppliers who are wholly or partially using fossil fuels, 23 percent plan to increase the use of renewable energies in the future.

Almost all of Marimekko’s suppliers in Europe (95 percent) and outside Europe (97 percent) have set their own targets to reduce energy use and emissions, and/or have implemented other measures to mitigate climate change. Examples of such targets and actions include investing in wind power plants, installing solar panels, minimizing water use in production, capturing heat and using it to warm the production facilities, installing more energy-efficient equipment and participating in reforestation initiatives. We monitor the implementation of these targets and actions as part of our cooperation with suppliers.


[1] Renewable energy sources include solar, wind and hydropower, biogas, biomass and geothermal heat.

[2] If the supplier has mentioned only electricity as the energy source, the division between renewable and non-renewable energies is based on International Energy Agency’s data on energy sources used for electricity generation in that country (https://www.iea.org/data-and-statistics).

Fashion revolution – you asked, we answered

Sustainability in the supply chain is of utmost importance to us at Marimekko. In addition to continuous improvements in our work and the work of our suppliers, transparency plays on important role in this. Our aim is to have an open dialogue on sustainability issues and work together for a better future.

One of the ways to improve transparency in the fashion industry is the global Fashion Revolution campaign, a movement organised since 2014 to promote a more sustainable and transparent fashion industry and better working conditions. Marimekko has participated in Fashion Revolution since 2015 showcasing for example the people manufacturing Marimekko products in different countries. This year we wanted to offer our community the possibility to ask us directly questions related to our partners, materials and manufacturing. During the Fashion Revolution week (20 – 27 April) we will be answering your questions in Instagram. You can also find all questions and answers here.

We also discuss our sustainability work regularly in Behind the Patterns Q&A sessions in Instagram. Our next sustainability report will be published in summer 2020.

Marimekko has a global lobal network of skilled manufacturing professionals, our products are manufactured by around 75 partners at roughly 100 factories. Almost 70% of our products are made in Europe and the rest in Asia. We believe that an open dialogue with our suppliers and other industry players will take us forward in advancing responsible practices. Valuing long-term supplier relationships, we have been co-operating with many of our partners for decades.

More information about manufacturing and our suppliers can be found on the sustainability section of our website.