The majority of Marimekko’s products get their final form in the factories of handpicked manufacturing partners around the globe. Currently, approximately 70% of our products are produced in Europe and the rest in Asia. As a global company, Marimekko has a wide partner network with which we cooperate closely. In order to ensure that everything meets our sustainability and quality requirements at our partners’ production facilities, external experts conduct audits at the factories and people from Marimekko also regularly visit the facilities.
Observing with all senses – would I like to work here?
In August, Marimekko’s Quality Manager Leena Tarvainen and one of our buyers, Salla Sandberg, visited our partner factories in China. Marimekko bags and umbrellas, for example, are produced in these factories.
”The welcome is friendly, almost without exception. An open atmosphere offers a good platform for discussing also difficult issues. During the visits, we go through, for example, matters related to contracts, product development and quality. We also monitor how sustainable practices are implemented in operations and whether there are any challenges related to this. In addition, we of course follow how things in previously defined development areas are progressing,” says Marimekko’s Quality Manager Leena Tarvainen.
The most important part of the visit is getting to know the actual production facilities.
”I consider it very important to get to see the actual working conditions and all phases of the work process with my own eyes. During the factory visits, special attention is paid, for example, to the safety of the working environment and working practices, the condition of the tools as well as the temperature, tidiness and lighting in the work space. I always try to think whether I would like to work there myself,” Leena says.
Not just an inspection visit – a great opportunity for product development
Factory visits form a part of our continuous supplier relations management to ensure that our partners’ operations meet our sustainability and quality requirements. The visits are not just only inspection visits as they also provide a great platform for product development as well as deepening cooperation and the understanding of our partners’ operating environment.
”On our visit to China, we also discussed general topics such as the country’s continuous development and its impacts. Understanding the situation in the production country also supports our own risk management. In addition, our partners are usually professionals with long experience in the industry and hence they know their own process inside out. Thanks to this, quite surprising product development ideas may emerge during the discussions,” says Leena.